Kiwis Money Boosts Human Trafficking Prosecutions
Southeast Asia’s human trafficking industry is feeling the tough bite of Kiwi-led prosecutions, through donations given
right here in New Zealand.
Fifteen per cent of Thailand’s total human trafficking convictions in 2015 were secured with the help of Kiwis
fundraising for Tearfund’s Live below the Line campaign.
Live Below the Line challenges people to eat on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line ($2.85 a day) for five days
and raise funds to fight human trafficking. The campaign is back from September 19 to 23.
“The funds from Live Below the Line are making a major difference in helping us to catch, prosecute and jail offenders
in Southeast Asia,” says Tearfund’s CEO Ian McInnes.
“New Zealanders have helped save lives and restore the future women and children. From 19 to 23 September this year,
we’re asking kiwis to step up again, and make an impact by living below the line”, he says.
Last year, funds from Live Below the Line enabled the successful prosecution of 26 trafficking offenders, helping
prevent an estimated 5,856 people from being trafficked into lives of sexual exploitation.
“To capture and prosecute offenders is a tricky and dangerous business,” says Mr. McInnes. “It involves under-cover
work, personal danger, and physical removal of women and children involved. None of these are an easy ask in a business
where violent crime is prevalent, and the proceeds of enslavement go directly to criminal organisations.”
Tearfund fights human trafficking on all fronts. Their partners in Thailand, Cambodia and Nepal, include highly
specialised investigators, lawyers, counsellors and community workers, who work to prevent vulnerable people from being
trafficked, convict human traffickers, rescue victims and rehabilitate survivors.
“The human trafficking industry places women and children in sexual slavery in countries that are relatively close to
ours,” says Mr. McInnes. But the great thing is that now the push back is also growing, as is the determination of local
authorities to stop it. . But we – and they – need funds to do so.”
For more information and to sign up to the challenge visit livebelowtheline.org.nz.