Ashton Kutcher Is An Unsung Hero Following Speech To Congress About Human Trafficking

The 39-year-old actor has asked US Congress to help his organization put an end to human trafficking and modern slavery.

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You might know actor Ashton Kutcher from Hollywood blockbusters like No Strings Attached or Just Married, but yesterday, the 39-year-old was asking you not to recognise him as an actor, but an activist and father.

Yesterday, the Dude Where's My Car star testified on Capitol Hill in Washington about human trafficking and modern slavery – a subject close to his heart given his role as chairman of Thorn, an organisation that develops software to locate victims of abuse.

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Addressing the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kutcher spoke passionately for 15 minutes, urging legislators to support the development of new technology to fight online sex trafficking.

The actor and philanthropist was close to tears when he asked the committee to defend the world's most vulnerable.

He said: 'I am here today to defend the right to pursue happiness. The right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away. It is raped. It is abused. It is taken by force, fraud, or coercion. It is sold for the momentary happiness of another.'

He also touched on the criticism he'll no doubt receive from 'trolls' who will hear him talking politics and ask him to 'stick to [his] day job'.

The right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away. It is raped. It is abused.

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'I'd like to talk about my day job. My day job is the chairman and cofounder of Thorn. We build software to fight human trafficking and the human exploitation of children. That's our core mission. My other day job is the father of two, a two-month-old and a two-year-old,' he added, referring to his family with wife, Mila Kunis.

The star went onto explain how he has 'seen things that no person should ever see' while out on FBI raids with his organisation.

'I've seen video content of a child that is 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,' he continued.

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He then described a situation when the the Department of Homeland Security asked his organisation to help them find a perpetrator of sexual assault.

'We were the last line of defence, an actor and his foundation were the potential last line of defence,' he highlighted.

With tools, called Spotlight and Solis, employed by Thorn to find criminals of sexual assault and trafficking, Kutcher says they've helped identify 6,000 victims in the last six months.

We were the last line of defence, an actor and his foundation were the potential last line of defence.

However, in order to put an end to online sex trafficking, the actor implored Congress to invest in the 'enduring', 'quantifiable' and 'nimble' technology Thorn uses to catch abusers and foster the 'private and public' partnerships that may one day put an end to the crime.

He also highlighted the need to support the refugee crisis that brings with it the 'breading ground' of sex trafficking.

He said: 'When people are left out or neglected, when they're not supported or given the love they need to grow, it becomes an incubator for trafficking.'

Each year, up to 300,000 children are at risk of being trafficked for commercial sex in the United States, according to the US Department of Justice.

Ashton Kutcher – proof of the power of celebrities.

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