Feted for playing an FBI agent in “The X-Files” tackling the supernatural, actress Gillian Anderson has cast herself in the real-life role of an anti-slavery campaigner after being shocked at the scale of the problem.
Anderson said she had been unaware up to 46 million people globally were living as slaves, generating an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits a year, until she became involved in the film “Sold”.
Based on a book about a Nepali girl trapped in the sex trade, “Sold” follows 13-year-old Lakshmi as she fights to escape the red-light district of Kolkata, India.
In the film Anderson’s role is inspired by real-life U.S. photographer, Lisa Kristine, known for documenting victims of modern day slavery trafficked into forced labor, sold for sex, trapped in debt bondage or born into servitude.
The film is being screened in London on Wednesday at Trust Women, an annual women’s rights and trafficking conference run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Describing slavery as a pandemic, Anderson said it was shocking that so many people are living as slaves today in every country across the globe, from India to the United States.