Celebrated actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Jackie Chan arrived in Myanmar today on a three-day mission to help combat child trafficking. 

Mr Chan will meet children who have been trafficked and are now receiving help to recover from the suffering and distress caused by this multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise. 

In the lead up to the trip, Mr Chan said: “Trafficking and exploiting children are horrific crimes. They leave life-long scars and rob children of their childhoods. Children are not for sale. For the sake of the world’s children, we must work hard to stamp out these damaging and criminal practices.”

In Myanmar, Mr. Chan will visit a vocational training centre for trafficked children who have managed to return home but are in need of special care and support. He will also travel to UNICEF-supported projects assisting children at risk of being trafficked, including those without parental care and children who are living and working on the street. 

He will discuss how to effectively combat trafficking with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and with members of Myanmar’s Police Anti-Trafficking Task Force in Mandalay.

Every year, some 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide. Trafficking exposes children to physical violence, sexual abuse, and grave emotional distress. In East and South-East Asia, the trafficking industry is fuelled by demand for cheap or exploitable labour, commercial sex with children, adoption outside legal channels, and forcing women or girls into exploitative marriages.

Trafficking is also closely linked to migration. Tens of millions of people migrate for work in the region. When they are far away from their homes and support systems, families - and especially children - face an increased risk of being trafficked.

If families have essential information and education on how to protect themselves, the risks of being trafficked can be reduced. Jackie Chan plans to deliver messages about self-protection to young people in Myanmar during his visit. 

“It is very important that young people know how to protect themselves,” said Mr Chan. “Simple things like knowing not to trust anyone who promises you a dream job in another country; never going to an unknown place alone; knowing your parents’ and your own full name and age; and being able to explain where you live, help children guard against traffickers.”

Jackie Chan has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2004, using his celebrity status as a vehicle to promote humanitarian progress for the most disadvantaged children.  

“Jackie Chan is hugely popular in Myanmar and he is a strong and dedicated advocate of child rights,” said Ramesh Shrestha, UNICEF Representative in Myanmar. “Children and teenagers are inspired by his martial arts skills, bravery, adventure and humour. He will be a source of inspiration and encouragement.” 

You can follow updates and photos of his trip on UNICEF Facebook and Twitter @UNICEF and #Jackie4Kids.


For more information, please contact:

Ju-Lin Tan, UNICEF UK, julint@unicef.org.uk, +44 (0)20 7375 6030, +44 (0)7814 549 071


UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org