Jada Pinkett Smith Testifies Before Senate Concerning Human Trafficking

The actress also plans to launch her own awareness campaign.

Posted: 07/18/2012 02:28 PM EDT
Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Willow Smith

When Willow Smith first alerted her mom Jada Pinkett Smith about human trafficking after watching a YouTube documentary about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony forcing African children into slavery, the actress was spurred to take action. According to the State Department, an estimated 14,500 people are trafficked to the U.S. annually and other estimates state that between 21 million and 27 million are currently enslaved around the world. On Tuesday, Willow, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith wore "Free Slaves" T-shirts during their visit to Capitol Hill to urge the government to take action against human trafficking. They also brought three survivors before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"Fighting slavery doesn't cost a lot of money. The costs of allowing it to exist in our nation and abroad are much higher," Pinkett Smith said. "It robs us of the thing we value most, our freedom."

She called for an extension of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which provides funding to combat human trafficking, helps victims and implements policies on the issue. Pinkett Smith also plans to launch her own campaign to raise awareness and incite action against slavery.


BET
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(Photo: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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