The Walking Dead‘s Laurie Holden Describes Her Role in Anti-Sex Trafficking Sting
Laurie Holden was inspired to lend her efforts to anti-sex trafficking forces after working with AIDS-infect survivors of sexual abuse.
The Walking Dead actress recently came to the force to talk about her efforts as part of Operation Underground Railroad, a non-governmental organization that works with governments world wide to help organize the rescue of children from sex slavery rings. Her most recent, and largest, operation was accomplished in tandem with the state of Columbia, rescuing twenty-two children, some as young as twelve, from from their captors.
Colombian law prevents arrest for sex trafficking until money has changed hands, and so Operation Underground Railroad set up a fake bachelor party in Cartagena, Colombia. Holden’s role, alongside another of OUR’s volunteers, was to play “the girlfriend of one of the rich Americans, so I kind of had to sell them and the traffickers on the idea that I was a party girl, that I was there to have a good time with the guys,” she told the CBC. Once the actual sting was on, however, her job changed dramatically.
“When you’ve been sexually abused, no matter how wonderful they are, there is a fear of a man… I think having myself and this other lovely woman, Krista, who is a cross-fit trainer, we were like the motherly figures who were able to comfort them.” Holden was on hand to keep the soon-to-be rescued children out of harms way as much as possible, as armed Colombian authorities captured the traffickers who had arrived to hand them over for the “bachelor party.” It is the first of such operations she’s participated in which involved working alongside armed combatants.
Holden told the CBC she’ll continue to participate in further missions. “I’ve seen [child sex trafficking] firsthand and I can’t get it out of my head, I’m just going to keep going until the day I die.”
You can watch a video of Holden talking about her experiences here.
(via the CBC)