Ashton Kutcher Testified Before The Senate To End Sex Trafficking

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"The right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away," Kutcher said. "It's raped. It's abused. It's taken by force, fraud, or coercion."

Ashton Kutcher is good for way more than the occasional cute rom-com.

The media mogul, investor, entrepreneur, and startup founder is actively working toward eradicating human trafficking. His organization, Thorn, drives tech innovation to fight child sexual exploitation, according to the website

Kutcher — father of two young children with actress Mila Kunis — presented before the United States Senate on Wednesday to further his activism.

More specifically, he testified as a witness at a U.S. Senate hearing called "Ending Modern Slavery: Building On Success," USA Today reports, in which he defended "the right to pursue happiness."

Kutcher, who asked to receive funding to build more tools for Thorn, said,

"It's a simple notion, the right to pursue happiness. It's bestowed upon all of us by our Constitution ... 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 on the rest of the world. But the right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away. It's raped. It's abused. It's taken by force, fraud or coercion. It is sold for the momentary happiness of another."

He also shed light on the graphic content he's seen throughout his advocacy. (Warning: may be triggering to some.)

"I've met victims that've been trafficked from Mexico, victims in 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," he said, becoming emotional. "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. This child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play."

USA Today reports that Kutcher also appeared to have alluded to Trump's immigration ban:

"When people are left out, when they're neglected, when they're not supported, and when they're not given the love that they need to grow, it becomes an incubator for trafficking," he said. "And, this refugee crisis, if we want to be serious about ending slavery, we cannot ignore it and we cannot ignore our support for this issue in that space because otherwise we're going to deal with it for years to come."

In the end, Sen. John McCain gave Kutcher a playful jab — perhaps for comic relief from the dark and critical subject matter.

"I also want to thank Elisa [Massimino, another hearing witness] and Ashton," McCain said, according to USA Today. "Ashton, you were better-looking in the movies, but anyway..."

Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters

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