Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ricky Martin addresses Congress on Human Trafficking

Ricky Martin delivered a passionate address to members of the House International Relations Committee today. The hearing was chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (NJ) and also included testimony from Ambassador John Miller, Director of the Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the State Department, and Dr. Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary at HHS.

Referring to his work as Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF, as well as his foundation, The Ricky Martin Foundation, Ricky voiced a plea for more action from the United States against the sex and labor trafficking of children across the globe. He made several policy recommendations, including universal standards for birth certification to help document all children, and U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Offering examples of his own efforts to combat trafficking, he described some of the projects of his foundation as well as their alliances with corporations such as Microsoft on internet education. Ricky also gave great credit to NGOs working at the grassroots level.

Ricky captured the admiration of the Committee Members for his eloquence and devotion to the issue. There was some focus on his interaction with Latin American governments as well as the Hispanic-Latino community in the United States, however it was clear that Ricky's advocacy and funding of programs is not limited by region or ethnicity. The Members thanked Ricky for bringing greater media attention to the subject of human trafficking, admitting their inability to do so to the same degree.


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