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Reclaim a human trafficking route this month with Eric Murray

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Tearfund is encouraging New Zealanders to join Olympic gold medallist and rowing great, Eric Murray, by ‘reclaiming’ a human trafficking route to help bring freedom to some 25 million people enslaved in forced labour exploitation around the world.

For the first year since the Tearfund Poverty Cycle began in 2011, it has gone ‘virtual’, meaning people can walk, ride or run the equivalent of a trafficking route at their own pace during the month of March and ask friends and family to support them. The trafficking route from Nepal to India is the longest at 867km, followed by three routes in Laos and Thailand at 620km, 425km, and 79km.

Donations made to fundraising pages of those taking part are used to combat poverty, human trafficking, slavery and exploitation in the most vulnerable communities around the world. Some of the funds also help vulnerable youth in NZ through 24-7 YouthWork and Brothers In Arms.

Among those joining Eric Murray are National MP and spokesperson for Justice Mark Mitchell, actor Ido Drent and television personality Petra Bagust.

"As a parent, when I hear these stories of young girls and boys being trafficked, I think of my son," says Murray. "If it was my child in that situation, I know how much I would want someone to help. That’s why at Concept2 we’ve decided to stationary row, bike, and ski the 867km distance between Kathmandu, Nepal, and Kolkata, India…because we can be the people who stand up and help for the sake of another."

Says Bagust: "Every person deserves the chance to know freedom, no matter who they are. When I hear stories of innocent people trafficked into horrible situations, I feel compelled to act - to use what I’ve got and help. That’s why I’m taking part in the Poverty Cycle challenge. I’m moving for their freedom."

Numerous others including schools, businesses and churches are also joining to break the cycle of poverty for some of the world’s most vulnerable people, with the top individual fundraiser winning a trip to Thailand to visit Tearfund’s work combatting human trafficking and exploitation.

According to the International Labour Organisation, there are an estimated 24.9 million people trapped forced labour exploitation. Of those, 4.8 million-the population of NZ - are trapped in forced commercial sexual exploitation.

Tearfund combats human trafficking and exploitation through five partners in five countries, working in prevention, releasing victims, prosecuting perpetrators, and rehabilitating survivors.

For more information or to register for the challenge, go to www.povertycycle.org.nz

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