Nineteen-time Latin Grammy winners Calle 13 joined forces with UNICEF, MTV Latin America and Tr3s to launch the MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) campaign within Latin American and US Hispanic communities.
The multi-media campaign aims to reach Spanish-speaking youth in Latin America and the US to increase awareness and prevention around human trafficking and exploitation through creative content, digital media interaction, community events and opportunities for direct participation.
Lured by false promises offering opportunities for a better life, at least 550,000* children, adolescents and youth have become victims of trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean; often forced into unsafe sexual practices and drug use, they are at a heightened risk of contracting HIV.
"Youth is our future and we need to educate them not exploit them," said Residente de Calle 13. "We are thrilled to be supporting this campaign and look forward to working with MTV and UNICEF to address other related issues like education," He added.
"Increasingly adolescents and young people are vulnerable to being trafficked and exploited in the region. We can reduce the risks they are exposed to if we provide them with the necessary education and tools to protect themselves," said UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bernt Aasen. "The partnership that launches today with Calle 13, MTV Latin America and Tr3s — key cultural references for young people — allows us to reach millions of potential victims by communicating with them directly, using their language."
Since 2004, MTV EXIT has produced award-winning media components on the issue of human trafficking through influential music, film, and celebrities, and distributed innovative and creative content in over 40 languages to youth audiences, throughout Asia and Europe. Calle 13 joins a powerful list of celebrities including Angelina Jolie, The Killers, Radiohead, Muse,Jered Leto and Lucy Lui, who have all produced innovative content to amplify MTV EXIT's powerful message about modern day slavery. Residente and Visitante host a documentary to address how this global issue is affecting Latin America. The documentary will include first-hand interviews with young Latin Americans who have been affected by trafficking and exploitation. Calle 13 also donated the rights of Preparame la Cena, a song from their most recent award-winning album Entren los que Quieran, for the music video for the campaign.
"If we can use the power of our brands to promote human rights and bring this issue of trafficking and exploitation to light in the media, we will take an important step forward in raising awareness and protecting youth," said Mario Cader-Frech, Vice President, Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility for MTV Latin America & Tr3s.
UNICEF is actively working to prevent trafficking and exploitation in Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly with support from the Italian Government. Protecting children begins with prevention. UNICEF and its partners address the root causes of trafficking, essential in the fight against this global crime.
The MTV EXIT campaign will continue to expand in Latin America through mass media broadcasts, local events and activities with children, adolescents and youth. Other partners, such as PADF (Pan American Development Foundation) and the IDB (Interamerican Development Bank) will join the initiative in upcoming projects.
*Source: "Every Child Counts New Global Estimates on Child Labour,": IPEC—SIMPOC.2002:27