Published on August 15, 2007
Tata Young is putting that powerful voice to use in the fight against human trafficking as a spokeswoman for MTV's Exit campaign - End Exploitation and Trafficking.
She's one of several pop celebrities hosting 30-minute documentary spots on the music channel designed to educate young people about the abduction and smuggling of their fellow humans.
The campaign is funded by the US Agency for International Development.
"I feel honoured," says Tata, who's previously assisted Father Joe's Human Development Centre with its Aids programme. "It's truly wonderful to be helping humans and human rights."
In her 30 minutes, she'll be narrating the tale of Thai victims, traffickers and the people who are trying to stop the trade.
"It's terrible, it's harsh, it's mean, it's so sad. Sometimes you wonder how humans can do this to other humans, even people who speak the same language and come from the same country."
Tata says she readily accepted the assignment, but she admits that when she delved into the horrors of human trafficking, including rape, she became physically ill.
"I am very sensitive to the fact that women get raped every day and that there's no one really out there who is fighting for them," she says. "If I see a movie and a woman is being raped it tears me apart. I've had friends who were raped and then committed suicide. That's part of why it really hurts me."
Tata was also deeply moved by stories of people being duped into travelling abroad for work, only to find on arrival that they must work for next to no wages to repay their "travelling expenses".
She has difficulty watching other people's documentaries on the subject, so she wasn't sure she could deal with the grim reality in person.
"I'd better not meet any traffickers face to face - I might hurt them," she says. "But that's not going to help anything. The best thing for me is to join the campaign."
Tata is happy to add her name and fame to the Exit cause, which has also had South Korean pop star Rain and American actress Angelina Jolie speaking up for it.
Celebrity appeals for good causes, she believes, are an effective way of solving some of the world's problems.
"We're entertainers," she says. "We talk to people, and we make people listen to us. It's boring if we just have politicians talking about things. If we have Angelina Jolie or Johnny Depp, it makes it more interesting."
Is "naughty" girl Tata morphing into Mother Teresa?
"I haven't thought at all about whether people will see me in a different way," she says. "I just want to be one person out there saying something.
"I don't know how many people will listen to me or if it will make any difference. I'm just a voice. I'm like a narrator, telling people how bad it is."
The documentary will be given a special premiere on September 4 at the Enigma Theatre at Bangkok's Siam Paragon.