Today is day one in Bangkok for two Kiwi celebrities learning about the plight of the children who fall into the hands of human-traffickers in Southeast Asia.

In the morning, the pair visit families in an urban slum area, where residents survive, but only just.

Many are being helped by Tearfund's local anti-trafficking partners who work to rescue and rehabilitate trafficking victims and prosecute offenders.

"The economic reality is that if a man comes along and says 'I can offer your daughter work in a bar or a restaurant' and you are hungry and you have debt and you want to look after your family, that seems like a good option," Bagust said.


"But potentially it's a terrible option for your children."

Human trafficking is an organised criminal activity that uses deception, coercion and force to transport and harbour human beings for the purpose of exploitation.

According to Tearfund, the average age of victims trafficked into prostitution is 12 and people living below the international extreme poverty line (on $2.85 a day or less) are most vulnerable to being trafficked.

At the slum, seeing a family with a 9-week-old baby living in the shanty is an eye opener for Drent - he and his wife are just about to have another child of their own.

"We are just so fortunate. It's pretty confronting," he said.

Bagust said some of the conditions that family lived in was shocking. "Bathrooms that we would think were rubbish dumps."

In the evening, the pair followed some of Tearfund's partners around Bangkok's red light district in a mock investigation into trafficking.

Seeing the victims of trafficking being traded around bars as if they were a commodity rather than a person was horrible, Bagust said.


Drent said some of the women dancing in a bar were numbered. "It was just such a dehumanising experience, I found it was like they were just products that people came in and consumed."

Drent and Bagust are sharing daily video diaries of their journey with the Herald, ahead of their participation in Tearfund's Live Below the Line campaign which will see them eating on $2.85 a day from September 19 to 23 and raising money to fight human trafficking.

Kiwis can join Bagust and Drent by signing up at