February 13, 2017

Ashton Kutcher to Testify at Hearing Ahead of END IT Movement’s Annual Shine a Light on Slavery Day

Corker to Convene Hearing on February 15 to Examine Progress in U.S. Efforts to End Modern Slavery Worldwide

WASHINGTON – In advance of the END IT Movement’s fifth annual “Shine a Light on Slavery” day, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will convene a hearing on February 15 to examine progress in U.S. global efforts to end modern slavery and human trafficking, including recent enactment of authorizing legislation for the End Modern Slavery Initiative. The hearing will feature testimony from actor Ashton Kutcher, co-founder of Thorn, and Elisa Massimino, president and CEO of Human Rights First.

“We are at a historic turning point in the global fight to end modern slavery thanks to the incredible efforts of so many committed individuals, faith-based groups, and aid organizations throughout the U.S. and around the world,” said Senator Corker. “As we approach END IT week, this hearing will provide an opportunity to assess the progress being made as the U.S. prepares to embark on an unprecedented global effort to end this scourge on humanity. I am excited to welcome Mr. Kutcher and Ms. Massimino to our committee and look forward to an engaging and thoughtful discussion about this important work.”

“I am honored to testify before Congress on this critical issue of modern slavery and human trafficking, and I applaud Senator Corker on his End Modern Slavery Initiative. It’s a game changer,” said Ashton Kutcher, co-founder, Thorn. “For years now, Thorn has been committed to building tech tools to combat child sexual exploitation and facilitating collaborations across tech industry to disrupt these crimes. We have no intention of stopping until we win this battle.”

WHAT:  

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing: “Ending Modern Slavery: Building on Success”

WITNESSES:          

Ashton Kutcher
Co-Founder
Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children
Los Angeles, CA

Elisa Massimino
President and Chief Executive Officer
Human Rights First
Washington, D.C. 

WHEN:                     

February 15, 2017
10:00 a.m. ET 

WHERE:             

Senate Dirksen 419
Washington, D.C. 

PRESIDING:       

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

WEBCAST:             

The hearing will be webcast live here.

END MODERN SLAVERY INITIATIVE: Today, in 2017, more than 27 million people are enslaved around the world. That’s more than at any time in history. Two years ago, with input from leading stakeholders and industry experts, Senator Corker proposed a bold, bipartisan initiative to end modern slavery worldwide. Not unlike the role PEPFAR has played in fighting AIDS worldwide, the End Modern Slavery Initiative is designed to leverage limited foreign aid dollars and galvanize tremendous support and investment from the public sector, philanthropic organizations and the private sector to focus resources responsibly where the crime is most prevalent. In December, President Obama signed legislation into law that included authorizing language for the initiative.

THORN: Founded in 2010, Thorn drives technology innovation to combat child sexual exploitation. By partnering with leading technology companies, law enforcement, and NGOs, Thorn builds technology tools that finds child abuse victims fast, makes online environments safer, and deters criminal behavior. Learn more at http://www.wearethorn.org/.

END IT MOVEMENT: END IT is an awareness campaign that launched in 2013. The goal is to “Shine a Light on Slavery” by letting the world know that slavery still exists. END IT believes awareness is doing the work, but that awareness is only the beginning. Awareness must lead to action. “Shine a Light on Slavery” day is Thursday, February 23, and on this day, END IT encourages people to draw a red X on their hand, take a selfie and post it on social media using #enditmovement. This simple action opens the door to conversations and allows us to tell more people that slavery still exists and that we want to end it.

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