Hollywood Stands Up Against Human Trafficking

By ETONLINE STAFF

May 08, 2014

Celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith and Kathy Ireland are raising awareness about the problem of human trafficking right here in the United States.

"We're living in desperate times," said Ireland. "Parents are selling their children. They're selling their babies. And it's happening on our soil and it's not okay."

RELATED: Angelina Jolie Speaks Up for the Women Victims of Human Trafficking

In the United States alone, human trafficking has become a $32 billion business, as at least 200,000 children are sold for sex in the U.S. every year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Ireland told us that the crime has become the fastest-growing illegal business in the world, as "unlike drugs, human beings can be sold over and over."

"Typically this will happen on social media," said Ireland. "Predators who pose as boys will communicate with girls, kidnap them, and typically the captors will move the girls from place to place. They never stay in one city too long."

Ireland is now the ambassador for the Greater Los Angeles YWCA, which has helped former victims educate others about the issue.

Jada Pinkett Smith shares Ireland's passion, appearing before Congress in 2012 to advocate for stricter enforcement of trafficking laws. She also produced the documentary Rape for Profit about the crackdown on sex trafficking.

"This is an ugly and often invisible problem," said Pinkett Smith.



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