When you see that 70% of Cambodia’s population is under 30 years of age, it’s clear that youth are a critical component of Cambodia’s development. That is why so much of USAID’s support to Cambodia focuses on programs to help Cambodia’s young people become healthier, better educated, and more successful. One program of particular importance to us helps fight the sex and labor trafficking of young Cambodians. We work with both government and non-government partners to make sure that Cambodian youth have the information and education necessary to prevent them from becoming trafficking victims.
Thus, I was so pleased to hear that almost 5,000 people attended the MTV EXIT roadshow concert in Siem Reap on July 28, 2012. Cambodian rap artist Pou Khlaing and a host of other performers were on stage for over three hours raising awareness on human trafficking. The concert was organized by MTV EXIT, which works with our USAID partner, Winrock International, on a national communications campaign to combat human trafficking and exploitation. The campaign engages Cambodia’s young people through youth-driven activities and digital media both to educate them on recognizing trafficking and to make them activists in the fight against it. Music and the media are such powerful tools among youth these days, and I’m glad that MTV EXIT has been holding fun events such as this concert to raise awareness on this very important issue. Thanks so much to all the performers as well as everyone who attended. It looked like an amazing event—wish I could’ve been there!