About

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.

 

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.

"My dream right now is seeing the abolition of modern day slavery, and human trafficking." – Ricky Martin

 

RMF is a leading voice and has made great strides in advocating for children's rights around the world. Seeking solutions that address child exploitation systematically, it has developed a comprehensive array of initiatives that include advocacy, investigation, education and prevention.

GLOBAL AWARENESS

Global Awareness enables us to inform the world of this heinous crime and mobilize people by participating in forums, workshops, media interventions and advocacy efforts. Working in partnership as well as by following a multi-sector alliance model involving civil society, inter-governmental organizations, and the private sector solidifies our mission. To be effective in our goal we advocate for the prevention and protection of this most vulnerable segment of the population against all forms of exploitation.

Educating the public, other organizations, and corporations on the national, regional and international scope of the problem of human trafficking through awareness campaigns, briefings and our website can deter this atrocity. As popular educators, we aim to serve as a catalyst for global awareness efforts on the grave issues regarding child exploitation.

INVESTIGATION

The denial of child slavery and other crimes against children is a form of collective blindness. RMF is in the field to gather stories, make them public and muster support for practical solutions. With its investigative arm, the Foundation is seeking to shed light and draw attention to an injustice of epidemic proportions. Its ultimate objective is to mobilize public support for policies that prevent this modern scourge.

"Let's practice compassion and give love to these victims" Ricky Martin, University of Puerto Rico – School of Law. Presentation Human Trafficking in Puerto Rico: An Invisible Challenge. February 2010

EDUCATION and PREVENTION

We know what children are most at risk of being exploited. Based on this understanding, RMF has developed educational initiatives to address the root causes of this problem. The empowerment of children is absolutely essential to break this cycle of violence.

Beginning in Puerto Rico, RMF will operate centers to impact children holistically with a comprehensive educational service that addresses their academic, health, and emotional needs. The insights gained from this initiative will provide support to our investigative efforts and guide the design of innovative solutions that give at risk children the support and empowerment they need to take control of their lives.

The Child Development and Prevention Center at Loíza, Puerto Rico, Centro Tau, RMF's new flagship project, will serve as a safe haven for these at risk children. It will seek to transform their lives through evidence-based interventions. Alternative educational models will be used to foster a loving environment that addresses each child's very particular intellectual, social, and emotional needs.

 

Our History

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2004

RMF launched People for Children to condemn the exploitation of children as a result of trafficking. Slaves of a New Era, the inaugural aware ness campaign was launched throughout the Americas. Martin also denounced the existence of this horrible crime in front of government officials and representatives of the United Nations, in New York.

 

2004

Martin visits Thailand after the devastating tsunami and built with Habitat for Humanity 224 houses with the support of individuals and corporations who provided a safe shelter for families vulnerable to human trafficking.

 

2005

Martin received the International Award for Humanitarian Aids granted by the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 

2005

The State Department appointed Martin as International Hero in Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP). That summer he became the first Latin American to participate as speaker at the 24th Annual Arab Children Congress organized by Queen Noor in Jordan.

 

2006

Martin testifies before the International Human Rights Committee at the US House of Representatives to denounce child trafficking.

 

2006

The Recording Academy for the Latin Grammy awarded Martin with "Person of the Year", their highest humanitarian accolade.

 

2006

To fight against the horrible crime, the Foundation with the Interamerican Development Bank and the International Organization for Migration launches Call and Live

 

2007

With the goal of preventing cyber crimes, the Foundation and Microsoft create Navega Protegido with the objective of protecting children from online dangers such as pornography, identity theft and sexual predators.

 

2008

Martin is invited as keynote speaker at the Global Forum of the United Nations to Combat Human Trafficking in Vienna. A few months later, he took his fight against child trafficking to Cambodia and visited projects led by various NGOs.

 

2009

Martin participates as a presenter at the Forum Against Human Trafficking at the Clinton Global Initiative and RTL Foundation selected RMF as winner of the international proposal of the creation of Child Development and Prevention Center in Loiza, Puerto Rico.

 

2010

RMF joins efforts with Habitat for Humanity after the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and established a fund to build temporary homes to prevent families from trafficking.

 

2010

RMF sets a precedent effort by leading with the University of Puerto Rico and Johns Hopkins University (The Protection Project) a pioneer study entitled "Trafficking in Persons in Puerto Rico: An Invisible Challenge"

 

2010

RMF created Se Trata in partnership with Doral Bank—the first community program of awareness and action against child trafficking in Puerto Rico. Hundreds of workshops about human trafficking and leadership seminars were offered for high-risk populations.

 

2011

RMF receives The Leader of Change Award from the Foundation for Social Change and the United Nations Partnership Office for its leadership in combating trafficking. Ricky Martin also received the Inpiration Award, AMFAR.

 

2011

Martin participates as a juror on the panel of CNN Heroes and writes a compelling editorial about child slavery.

 

2012

Ricky Martin is invited by UNICEF to write an essay about the status of child trafficking in their annual State of the Children World Report published last February.

 

2012

RMF participated in the United Nations forums, workshops on drafting a Model Lay for Preventing the Exploitation of Children organized by IMEC and JHU and as a panelist in the World Childhood Foundation in their global awareness strategic efforts.

 

2013

Ricky Martin visits the Pavillion, a trendsetting exhibition to raise awareness, educate and empower society to end modern day slavery.The past two years, we had more than 100, 000 visitors at our Pavilion located at Plaza Las Americas, the premiere commercial center in Puerto Rico.

 

2014

Ricky Martin visits the Tau Center and witnesses the construction progress. The holistic school to serve children and youth at risk will be opened in August /September 2014.