Ashton Kutcher was speaking on “The Today Show” to promote his second season of his Netflix original series “The Ranch.”
But the most interesting thing that was talked about during the show was how Kutcher and his organization Thorn, have rescued over 6,000 sex trafficking victims. But he isn’t just stopping there; his goal now is ending child pornography.
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In the interview, Kutcher said he and his ex-wife, Demi Moore, learned that the Internet, as you might imagine, is the most often used tool for trafficking and finding potential victims.
“We’re building digital tools to fight human trafficking. Basically, the purchase and commerce for human trafficking is happening online, just like everything else now, and so we’re building digital tools to fight back against it.”
The organization which was established in 2008 uses “tech innovation in the fight against trafficking.” On the organization’s website, they explain how their work on freeing these victims:
“We partner across the tech industry, government, and NGOs and leverage technology to combat predatory behavior, rescue victims, and protect vulnerable children. The site also lists 20 members of what it calls The Thorn Technology Task Force, comprised of technology companies that lend their knowledge, time and resources to the work that we do. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Adobe are listed among the names who are helping Thorn’s cause.”
Thorn has been a very successful organization, and they have the numbers to back up their claims. Kutcher explained, “We’ve built a tool to help law enforcement prioritize their caseload and recover victims and find traffickers. And we’ve found and identified and recovered over 6,000 trafficking victims this year. And we’ve found, identified, and recovered 2,000 traffickers.”
But their goal doesn’t stop there; they are also working with some ambitious humanitarians. “Our next battle, my next commitment…I’m going to make a pledge that I’m going to eliminate child pornography from the Internet.”
Disturbing Data is another organization that compiles everyday sites such are Craigslist and shows how frequently the sites are used for doing illegal business such as child pornography or sex trafficking. The real startling statistic is that in 2015, 75% of child sex trafficking survivors surveyed by Thorn were sold online at some point.
A survivor of sex trafficking and rescuee of Thorn told the organization, “People are posted and sold online multiple times a day. As far as the ad that was posted up [for me], there was a girl who eerily looked like me…just [like] you can go find a car, there was a picture, and a description, and a price.”