Ashton Kutcher Testifies At U.S. Senate About Human Trafficking [VIDEO]
Ashton Kutcher spoke passionately on Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his role as cofounder of Thorn, an anti-human-trafficking foundation.
Kutcher claimed it was his main day job, and that his other day job was as the father of his two children. The star advocated the foundation, which focuses on developing software to help eradicate human trafficking and child exploitation.
“I’m here today to defend the right to pursue happiness,” the That ’70s Show Star told the committee. “But the right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away. It’s raped, it’s abused, it’s taken by force, fraud or coercion … It’s sold for the momentary happiness of another.”
Kutcher highlighted Thorn’s anti-trafficking software Spotlight, which law enforcement agencies use to prioritise their caseload.
In the span of six months, Spotlight has helped to identify 6,000 trafficking victims, 2,000 of which were minors. The actor also claimed that investigation times were reduced by 60 percent among the 900 law enforcement agencies currently use the software.
Another component of Kutcher’s anti-trafficking work includes talking to victims both in the U.S. and globally. The organization also tracks down exploitive material hidden in the dark corners of the web, and alerts these to authorities.
“I’ve been on FBI raids where I’ve seen things that no other person should ever see,” a distraught Kutcher said.
“I’ve seen video content of a child that’s the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia. And this child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play.”
Kutcher’s ex-spouse, Demi Moore, is another co-founder of the foundation, which promotes itself as “Tech Innovation to Fight Child Sexual Exploitation.”
“While our work is about technology, it is important to remember that this is a human issue. We are talking about someone’s child, someone’s son or daughter, sister or brother,” Moore said.
Kutcher spoke passionately about the cause on Wednesday, adding, “that’s my day job. And I’m sticking to it.”
View his stirring speech below:
For more information about the Thorn Foundation, visit its website.