U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, will examine progress on efforts to end modern slavery and human trafficking in a hearing this week that will feature testimony from television and film star Ashton Kutcher.
Corker, who is also chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has organized the hearing ahead of the fifth annual Shine a Light on Slavery Day, which is Feb. 23 and part of the End It Movement’s efforts to bring attention to the issues.
Kutcher is the co-founder of Thorn, an organization that uses technology to combat child sexual exploitation.
Kutcher said he applauds Corker’s work and that he’s honored to testify before Congress on the topics.
“For years now, Thorn has been committed to building tech tools to combat child sexual exploitation and facilitating collaborations across [the] tech industry to disrupt these crimes,” Kutcher said in a prepared statement. “We have no intention of stopping until we win this battle.”
Humans Rights First CEO Elisa Massimino will also speak at the hearing.
Corker said he’s looking forward to an “engaging and thoughtful discussion” on the topics of modern slavery and human trafficking, which affect more than 27 million people around the world, according to Corker’s office.
“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,” Corker said in a prepared statement.
There are currently more people than ever enslaved around the world, according to Corker’s office.
The hearing, slated for Feb. 15 at 10 a.m., will be webcast live here.
Two years ago, with input from stakeholders and industry experts, Corker proposed a bipartisan initiative to end modern slavery. The effort was designed to leverage limited foreign-aid funds, and draw support and investment from the public and private sectors, as well as philanthropic organizations, and focus resources where crime is most prevalent.
In December, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation that included authorizing language for the initiative.