“I am here today to defend the right to pursue happiness. It’s a simple notion, the right to pursue happiness. It’s bestowed upon all of us by our Constitution; every citizen of this country has a right to pursue it, and I believe that it is incumbent upon us as citizens of this nation, as Americans, to bestow that right upon others – upon each other and upon the rest of the world.”
Ashton Kutcher stated these powerful words in his address to the Senate just a few days ago. The right to pursue happiness, though a simple notion, as Kutcher says, is so often stolen; an example of this is when individuals are sold into sex trafficking. Kutcher goes on to say that it is up to us, as citizens of a nation that protects the right to pursue happiness, to bestow this right upon other people and to protect it. Instead of taking our freedom for granted, we each need to focus on ensuring that this freedom is available to all people.
When describing his role in this mission, Kutcher relates, “My day job is as the chairman and the co-founder of Thorn. We build software to fight human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. That’s our core mission. My other day job is that of a father of two, a two-month-old and a two-year-old, and a part of that job that I take seriously [is that] I believe that it is my effort to defend their right to pursue happiness and to ensure a society and government that defends it as well.”
Kutcher is so passionate about this topic that he comes close to tears at several points throughout the speech, no doubt thinking of the many children he has encountered through his organization, and of his own children. The entrepreneur works every day towards an end to human trafficking through the use of technology.
In an emotional testimony, Kutcher goes on to say, “When the Department of Homeland Security called us and asked for our help and asked if we had a tool [to extricate a little girl from the sex trafficking trade], I had to say no, and it devastated me. It haunted me, because for the next 3 months I had to go to sleep every night and think about that little girl that was still being abused, and the fact that if I had just built the right thing, we could save her. So that’s what we did.”
Kutcher’s passion and dedication to protecting human rights is exactly what we need if we are to enact change. By working tirelessly and never giving up, he has given countless children back their lives.
Kutcher’s tireless efforts to end human trafficking are truly inspiring, and in his address to the Senate he asks us all to support them. By dedicating his time, his mind, his profile, and his passion to such an important topic, he can make, and has already made, an incredible change. He encourages us to follow suit.
What will you do to end sex trafficking?
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