Many Americans feel as though celebrities shouldn’t get mixed up in the issues of the world, and simply “stick to their day jobs,” but Ashton Kutcher isn’t like most celebrities.
While there are a lot of stars who are all talk, and little to no action, Mr. Kutcher puts tremendous efforts into a cause that not many are even aware of: bringing an end to human trafficking.
Along with the organization he co-founded, Thorn, Kutcher has been fighting for human rights, and specifically the rights of children trapped in the horrors of the sex-slave trade.
On Wednesday, February 15, he brought his cause to Washington D.C. to speak with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. During his opening remarks Mr. Kutcher spoke about he deeply he cares for America, and the role he wishes to play in making the world a better place.
“As a young man, raised and brought up in the public school system, I pledged my allegiance to that flag every single day. The honor, maybe one of the greatest honors of my life, today, is to be here, and leverage the work I have done as testimony that may in some way benefit this nation that I love.”
Mr. Kutcher then begins to talk about his “day job” as the head of his foundation, which aims to “defend the right to pursue happiness.” Unfortunately, for many children throughout the world, “the right to pursue happiness is stripped away.”
“It is raped. It is abused. It is taken by force, fraud, or perversion. It is sold for the momentary happiness of another.”
Mr. Kutcher goes on to talk about how he considers it his “day job” to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. He gives example after example of young children who had been trapped in the horrors of human trafficking, and how his foundation has played a key part in making sure those kids were saved.
“As part of my anti-trafficking work I have met victims in Russia, India, victims that have been trafficked from Mexico, New Jersey, and all across the country. I have been on FBI raids where I have seen somoething that no person should ever see. I have seen video content of a child the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia.”
Kutcher then talks about a young girl who he calls “Amy” who was “abused, raped, and sold into trafficking.” Unlike most victims, “Amy was found and returned to her family within three days, using software tools we created.”
“We were the last line of defense, an actor and his foundation were the potential last line of defense. That is my day job, and I’m sticking to it.”
Kutcher told members of the Senate Committee that the only way we can end human trafficking is by combining the efforts of both the public sector, and the private sector. He believes that this effort is something companies can get behind, even though they “oftentimes war with each other, from Google, to Microsoft, to Facebook.”
“Some other technologies include other companies. It is vital to our success. These private-public partnerships are the thing. We sit at the intersection of discovery of these victims, but the pipeline in and out is just as vital and important.”
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