NAMES & FACES
Friday, September 26, 2003; Page C03
The Crooner as Crusader
Watch out George Clooney, Ricky Martin is in town, and he's not dancing or singing. That's right, the pop star is a cause celeb.
"I need to spend a week here," he told us yesterday. "There's just so much to do." Martin's latest efforts involve combating trafficking in humans through his People for the Children campaign, something he became passionate about from his frequent visits to India. "A lot of people think that human trafficking is just crossing the border illegally, but it's about sexual exploitation and forcing people to have slavelike jobs. This is sick -- we live in the year of 2003, and we're talking about slaves," Martin said.
"Our number one goal is awareness. . . . People refuse to learn about this because we're human and we don't want to deal with anything that's painful," he continued. But the singer is trying to change that, meeting with everyone he can, including Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.
And he seems to have learned the ways of Washington pretty well. "I'm not worried," he said in response to whether people use his cause just to meet him. "Once we shake hands, you will be obligated to work with us. I'm very aggressive."
But he has his concerns. "I am very serious about this. I really want people to make me a part of their teamwork." Somehow we don't think he will have any problems with that.
God Bless you Ricky for all those effort whereby you can try to help those poor children.
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