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The Ricky Martin Foundation was founded at a time when children around the world face bewildering situations that leave them vulnerable to human trafficking. Child labor, sexual and labor exploitation, prostitution, pornography, drug trafficking, and modern day slavery are some of the most heartbreaking manifestations of this crime, which foreshadows an epidemic crisis.
The right of just being a child is under constant threat of disappearing in many parts of the world. Social and economic forces beyond their control are jeopardizing their dignity. These are tragic losses. They represent a loss of possibilities. They represent a loss of innocence, joy and laughter. They represent a future foreclosed.
Once they are extricated from these terrible situations, to overcome their repercussions, children must develop resilience and self-esteem. They must develop the type of optimism that lies behind every success. Caring adults must play a vital role in this process. Ask any child who overcame adversity and you typically uncover a story of an adult or peer who inspired them, a mentor who convinced them that anything is possible with perseverance.
Doing this has become our mandate. We seek to heal and to nurture. We also seek to inspire and empower. We help those that have already been victimized and we also try to prevent further victimization.
We know that our fight to deter this heinous crime is one of the most challenging issues faced by society today: too dreary and overwhelming to be understood by many. Around the globe many authorities lack the capacity to fight the powerful forces that generate these crimes. Without a concerted effort, that musters the required resources, exploitation will continue to take our innocent.
We advocate for the well being of children around the world in critical areas such as education, health and social justice. Our principal program, People for Children, condemns child exploitation as a result of human trafficking.
We provide children a safer world through the creation of awareness campaigns, community programs, investigations, participating in global forums as well as by operating facilities that promote our mission.