Proskauer hosted actor and activist Ashley Judd and author and activist Ruchira Gupta for a discussion last week that addressed the issue of human trafficking.

I had the honor of introducing the conversation between Judd, well known for her global activism centered on gender equality, and Gupta, an Emmy Award-winning journalist who founded Apne Aap, a non-governmental organization in India that has helped thousands of women and girls exit prostitution. 

Gupta and Judd discussed the enormous suffering caused by human trafficking, how traffickers prey on the most vulnerable in society, and the great need for providing trafficking victims with better services and support. They advocated for the decriminalization of prostitution for prostituted people while continuing to enforce laws against traffickers and pimps.

In a particularly poignant moment, Judd read aloud a moving passage from Gupta’s novel “I Kick and I Fly,” a fictionalized tale based on real life, following the story of Heera, a girl in India, who escapes being sold into the sex trade when a woman’s rights advocate enrolls her in a Kung Fu program. 

The conversation was part of Proskauer’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about and put an end to human trafficking.