Ashton Kutcher is known for his goofy yet lovable roles on That '70s Show and Two and a Half Men. He's more than a celebrity, though. Aside from being a husband and a father of two, his most important role is fighting human trafficking.
The Washington Post writes about a hearing the actor had with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ashton Kutcher talked about Thorn, an organization he and his ex, Demi Moore, established together. "Thorn ... uses technology to help identify and locate trafficking victims," according to the article.
Thorn has helped victims of sex trafficking -- specifically children -- through electronic avenues. Spotlight, for example, is a tool that helps law enforcement arrest perpetrators and find their victims; it has assisted 4,000 officers in the United States, and it has found over 6,000 victims, a third of them children.
Ashton Kutcher knows technology can exacerbate the crimes of sex and labor trafficking, but he assures it can also reduce the crimes, too. "Technology can be used to enable slavery, but it can also be used to disable slavery," he said in the hearing.
Another tool Thorn utilizes is called the BEFREE (233733) Texting Helpline that is accessible 24/7. It has helped thousands of people. "From the launch of the [hotline], BEFREE conversations led to 3,631 substantive cases and 18 potential victims extracted," according to Thorn's web page.
Human trafficking is a burgeoning beast, and children are too often in its clutches. Thorn provides harrowing statistics on the issue.
"Of the DMST survivors that participated in Thorn's 2013 national survey: 63% were sold via the Internet, 62% had access to a cell phone, and 42% had access to the Internet," according to its Child Sex Trafficking Statistics page.
Ashton Kutcher urges people to work on a solution, so all crimes against humanity -- especially child sex trafficking -- can end. Watch his testimony below.
"When people are left out, when they're neglected, when they're not supported, and when they're not given the love they need to grow, it becomes an incubator for trafficking, and this refugee crisis, if we want to be serious about ending slavery, we cannot ignore them," he asserts.