Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2017-02-11 11:53 Bengaluru: The prestigious KISS Humanitarian Award 2016 was conferred on the American actor-activist and Global Goodwill Ambassador for the UNFPA, Ashley Judd at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, Bhubaneswar on Thursday. Odisha Governor Dr SC Jamir presented the award. “Human rights are under challenge all over the world and we need champions like Ashley Judd now more than ever,” said Dr Jamir, commending her as a tireless champion of women’s rights. KISS is a glowing example of protecting human rights of tribal children, he stated, while expressing happiness that the Institute has been honouring outstanding men and women from all parts of the world through this annual award. The award citation commended her work “to protect vulnerable women and girls from sex trafficking and empower young women” and recognized her as “a tireless ambassador of women's right and a vocal critic of our biased social system”. She was unanimously chosen for the award for her “concern for the poor and vulnerable, and contributions in the field of health, poverty eradication and human rights”. Expressing gratitude for the honour, Judd said, KISS is transforming poverty through education and nutrition. “This award will empower and make me energetic to do more work for women and girl children. I was sexually assaulted as a seven-year old”, she revealed, while stressing that violence and discrimination against women is pervasive in all countries and cultures. Women should have control of their own body, sex, and fertility, she insisted. Judd is a popular American actor who has played leading roles in Hollywood hits like ‘Ruby in Paradise’, ‘Where the Heart is’, ‘Kiss the Girls’ and ‘Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood’. Apart from her unforgettable performances in highly acclaimed films, the Golden Globe and Emmy nominee has been involved in global humanitarian work since 2004. Her initial work revolved around AIDS in Africa. She is strongly committed to the cause of social justice, poverty eradication and sustainable development and a passionate advocate of rights of the girl child and women. Associated with numerous charities and foundations across the world, she was appointed Global Goodwill Ambassador for the UNFPA in 2016. The KISS Humanitarian Award was established in 2008 by Prof Achyuta Samanta, a prominent educationist and social activist, to honour individuals with exceptional contribution to the society in various fields relating to social issues and who have distinguished themselves as true humanitarians.