San Juan, Feb 16 (IANS/EFE) Pop singer Ricky Martin has called upon people across the world to become ‘warriors of light’ to combat human trafficking and child abuse. People were trying to sell minors on the internet and trade them for cases of beer, said the Latin American star while presenting a report on human trafficking in his native island Puerto Rico.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B00003BE37″ display=”inlinepost”]’It’s a reality that is very difficult for me to accept and which I don’t want to believe, but it is happening,’ he said Monday at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law.
The singer asked people to become ‘warriors of light’ to combat evils and the cases of children who are denied permission to go to school and are subjected to slavery, and others who are sold by their parents and forced into prostitution.
Martin said that different forms of humiliation to which the children are subjected include commercial sexual exploitation, labour exploitation and being purchased to become marriage partners.
Financed by the Ricky Martin Foundation, the report ‘Trafficking in Persons in Puerto Rico: An Invisible Challenge’ has been prepared by 10 researchers from UPR and the Protection Project at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University.
‘We are confident we will achieve awareness in the society and strengthen the capacity of government officials and non-government sector organisations to combat a ruthless industry,’ said Cesar Rey, a sociologist who headed the research team.
The sociologist reviewed some of the statistics on human trafficking elsewhere in the world and provided several ‘heartbreaking testimonies’ from persons who were forced into prostitution as children.
According to Unicef, 1.2 million children are trafficked each year worldwide with an eye toward exploiting them for labour, sex, servitude, pornography and other forms of slavery.