TIP Award Year:
In 2004, the Ricky Martin foundation launched their primary program: People for Children. They still run this program, and it is intended to combat child trafficking around the world through education and other means. Mr. Martin had been given an award just several years prior for his work with an organization called the Sabera Foundation in India. During a visit there, he witnessed trafficking and its effects on children firsthand. They also launched an awareness campaign, called Slaves of a New Era. Mr. Martin traveled to Thailand personally to help spread awareness about human trafficking, and also participated in the building of over 200 houses with Habitat for Humanity, helping to rebuild in the wake of the devastation of the Tsunami. In 2005, he was given the TIP Report Hero Award in recognition of his incredible efforts, and his foundation’s awareness building campaigns around the world.
Since then, Mr. Martin and his foundation have continued to dedicate themselves to combatting human trafficking around the world. In 2006, he spoke at several international conferences, and testified before the International Human Rights Committee at the United States House of Representatives. The Foundation forged a regional partnership in Latin America with the International Organization for Migration, and the Inter-American Development Bank, for the “Call and Live” Campaign, which promoted national hotlines, built awareness, and stressed prevention and protection. In 2007, the Foundation partnered with Microsoft to launch a campaign to protect children against predators and other online threats. He has visited Cambodia several times and has spent time with NGOs working on the ground in Southeast Asia.
The foundation is regularly involved with Mr. Martin’s home of Puerto Rico. They started a school for at-risk youth in Puerto Rico recently. They have also actively organized communities for years in order to attempt to prevent and combat modern-day slavery as well as provide for and help at-risk youth. Mr. Martin was active in disaster relief in Haiti after the earthquake. He spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2011, and at the UN Global Forum to Combat Human Trafficking. He has written editorials and essays for UNICEF as well as for CNN, and has participated in numerous workshops and conferences.