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Ashton Kutcher’s human trafficking awareness

Ashton Kutcher’s human trafficking awareness

Ashton Kutcher’s human trafficking awareness
February 27
18:28 2017

“I am here to defend the right to pursue happiness” was one of Ashton Kutcher’s opening statements on Feb. 15, when he gave a compelling speech to the U.S. Senate against human trafficking.

Kutcher, best known as Michael from “That ’70s Show,” left an entire courtroom speechless after explaining the issues of human trafficking and how his foundation, Thorn, has made efforts to put a stop to it. With the help of Elisa Massimino, the president/chief executive officer of Human Rights First, Kutcher hopes to get funding from the Senate so Thorn can build better equipment to locate trafficking victims.

Since the early 19th century, human trafficking has been an ongoing problem around the world. Victims are being stripped of their freedoms and become their own living nightmares as they are forced into profit.

Thorn was founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore in 2009. It is an international anti-human trafficking organization dedicated to stopping child abuse and enslavement.

It is also known for building some of the best technologies that can help find victims of trafficking and their perpetrators. With the help of their tech team, Thorn was able to build a system called Spotlight, which is designed to locate human trafficking and has reduced investigation time by 60 percent, according to Thorn’s official website.

Kutcher spoke about the different experiences he had since the beginning of Thorn. He has met victims in Russia, India, Mexico, New York and New Jersey. He has been on FBI raids, witnessing acts and seeing footage no person should ever have to be subjected to. Being the father of two children, he has witnessed terrible acts involving children no parent should ever have to see.

Kutcher told two different stories of children who were victims of trafficking. The first was about a little girl in Cambodia who was sexually assaulted by a tourist and was so conditioned to her situation that she believed she was engaging in play.

The second story was about a 15-year-old girl who was tricked by a man she met through human trafficking, but with the help of Thorn, she returned to her family three days later.

Hearing the type of experience Kutcher has been through and witnessed makes me worry for our humanity. But learning that there are people like Kutcher who fight for such matters still fills me with hope.

I’m a person who likes to see results, and compared to other organizations, Thorn doesn’t just talk about lessening trafficking, they show you. Thorn is not your average anti-trafficking support group, as they work with special law enforcement and supply them with extremely skilled equipment to help diminish human trafficking.

We may not be able to completely stop trafficking, but compared to how it used to be, we’re coming closer to a solution. It’s because of organizations like Thorn, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Hope for Justice and the Polaris Project–which are all filled with people making a difference in society.

We need to stop ignoring the problem our world faces because it might only get worse if nothing is done to stop it. We may not have the same beliefs or cultures, but we are all humans who seek the right to pursue happiness.

I believe it can take one simple act to make a big difference. We should fight for our right, as well as the rights of other people, simply by standing up for someone who is being bullied, helping people who are or were victims of domestic abuse and speaking up for what’s right and against what is wrong.

As Ashton Kutcher said at the end of his speech, “If you give people the right to pursue happiness, you may find happiness for yourself.” So let’s start fighting for happiness.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

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Bethany Wallace

Bethany Wallace

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