While most people know her as the star of films like “Double Jeopardy” and “Kiss the Girls” there’s a lot more to Ashley Judd than her acting chops. A 2010 graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Judd spent Wednesday talking to representatives at the UN about the international black market sex trade.
The actress was given the opportunity to speak with UN Office on Drugs and Crime as a result of a paper she wrote while studying Public Administration at Harvard, which won the Dean Scholar Award. The piece dealt with gender violence law and social justice.
Judd also took time to read from her book, “All That is Bitter and Sweet” which details her career and her visits to areas drastically affected by sex slavery.
“I was at a brothel in Madagascar and interviewing women, asking you know, how, how did you end up here?,” she explained, “And this one woman, she was really beautiful, in the most off-handed manner said, ‘Same ole, same ole.’ And that’s when I really made the connection that sex slavery is everywhere, the story is largely the same and differs only in the details.”
She went on to say, “A victim of human trafficking’s will to live is probably the most remarkable thing I have ever beheld in my life. The ability to do what is in front of them to do and to keep taking the next breath speaks to some thing about the human spirit that defies explanation.”
Judd serves as a UN Goodwill ambassador and has worked with a number of charities that deal with women’s rights and human trafficking, including Population Services International. When not advocating for women’s rights, you can catch Judd on her new show “Missing” which premiered on ABC last night.