MTV Latin America, PADF, IDB, Cinepolis and other Partners Launch Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign

Guatemala City, Guatemala (July 25, 2013) – The urban music band Calle 13 joins MTV Latin America and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) in today’s launch of the Tu Voz Contra la Trata (Your Voice Against Human Trafficking) campaign in Central America which aims to prevent human trafficking and labor exploitation among young people in the region. Campaign supporters also include Guatemala’s Human Rights Ombudsman, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the IDB Youth Network, Cinépolis Foundation, and civil society groups who back this initiative nationally and regionally.

Guatemala has become a country of origin, transit, and destination for human trafficking. For this reason, PADF aims to raise awareness of the issue through the so-called Tu Voz Contra la Trata campaign, which supports the MTV EXIT initiative to combat the problem of human trafficking that each year affects thousands of women, youth, children and immigrants from Central America.

“In Guatemala, we are not only facing a human trafficking problem, but also a growing epidemic that is destroying the lives of thousands of young people. Through the alliance between PADF, MTV Latin America and the IDB, this campaign offers a effective way of communicating a preventive message that can reach vulnerable groups, especially children and youth to alert them about the dangers,” said Paul Fisher, Director of Corporate Partnerships and Development at PADF.

The Inter-American Development Bank, through its IDB Youth Network, supports youth participation in all areas of development from which they are directly affected. As violence and organized crime are two of the major issues that affect youth, this campaign which focuses on prevention of human trafficking, is a tool to alert, educate, empower and support young people to achieve their goals and avoid putting their lives at risk.

“Human trafficking is a new form of slavery that should not exist in the 21st century. Involving young people to empower them and prevent human trafficking is key to eliminating this evil. We are pleased to be partnering with MTV Latin America and PADF to jointly tackle this social scourge," said Elena Suarez, Youth Network Unit Chief at the IDB.

The launch of this initiative is being held today in Guatemala City with the premiere of the documentary Invisible Slaves (The Animation). The 22-minute production aims to draw attention to a global problem that is also affecting Latin America, especially Central America. The film uses four stories of victims of trafficking, including one of a young Salvadoran who emigrated to Guatemala in search of a better life. This documentary was produced by MTV Latin America with support from PADF, and is presented by René Joglar and Eduardo Cabra, members of the music band Calle 13.

See the four stories: MariaMarcelaJosé, and Laura.

"MTV Latin America joins once again the fight against this serious problem that affects everyone, through this documentary that presents very clear messages that society often ignores, since human traffickers exploit the desires of young people and deceive them with false promises of prosperity,” said Mario Cader-Frech, Vice President, Public Affairs, The Americas, Viacom International Media Networks in the Americas.

Both the documentary and the campaign aim to raise awareness about the risks of human trafficking, gauge the knowledge of young people on the subject, engage youth through education, and help prevent future cases. In addition, it seeks to provide new communication opportunities through social media networks.

With the support of the Cinépolis Foundation, in coordination with the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDH) of Guatemala, the documentary will be presented to more than 700 youth in the Cinépolis movie theater at the Miraflores Mall in Guatemala City at 9:00 pm today, July 25. This presentation will be followed by a commercial film. Goodwill ambassador representing PADF and PDH include Beatriz del Cid y Andrea Henry, radio and TV presenters, and Francisco Páez, vocalist for the musical band Malacates Trébol Shop.

Invisible Slaves (The Animation) is an important component of the campaign Tu Voz Contra la Trata, which supports the broader MTV EXIT initiative. The campaign continues to expand in Central America, beginning with Guatemala, through mass media, social media networks, a poster campaign, and a Regional Forum for Youth.

“PADF is proud to help create this synergy with MTV Latin America and the Inter-American Development Bank. This effort clearly demonstrates how the public and private sectors can leverage the strengths of each and work together to address social issues that affect our communities," added Fisher.

About PADF
PADF is the development and relief arm of the Organization of American States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2011, it helped more than 7.5 million beneficiaries in 23 countries.