On Wednesday, Ashton Kutcher attended a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington.
The actor took to the podium to address Senators on the subject of human rights, in particular child trafficking.
Kutcher co-founded Thorn, an international anti-human trafficking organisation which builds software to fight child sexual exploitation.
In the 15-minute testimony, his voice cracks a number of times as he talks about the victims of sexual exploitation. He says he met “[those] who 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 continued by talking about the importance of technology in the war against child sexual exploitation.
He hopes to acquire funding for the organisation, who supplied a number of agencies with their beta software. It appears to be working.
He said that in six months, with one quarter of users reporting, they’ve already identified 6,000 trafficking victims – 2,000 of whom were underage.
Kutcher also pointed out that the tool has aided 4,000 law enforcement officials in 900 agencies.
According to Equality Now, the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation is the “fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world”.
At least 20.9 million adults and children have been bought and sold globally for sexual or labour reasons, and 2 million children every year are exploited for sexual commercial purposes.