GENEVA - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ricky Martin Foundation (RMF) have signed a global cooperation agreement aimed at raising awareness of and combating the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.
The global agreement will allow IOM and RMF to put in place joint projects to combat human trafficking all over the world, with special emphasis on children and minors.
IOM Deputy Director General, Ndioro Ndiaye and RMF President, Angel Saltos, signed the agreement with Ricky Martin as witness a few hours prior to a concert in Madrid during his European tour
Praising the work of Ricky Martin and his Foundation, Ndiaye said: "We are proud to have Ricky Martin join IOM's decade-long fight to combat human trafficking. His voice will reach millions of young people around the world, and this is one of the best ways to alert potential victims of this hineous crime."
IOM is currently implementing more than 150 counter-trafficking projects around the globe that include awareness raising, the provision of medical, psychosocial, return and reintegration support to the victims, as well as training for law enforcement, NGO staff and other service providers.
â€œIOM counter trafficking programmes will undoubtedly be strengthened with this new IOM/RMF partnership in social responsibility toward this most vulnerable population,â€� Ndiaye added.
"We are committed to ending child exploitation. Unfortunately, more than half of trafficking victims worldwide are children, forced into pornography, prostitution and labour servitude, among other forms of exploitation. Signing this agreement with IOM strengthens our mission. We are certain that this alliance we will create a global call to action," said Ricky Martin.
As an advocate of childrenâ€™s rights, the international musician also thanked IOM for its commitment to explore possibilities to carry out a counter trafficking training seminar for law enforcement agencies and NGO staff in his birthplace Puerto Rico.
The global agreement signed in Madrid this week builds on the work that IOM and RMF are carrying out in Colombia. The social impact of the ongoing counter trafficking information campaign "Don't Let Anyone Shatter Your Dreams" launched in March with a series of Public Service Announcements featuring Ricky Martin, has been outstanding. IOM and RMF have seen telephone calls to hotline numbers increase by 500 per cent in the past three months.
Since 2004 when the RMF launched â€œPeople for Childrenâ€�, its flagship project to combat child trafficking, it has become a respected and influential voice in the global community denouncing the fact that some 1.2 million children fall victims to this crime each year.
International Organization for Migration
Niurka PiÃ±eiro, Regional Coordinator for Media and External Relations (Americas)
Tel: +1.202.862.1826 Ext. 225
Ricky Martin Foundation
Bibiana Ferraiuoli, Programme & Communications Manager
The Ricky Martin Foundation advocates for the well being of children around the globe in critical areas such as social justice, education and health.
IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.
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