Actress-turned-humanitarian Ashley Judd was moved to campaign against human trafficking after she "stumbled upon" the problem while visiting the developing world to promote public health.
The De-Lovely star - who has also used her fame to focus attention on HIV/AIDS prevention - became concerned with the issue after visiting various slums, hospices and clinics during a three-week charity mission to Rwanda and the Congo.
Speaking at a press conference at New York's United Nations (U.N.) headquarters on Tuesday (03Jun08), Judd told reporters: "I know that the unheard are helped when they are heard. I know that compassionate listening helps me, and my goal was to help the U.N. help them."
Approximately 2.5 million people worldwide, most of them women and children, are reported to be victims of the $32 billion (GBP16 billion) annual industry of human trafficking, according to U.N. figures.