On Wednesday, Capitol Hill found itself with an unusual guest: Ashton Kutcher.
The actor went before the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to testify in a hearing about combating modern day slavery. Kutcher was there speaking on behalf of the organization he started in 2009 with his then-wife Demi Moore-Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children. The organization builds software that helps fight human trafficking.
Although Kutcher is a famous actor, he considers being the chairman of Thorn his new ‘day job’.
Kutcher gave a 15 minute testimony, praising the bipartisan efforts to end human trafficking and being honored to have a platform to speak.
In part of the testimony, Kutcher said:
“As part of my anti-trafficking work, I’ve met victims in Russia, I’ve met victims in India, I’ve met victims that have been trafficked from Mexico, victims from New York and New Jersey and all across our country. I’ve been on FBI raids where I’ve seen things that no person should ever see…I’ve seen video content of a child that’s 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.”
Kutcher is a passionate advocate of using and developing technology to help combat evil like trafficking.
Speaking on software called ‘Spotlight’ Kutcher stated:
“It’s working. In six months, with 25% of our users reporting, we’ve identified over 6,000 trafficking victims, 2,000 of which are minors. This tool has enhanced 4,000 law enforcement officials in 900 agencies. And we’re reducing the investigation time by 60%.”
Thorn is also developing technology called ‘Solis’ to shorten investigation time of dark web material.
Kutcher called for specific actions like additional funding, developing private-public sector relationships, and more.
Read also: The World is Full of Slaves
The committee took a lighter note when Senator John McCain (not a member of the committee himself, but in attendance in order to thank committee members for their efforts) said,
“Ashton, you were better looking in the movies.”
In reply to this, Kutcher blew the senator a kiss and told him his wife thought so too.