Hollywood star Ashley Judd becomes anti-slavery group ambassador

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

NEW YORK, May 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hollywood actress Ashley Judd has been appointed as an ambassador for the Washington-based anti-trafficking group Polaris.

In a statement, the "Divergent" and "Double Jeopardy" actress said she hoped her involvement would focus the public's attention on eradicating human trafficking.

"My travels to 15 countries has seared into me that, in the slums of Mumbai, on the streets of Nashville, amongst Syrian refugees, human trafficking is literally everywhere," she said.

"Join me ... in making all people everywhere, once and for all, free."

Earlier this year, Judd, known for her humanitarian activism was named a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA).

Globally, nearly 21 million people are victims of human trafficking, according to the U.N.'s International Labour Organization (ILO). An estimated 4.5 million of them are forced into sex work.

Anti-slavery group Polaris is best known for running the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, a hotline for victims of human trafficking.