Riverdale’s Marisol Nichols on secretly stopping human trafficking – The Hollywood Reporter

Marisol Nichols’ career has landed her on shows like Riverdale, NCIS and GCB. But perhaps her most powerful roles have yet to be played behind the scenes: Since 2014, the actress has been working undercover to catch traffickers.

Nichols said: “I started researching human trafficking and hearing terrible stories about children’s brothels around 2011, and I couldn’t sleep.

After meetings with various organizations around the world – from Mexico to Uganda and even attending White House meetings with members of the Obama administration – Nichols decided to start using his platform. at red carpet events to raise awareness of the horrors of human trafficking and later founded her own non-profit, Foundation for a World Without Slaves. An estimated 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery.

Now, Nichols works with former FBI and CIA agents, Navy SEALs and Green Berets — along with law enforcement — who have left government agencies and operate independently to trap traffickers. people. In partnership with Operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit focused on ending child trafficking and sexual exploitation, Nichols’ undercover work has taken her to Haiti, Venezuela, and across the United States.

“Just because you’re a law enforcement officer doesn’t mean you’re a good or actionable undercover agent,” Nichols explains. So when you get someone like me who’s used to different roles, you can use that to your advantage to lure predators out of hiding, which is what I do. make, or trick traffickers into thinking you are the buyer or customer. ”

Even though she’s been working on this ability for seven years now — in between filming seasons of Riverdale – Nichols is still terrified. “It was dark, it was horrible. You see things that you can’t see,” she said. “It’s horrifying because if at any point I’m recognized, these guys have weapons and I don’t.” Nichols closed everything from a “drug mom selling her baby online” to a 9-year-old girl talking to a pedophile on the phone, as many demanded proof that a child was present when respond to an advertisement.

Recently, Nichols teamed up with military veteran Colin Wayne, who owns a steel company in Alabama, to create a charitable gift: a Foundation steel monogram for a Slave-Free World (Operation.redlinesteel.com), to encourage people to donate so the funds can be used to continue catching predators.

This story first appeared in the November 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.

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