There are some famous people who use their talents to do what they can do best. And then there are those like Ashton Kutcher that go the extra mile in order to help others. In his case, it is helping minors and women under threat of exploitation, sexual abuse, and trafficking.
Stephanie Petit of PEOPLE magazine reports.
“The 40-year-old actor’s nonprofit organization, Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, assisted law enforcement in identifying 5,894 child sex trafficking victims and rescuing 103 children from “situations where their sexual abuse was recorded and distributed” last year, according to the organization’s own 2017 impact report. His ex-wife Demi Moore is a co-founder.”
Kutcher’s non-profit company ‘THORN‘, builds technology and software that is used to protect and rescue children and women from sexual abuse. They have brought in more than 25 tech companies including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, to aid their Technology Task Force in stopping the exploitation of children.
“Its data claimed that THORN also helped disrupt 6,608 perpetrators, encouraged over 140,000 individuals seeking child sexual abuse material to get help and educated 3.5 million teens through its Stop Sextortion campaign.”
Last year. Mr. Kutcher talked about his work on 48 Hours, where he admitted it was not easy for him to not become emotional when talking about these issues. His efforts go beyond individual hands-on. The technical tool he is crafting “allows one person to save a lot of people.”
In addition, the company’s goals include bringing lawmakers in to encourage them to get involved and help the good cause.
“Kutcher , testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on modern day slavery Wednesday. He spoke alongside Elisa Massimino, president and chief executive of the New York-based nonprofit Human Rights First, both of whom shared horrors they’ve witnessed through work with their respective organizations. (Kutcher is the co-founder of Thorn, a non-profit organization that “drives technology innovation to fight the sexual exploitation of children,” according to their website.)”
Mr. Kutcher has had to deal with people who urge him to stick to his day job. But to their surprise, he calls his work with THORN his “day job”. And sometimes his job could take another person’s breath away. He speaks of video footage showing a 3-year-old toddler, the same age as his daughter, being raped by a “sex tourist” in Cambodia. He talks about cases for which his company was the last line of defense against the global sexual exploitation of children, as well as finding those at fault.
Here is a short video from Ashton Kutcher’s congressional hearing:
“I believe that it is incumbent on us as citizens of this nation, as Americans, to bestow that right upon others, upon each other, and upon the rest of the world. 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 is sold for the momentary happiness of another.”
See his full testimony in front of Congress in the video below:
Along with being a father of two, this is his new day job, and he says he is not giving up on it.
Sex trafficking victims can sometimes be right in front of us at gas stations, massage parlors, salons, or hotels. They are held as slaves through force and threats. An estimate of 20.9 million people are currently the victims of slavery, with 1.5 million in North America. For many criminals, sex-trafficking is the most lucrative way to make money. They make an estimate of $150 billion and place just under the number one most profitable crime, which is drug trafficking.
Tony Talbott, a popular TED talk speaker, makes a disturbing summation about sex trafficking:
“It’s all about the money. Human trafficking is insanely profitable. If you really think about it; You can sell a kilo of Heroin once; You can sell a 13-year-old girl 20 times a night, 365 days a year.”
What are your thoughts on Ashton Kutcher’s new ‘day job’ and the issue of sex trafficking?
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