World renowned and popular Latin singer Ricky Martin is a passionate defender of children’s rights. On 3 December 2003, he was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Ricky Martin first became associated with UNICEF in 1984 as a member of Menudo who supported UNICEF’s work.
In his role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Ricky Martin has supported UNICEF’s efforts in fighting for children’s rights, especially in the area of child trafficking. Mr. Martin made an appeal to the United Nations in October 2004 for international help to fight sex tourism as part of an international panel of philanthropists dedicated to the education and prevention of child trafficking. He did extensive media work on behalf of UNICEF following his visit to Thailand’s tsunami-stricken areas in January 2005. In his commitment to fight child abuse, he travelled to Dar Al-Amman, Jordan in July 2005 where he visited the first Child Safety Center in the Arab region.
As the president of the Ricky Martin Foundation, he advocates for the well-being of children around the globe in critical areas such as social justice, education, and health. Convinced that music, like philanthropy, bridges hope, Mr. Martin launched People for Children, the Foundation’s principal project that seeks to eliminate child trafficking through education.
Mr. Martin and the Foundation have been very active in their fight to denounce and put an end to this modern scourge. They have addressed the U.S. Congress’ House International Relations Committee, joined the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking and partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank to launch the first regional campaign to combat human trafficking in the Americas. Mr. Martin was an honorary speaker at the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking Forum held in Vienna in 2008. In 2009, the RTL Foundation selected a prototype Holistic Center for Children, proposed by his Foundation, as one of its international projects. That same year, Mr. Martin participated as a presenter in the Clinton Global Initiative in the Seminar Leadership and Solutions to End Trafficking and Forced Labor. In February 2010, the Ricky Martin Foundation in partnership with the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, and the Protection Project at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University released the first research conducted in Puerto Rico on human trafficking. Mr. Martin will be the recipient of the Leader of Change Award during the Global Conference for Social Change, scheduled to take place in New York from 5-6 October 2011.
Ricky Martin is a five-time Grammy winner and has sold more than 65 million albums throughout his musical career.