Actor Ashton Kutcher gave a powerful testimonial in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week asking for federal support in his fight against child sex trafficking with his foundation ‘Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children’. Thorn was founded in 2009 by Kutcher and his former wife Demi Moore. The organization’s purpose is to develop software and to use existing technology to combat child sex trafficking.
During the testimony, Kutcher was visibly passionate when he spoke on the topic of child sex trafficking. He was even on the verge of tears during some extremely emotional portions of his speech.
He said that his day job was “the chairman & co-founder of Thorn” and his other day job is “that of the father of two” continued to state that “as part of that job I take very seriously, I believe that it is my effort to defend their right to pursue happiness and to ensure a society and government that defends it as well.” Later, the actor ruminated about a time when the Department of Homeland Security had asked Thorn for help. “We were the last line of defense, an actor and his foundation were the potential last line of defense. That’s my day job and I’m sticking to it” Kutcher said.
While reflecting on his experience in working against sex trafficking, the former That 70’s Show star said that he met victims from across the world including Russia, India, Mexico, and even in the states of New Jersey and New York. Kutcher expounded that he’s “been on FBI raids where I’ve seen things no person should ever see” and was especially emotional when he told a story where he saw “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.” He expounded that the child was “so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play.”
In Kutcher’s testimony, he explained that Thorn had developed a piece of software called Spotlight. In regards to how many victims of sex trafficking had been identified using the technology, Kutcher stated “In six months, with 25% of our users reporting, we’ve identified over 6,000 trafficking victims, 2,000 of which are minors. This tool is in the hands of 4,000 law enforcement officials in 900 agencies. And we’re reducing the investigation time by 60 percent. This tool is effective, it’s efficient, it’s nimble, it’s better, it’s smarter.”
Kutcher closed his testimony with this statement: “…happiness can be given be to no man, it must be earned. It must be earned through generosity & through purpose. But the right to pursue it, the right to pursue it is every man’s right, and I beg of you that if you give people the right to pursue it what you may find in return is happiness for yourself.”
You can view Kutcher’s testimony here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOc-SjcR6Eo