Ashton Kutcher teared up at a senate hearing on Wednesday (15.02.17) as he called for an end to child sexual exploitation
The 39-year-old actor told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington that it was time for "society and government" to defend vulnerable people and revealed he has been exposed to things "no person should ever see".
18 February 2017
Ashton, who married Hollywood actress Mila Kunis in 2015, said: "The right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away, it's raped, it's abused, it's taken by force."
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Ashton said more must be done to protect against sexual exploitation over the internet.
He explained: "Technology can be used to enable slavery, but it can also be used to disable slavery."
The 'Jobs' actor was speaking at the hearing as the chairman of Thorn, which develops software to locate victims of abuse, and Ashton said his determination to tackle the problem was being driven by what he'd witnessed.
Ashton also admitted his organisation had been approached by authorities to help identify online perpetrators using new technology.
But, he said: "We were the last line of defence - an actor and his foundation."
Ashton is among Hollywood's most passionate campaigners on a number of social issues and in 2015, he took to Facebook to bemoan the lack of diaper changing tables in men's toilets.
The actor - who has a two-year-old daughter called Wyatt and a two-month-old son called Dimitri with his wife - created a petition to encourage more companies to "provide universally accessible changing tables in their stores".
On his Facebook page, Ashton wrote: "It seems this idea of diaper changing stations has struck a chord. It's a pet peeve of mine when people just complain about s**t and don't do anything to improve their condition. So lets do something. In for equality? Pass it on - ?#?LeanInTogether (sic)"