When you hear the name Ashton Kutcher, what do you think of?
Depending on what era you first of him, you may have a different reaction to him. For some, Kutcher might remind you of the old MTV show Punk’d, the television prank show where celebrities would get thrown into unexpected situations. You may remember him from being married to Demi Moore, a relationship that repeatedly made headlines. Still, the actor is also back in the Netflix show The Ranch—though he’s also making waves for other reasons as well.
That’s because as recently as 2009, Kutcher has been spending time with the organization Thorn, a company to stop child sex trafficking.
The organization was originally founded by Kutcher and Moore when they were married, though it has since grown on its own.
It is a non-profit organization which brings the best minds from tech, the non-profit world, government and law enforcement together to crack down on illegal trafficking. Though the organization’s effects have been growing year by year, this year was the most effective of all. Though he still spends time on the interview circuit to promote acting gigs, he also finds ways to promote the other work at the same time.
This was made clear in a recent interview he did on the Today show with Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb.
At the beginning of the interview, Kathie Lee and Hoda are simply asking him basic questions about the television show.
Once they get beyond the basic questions, the hosts are having some fun with Kutcher. “What’s not going well in your life right now?” they ask him, laughing. “What can we pray for you about?” After a moment of thinking, Kutcher has the answer. After moment, he asks them to pray for the success of his Thorn organization and lays out the data.
Through his efforts and others in Thorn, the organization was able to identify more than 6,000 victims of human trafficking.
As it turns out, all of the victims in question have one overwhelming factor in common: much of the commerce around them was done online.
As Kutcher explains in his interview, the tools that his team helped develop is designed to help law enforcement find missing children and to disrupt those doing the trafficking—and its a pledge he vows to maintain. For those who didn’t know Kutcher was involved in this work, he has even spoken directly to congress about his efforts.
Needless to say, Kutcher’s cause is an important one since sex trafficking remains a serious problem throughout the world.
According to statistics from the International Labor Organization, almost 21 million people in the world are currently engaged in forced labor. Of those people, about 4.5 million are being forced to do sex work. Because these practices are covert and happen in secrecy, these crimes are notoriously hard to track and to prosecute. Fortunately, organizations like Kutcher’s are helping to lead the cause.
Thanks for all your hard work, Ashton!
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