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Actress Demi battles child sex trade in US

Actress Demi Moore has said that sex trafficking of children is a national problem in the US that should be viewed with a greater sense of urgency.

"I think many Americans are more willing to accept that there are girls enslaved in Cambodia or Delhi, and really can't imagine that it's happening right here," Moore said during a panel discussion on the issue.

Moore said American girls are being bought and sold every day by people who are rarely prosecuted.

"It's more profitable and less risky to sell a girl than drugs," she said.

One 17-year-old girl who participated in the discussion recalled how she was lured into prostitution and sex trafficking at age 11 by a 28-year-old man who took her shopping.

Moore and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, recently started the Demi and Ashton Foundation to bring attention to the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The panel discussion was organised by the foundation and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights.