Susan Sarandon's Child Sex Trafficking Crusade

Susan Sarandon arrives for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in New York, Sunday, June 27, 2010, in New York. <br><br> <a href="" class="linkIcon read"><b>Details from the Match</b></a>
CBS/Gordon Donovan
Susan Sarandon arrives for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in New York, Sunday, June 27, 2010, in New York.(CBS/Gordon Donovan)

NEW YORK (CBS) No stranger to issues of social justice, Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon is speaking out against human sex trafficking in a new campaign aimed at raising funds for victims.

"I just find the whole idea of sex trafficking with children is a nightmare you can't even believe is real," Sarandon, long known for her work with UNICEF and other various humanitarian organizations, said in a recent interview with

Pictures: Susan Sarandon

What can people do to help?

"That's a very good question; you can go to where the petition is and You could go to The Body Shop and make a donation...It's good that you ask that because people get all riled up but then they don't know what to do," Sarandon said.

In a joint effort with The Body Shop, Sarandon is speaking out against an issue which many have pushed to the shadows. And, as she is quick to note, the child sex trade is prevalent everywhere, even where some may not expect.

Sarandon said, "Sex trafficking happens everywhere. People profit from it who are also connected to governments. It's definitely exists within the United States...Kids coming from other countries. The problem exists right here."

Statistics back up the actress' claims. The U.S. Justice Department estimates that anywhere from 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States every single year. But the number of U.S. children faced with being potentially trafficked is much higher. As many as 200,000 American children are at risk of being forced into the sex trade industry.

Sarandon told us why she's speaking out on an issue so graphic that many cannot even bear to think about. "The only way that it will stop is to educate people because it's such a horrible thing to think about, that you don't even want to think about."

Indeed, perhaps her star-power will get people to think about the children who often go forgotten.

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.