The UN General Assembly met yesterday to discuss human trafficking, an annually $32 billion illegal industry.
One star shined some light on the dark issue. Actress Ashley Judd, a board member of Population Services International, went to the UN headquarters in New York to speak about the cause she adopted after a 12-nation public health tour.
In her words to the General Assembly, Ashley explained:
I have been to 12 countries worldwide and spent a great deal of time in brothels, slums, hospices, youth drop-in centers, in both public hospitals as well as rural clinics. It is very difficult to leave behind people I know are victims of human trafficking. I defy anyone to walk out of a brothel or to walk out of an orphanage leaving those people behind. So I have been making a series of sacred promises: "I will never forget you" and "I will tell your story." I know that the unheard are helped when they are heard.
Right now about 2.5 million people face forced labor of sexual exploitation. Over 56 percent of these victims live in Asia and the Pacific. The UN estimates 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. When those with first-hand experience like Ashley share their stories, do you feel more connected to the victims and hope for a more urgent solution?