Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino has renewed her call to end human trafficking, insisting American officials need to step up their efforts to break down the illegal slave trade.
The Mighty Aphrodite star has been involved with human rights organisation Amnesty International for many years and was invited to become a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations after starring in 2005 TV movie Human Trafficking.
Sorvino admits the project fuelled her interest in the cause and she has vowed to continue fighting to make sure the barbaric practice is stamped out.
She tells U.S. TV host Larry King, "I was originally Stop Violence against Women campaign ambassador for several years. And underneath that canopy of abuse to women, both domestically and internationally, it was the subject of human trafficking, and right as we were starting to explore and do events about it, and give speeches about it, I was offered the film Human Trafficking... And I decided to take it on because it was a way to marry my activist and my artistic interests.
"And I became very, very passionate about this particular cause... In almost all trafficking situations whether it be any kind of labour trafficking, slavery or sexual trafficking, and usually if it's a female trafficking victim, that person will be a victim of rape. Whether or not they are a sexually trafficked person.
"They are constantly kept under the threat of physical harm to themselves, the threat - very definite threat to their family... They stay in their trafficking situations to protect their families because, as one victim said to me here in the states, she said, 'It was all I had left to give. I knew I was keeping my family safe by staying there, by not running away. I knew if I tried to run away, he told me he would kill them'."