Actress AnnaSophia Robb speaks out against human trafficking

How Common Is Human Trafficking Today?
How Common Is Human Trafficking Today?


AnnaSophia Robb admits that being a working actress and full-time student at NYU can be tough -- but a new partnership with A21, a non-profit that works to eradicate human trafficking, reveals that she's not close to slowing down.

"I'm pretty overwhelmed. I'm really stressed out, but I feel really excited. It'll be good. As you get older, life gets crazier, right?" she told AOL in an exclusive interview.

Robb, probably best known for her roles in "Bridge to Terabithia," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and recently, the "Sex & The City" prequel series "The Carrie Diaries," became a human rights activist when she learned about the prevalence of human trafficking today.

"I remember learning about human trafficking and slavery when I was in the 8th grade, and I didn't realize it was still an issue ... Just because it's not an issue that's regularly talked about in media and in America," she said. "But it's such an injustice and it brings in so much money and it really affects all countries around the world."

Click through to see AnnaSophia Robb through the years:

This Saturday, Robb is hosting a walk in NYC with A21 to raise awareness and funds for the 27 million people trafficked around the world.

A21 approaches human trafficking holistically -- working on prevention, protection for victims, prosecution of perpetrators and partnering with governmental organizations to work on legislation.

"They kind of go at it at all angles, and it's all survivor-centered. They don't have an agenda except for helping a really worn woman get back on her feet. They don't exploit who they help. It's very tasteful. Sometimes with non-profits they use the people they help to just get press."

The organization is also headquartered in Orange County, which is actually one of the largest hotspots for human trafficking in the U.S.

"You would never think it -- but it's something you need to peel your eyes and look a little deeper and look behind the layers of society," Robb said.

Whether it be human trafficking or another social issue, Robb said society as a whole doesn't do enough "digging."

"It's just a matter of looking around and being like, 'What do I see that doesn't seem right in the world?' I want to talk about that and how can I make that better. You can do that in your school, in your workplace, in your career, grocery store," she said.

"I think as people -- no matter what you do or what environment you're in or what job you have -- we have a responsibility to be socially aware. Our surroundings and the power of our voice. Being able to take advantage of that."

The young starlet may be just getting started with A21 -- but she's invested in the issue of human trafficking long-term, like other celebs before her who have used their platform for good, including Charlize Theron, who Robb admires for doing "an awesome job of not putting the attention on herself and working behind-the-scenes at a ground level."

"This is going to be a life journey," she said. "Selling someone is wrong. We established that hundreds of years ago -- and the fact that it's still going on today is a problem."

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Originally published