Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedom to survivors, announced today that humanitarian and actress Ashley Judd has been named an Ambassador for the organisation. For years, Ashley has advocated on behalf of survivors of human trafficking in the United States and around the world. She joins Polaris to continue drawing attention to the crime that affects an estimated 20.9 million people worldwide, as well as to help ensure that victims and survivors in the US are aware of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline that Polaris operates so they can reach out for help when they need it.
“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. Vulnerable people, and even educated and well-resourced people, are tricked, coerced, recruited, and enslaved. Traffickers, some formal and organised, other informal and transactional, earn stunning profits by using, over and over, the bodies and labour of their fellow human beings. In the midst of shocking pain, degradation, and profound shame and despair, I also have listened to the stories of the still enslaved, and survivor-leaders, whose resilience and advocacy are even more stunning than the unconscionable cruelty they have endured. They are the experts, and my job is merely to travel to them, love them, listen, take their experience to you, and make sure the world accepts the reality of modern slavery. Join me, Polaris, and its partners in making all people everywhere, once and for all, free,” said Ashley Judd, Polaris Ambassador.
“Ashley is a vital partner in the fight against modern slavery and we are excited she is teaming up with us,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris. “She has fought against gender-based violence throughout her career, and has witnessed human trafficking all over the world. From spotlighting local organisations providing life-changing services to speaking out at the United Nations General Assembly, she passionately amplifies the voices and needs of survivors, and we are thrilled she will be supporting Polaris’s mission through her advocacy efforts.”
Ashley Judd is a dedicated humanitarian and acclaimed actor. Having starred in over 20 films and on Broadway, Ashley has won a variety of critic awards and has been nominated for multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. Also a global ambassador for public health non-profit Population Services International (PSI), Ashley’s activism and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations has brought her around the world to meet with and learn from grassroots organisations. A sought-after expert, she delivered the keynote address on the modern slave trade to the 2008 General Assembly of the United Nations and served as an expert panellist for multiple conferences, including the Clinton Global Initiative, Women Deliver Conference, and the International AIDS Conference. A native Kentuckian and graduate of the University of Kentucky and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Ashley currently resides in Tennessee.