Whether you know him as Michael from That ’70s Show or from one of his many more recent spots in film and TV, Ashton Kutcher is a Hollywood star who’s become a household name.
Though he’s best known for his acting roles, Kutcher has his hands in every bucket you can imagine—business entrepreneur, founder of nonprofit organizations, technology guru and now full-time father of two.
The jack of all trades recently announced that his organization, Thorn, which helps find victims of sex trafficking and child pornography as well as their abusers, has helped find nearly 6,000 victims in the past year.
What’s most disturbing is that all of these victims share one trait: They were targeted over the Internet.
Focusing on online trafficking, Kutcher explains that the organization aims to “build digital tools to fight human trafficking. The purchase and commerce for human trafficking are happening online, just like everything else now, and so we’re building digital tools to fight back against it.” He continues, “We’ve built a tool to help law enforcement prioritize their caseload and recover victims and find traffickers. And we’ve [sic] found and identified and recovered over 6,000 trafficking victims this year. And we’ve [sic] found, identified and recovered 2,000 traffickers.”
Kutcher and his ex-wife, Demi Moore, started the foundation together more than six years ago. Their campaign, “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls,” drew the attention of people everywhere with PSAs that featured a laundry list of Hollywood stars.
Kutcher says his next goal is to eradicate child pornography, explaining, “Our next battle, my next commitment…I’m going to make a pledge that I’m going to eliminate child pornography from the Internet.”
The actor has already made huge strides in that endeavor, and he’s even testified at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, D.C., in hopes of ending modern slavery and human trafficking.
Kutcher opened the hearing with this passionate mission statement:
“I’m here today to defend the right to pursue happiness. It’s a simple notion. It’s bestowed upon all of us by our Constitution. Every citizen in this country has the right to pursue it and I believe that is incumbent upon 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.”
Kutcher went on to explain that many perceive his “day job” to be that of an actor. But the reality is that his day job is to be the Chairman and Co-Founder of Thorn—the nonprofit organization he helped start over six years ago.
“For years now, Thorn has been committed to building tech tools to combat child sexual exploitation and facilitating collaborations across [the] tech industry to disrupt these crimes. We have no intention of stopping until we win this battle.”
We love seeing celebrities use their platform, resources and money for GOOD. Thousands of lives have been transformed by Kutcher’s organization, and the work has only begun. There’s a lot left to do, and he’s committed to seeing it through.
For more information, visit www.wearethorn.org.