"I am here today to defend the right to pursue happiness."
On February 15, 2017 Ashton Kutcher testified at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on ending modern slavery and human trafficking.
Kutcher, who is the Chairman and Co-Founder of THORN - a charitable organization which uses software to help identify and locate trafficking victims - discussed some of the finer details of his "day job".
At times, Kutcher was visibly distraught as he recounted FBI raids where he says he "saw things no person should ever see," spoke to victims of sex trafficking and described having watched, "video content of a child, the same age as my child, being raped by an American man who was a sex tourist in Cambodia."
Thorn is currently working with law enforcement agencies worldwide to stop the epidemic of trafficking and exploitation. Kutcher described one such tool available through Thorn - Spotlight - which helps 4,000 law enforcement officials in 900 agencies prioritize their caseloads. "It’s a neural network," Kutcher explained, "[it] gets smarter, better over time and more efficient as people use it."
In fact, since agencies began using the software, some 6,000 trafficking victims have been found; 2,000 of which are minors. The Thorn organization believes those numbers will increase as only 25% of users are currently reporting.
So, you may be asking yourself what does the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Ashton Kutcher have to do with a blog post on a t-shirt website? We like many know that human trafficking exists, but what we didn't know was how prevalent it still is and how even an model-turned-actor-turned-philanthropist is making a difference and we knew we wanted to help.
"Defend Happiness" was taken from the opening statement by Kutcher at the hearing when he stated that he was there to, "to defend the right to pursue happiness." You too now have the ability to defend happiness and help a noble cause. 100% of the proceeds raised from the sale of this shirt will help keep the software running and hopefully stave off exploitation and slavery for the world's future generations.
Watch Ashton Kutcher's entire opening statement from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting below.