Activist and sex trade survivor Somaly Mam is partnering with The Body Shop to fight human trafficking. Courtesy photo.

The Body Shop
is upping the ante.

The socially-conscious brand has taken on the third-largest world crime after illegal drugs and guns: the 1.2 million children and young people that are forcefully trafficked and sexually abused every year.

In partnership with ECPAT USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) and The Somaly Mam Foundation (a southeast Asian organization founded by a slave survivor that rescues and rehabilitates women and girls), The Body Shop continues to raise funds through their Soft Hands Kind Heart Hand Cream. The citrus-scented lotion is formulated with hydrating Community Trade olive oil, and has already raised over one million dollars in just the first six months of its campaign in North America.

To take the crusade to the next level, The Body Shop's new ads aim to make you uncomfortable enough to take notice, with headlines like, "Drugs, Guns, Kids Sold On A Street Corner Near You," and "Slavery Wasn't Abolished In 1865." Execs hope the shock value will bring attention to the tremendous exploitation and money involved in the sex trafficking industry, and will move consumers to take a stand.

The founder of The Body Shop - the late Dame Anita Roddick who recently passed in 2007 from a long battle with Hepatitis C - was a British human rights activist and one of the first beauty entrepreneurs to promote fair trade with third world companies and prohibit animal-tested ingredients in her products. Roddick once called human trafficking the "modern-day slave trade."

We can imagine how proud the Dame would be of her company's latest project.