40-year-old Ashton Kutcher is more than a just good looking face from Hollywood known for his humorous and romantic acting. Other than making his name popular in the entertainment industry, Ashton has also built a successful name as a respected investor and an entrepreneur responsible for the growth of companies like Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb. However, not many are aware of his humanitarian activities and his contributions to fighting human trafficking.
According to People, the actor and his non-profit organization Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children is making a difference. The organization’s impact report of 2017 stated that it assisted law enforcement in identifying 5,894 child sex trafficking victims and rescuing 103 children from situations of sexual abuse.
The organization started by Ashton and his ex-wife Demi Moore in 2009 states that it has disrupted 6,608 perpetrators and have educated about 3.5 million teenagers through its campaign called “Sextortion campaign”. It also has also encouraged about 140,000 individuals seeing child abuse material to get medical help. “I have a hard time talking about this issue without being emotional,” said Ashton about the work of his organization with 48 Hours quoted People.
The organization previously known as the DNA foundation was started to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. The non-profit specializes in building technology that can defend kids from sexual abuse. It works with the help of a technological Task Force that includes 25 other technology companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. They all work on software to prevent sexual exploitation and trafficking.
“What we do at our core is we build technology to help fight sexual exploitation of children,” Kutcher explained. “You can roll up your sleeves and go try to be like a hero and go save one person, or you can build a tool that allows one person to save a lot of people,” said Ashton quoted People.
Ashton not only works through the organization but is also very vocal about the need to end the atrocities against women and children. In 2017, the actor gave a 15 minutes speech in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding this global issue. He advocated for the voiceless and the abused. He insisted on giving everyone the right to pursue happiness.
“I’m here today to defend the right to pursue happiness. It’s a simple notion: ‘the right to pursue happiness. “It’s bestowed upon all of us by our constitution. Every citizen of this country has the right to pursue it. And 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,” said Ashton.
The No Strings Attached actor also shared his heartbreaking experience of watching a video of a child of his daughter’s age being raped by an American adult. “I’ve seen video content of a child that’s the same age as mine being raped by an American man who was a sex tourist in Cambodia, and this child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play,” he said.
Ashton who is immensely proud of his organization and its work says that it is his “day job”. He also promised that he would stick to it. “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.”