Have ugaiz heard of the Mannequin Challenge? We’re going to assume that a lot of you do (and prolly even dunnit too), but for those who have no clue what it is, it is yet another viral video trend where people pose frozen in action, like mannequins, while a moving camera films them.
You could say it’s the new Harlem Shake.
Recently, advertising company NagaDDBTribal (our sister company) created the sickest Mannequin Challenge. And by ‘sick’, we don’t mean street slang like crazy or cool. We mean nauseating, eww, sick. Unlike the fun, crazy poses we see our friends sharing online, it highlights an uncomfortable, but rampant issue happening in our country…
The sickest Mannequin Challenge will make your skin crawl…
*Warning: This video is safe to watch, but content might be disturbing to some.
*If you don’t see the video, click here.
Hearing and reading about sex trafficking is one thing, but this video literally put us THERE! It’s a little too close for comfort. It has also been shared by Syed Azmi, who has a strong voice in this issue. Some time ago this year, he had exposed a pedophile chat group to the public.
The video was created by NagaDDBTribal and Reservoir Lab for Protect & Save The Children, an NGO which aims to save children from sexual abuse and exploitation. CILISOS spoke to Alvin Teoh, NagaDDBTribal’s Executive Creative Director:
“When the NGO started a petition, we decided to support it… the least we could do. We’re an ad agency, not full-time social workers or an NGO, but what little time we can spare, we try to do something for society.” – Alvin told CILISOS
Besides the obvious benefit of riding on a popular internet trend, there is a significance to choosing the Mannequin Challenge – the message is to STOP the perpetrators in their tracks and keep them this way. To not allow them to advance any further in the abuse of children, Alvin tells us.
The video was also a follow up to an earlier campaign called Nursery Crimes, where they tweaked nursery rhymes to something sinister – from “itsy-bitsy spider” to “itsy bitsy fingers”. It was so creepy it made even NGOs uncomfortable and some parents pulled their children out of production. HOWEVER, it should be noted that in both campaigns, everyone involved (parents and P.S. The Children) had properly educated the kids acting, so that they fully understood the situation.
Child trafficking is the third largest and fastest growing global crime!
Research shows that human trafficking is the third largest international criminal activity after illegal arms (no.1) and drugs (no.2). Although it is constantly covered in the news and in other reports, statistics on victims is very scarce. It is believed that 79% of child trafficking is for sexual exploitation! As opposed to, say, using them in begging syndicates, cheap labour for factories and farms, or any other activities that children are kidnapped for.
And if you thought this only happens to children in poorer countries like Myanmar or Cambodia, well, it happens to our own Malaysian children as well. When Alvin was working on Kita Kawan Mah a few years ago, he was horrified to learn from one participant that there was a prostitution den serviced by teenagers in the heart of KL.
“I asked him naively, ‘Are they just migrant kids?’ He said, no, not always (though that particular one was migrants between the ages of 14-17). He went undercover to do his research. This place in KL operates on the cheap. It’s RM40 per session and he went in during lunchtime and it was full of people.” – Alvin
In this ‘industry’, countries are classified as: ‘sending’/‘origin’ (from where children are sent), ‘transit’ (where children might be moved through and temporarily kept on the way to their final destination), and ‘receiving’/‘destination’ (where the children finally end up). Malaysia is all 3. Malaysian children and women are sent to countries as near as Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, and as far away as Canada, the US, and Europe.
Likewise, victims from Cambodia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam are brought INTO Malaysia. Girls from indigenous groups and rural areas in Malaysia are also internally trafficked!
So sign this petition
It seems like nowadays, every problem we have… sign petition! How does signing a petition help? Is it even effective? Well, let’s look at the reason WHY we sign a petition. This particular petition by Citizens Against Child Sexual Abuse is calling for NEW LAWS on sexual crimes against children.
Chup, don’t we already have laws against it?? Here’s a bomb drop: We have some laws, but they are not enough!
Malaysia has signed and ratified (ie. fully implement) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), however, we have not ratified the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. If we do ratify it, Malaysia would be held internationally responsible for carrying out these laws. In other words, we would have to start cracking down on these illegal activities like Duterte with a machine gun (well, not really like Duterte, but with equal gusto).
But the good news is, Parliament plans to discuss (and hopefully pass) the Child Sexual Crime Act in March 2017. This Act would make sexual ‘grooming’ of children illegal, along with tackling crimes committed against children online (because nowadays predators go after kids online). Even cooler, it will recommend the formation of a special court to process cases faster since regular courts may take up to 8 years.
We have anti-trafficking laws and all, but according to ECPAT International’s proposal, we could enforce them better, by convicting corrupt officials who receive money under the table, or are involved in trafficking, or exploiting victims of trafficking.
Anyway, the moral of the story is, by signing the petition, we are pressuring the Government to act! We are saying that we want harsher laws to prosecute traffickers, we want to make grooming a crime, and we want to STOP child traffickers from advancing any further.