Ricky Martin traveled to Lebanon this week to meet refugee children who have fled conflict in Syria, seeking to increase focus on safeguarding their futures by eliminating chid labor and exploitation.
The singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador spent two days in Lebanon, where around 1.1 million Syrians have sought refuge, more than half of them being children. Child refugees are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, and are often forced to go out to work, rather than receive education.
“The world must do more to make sure these children are protected from exploitation and given access to safe environments where they can learn and be empowered,” Martin said in a statement.
In Lebanon’s Bekaa valley and Akkar, Martin participated in recreational activities with the children, and met adolescents attending life-skills training in protective environments provided by UNICEF.
"I am inspired by the courage of these children. They are gaining the knowledge and skills they need to contribute to their families, communities and societies when they reach adulthood,” Martin said. “Investing in their present is an investment in the future of the region.”
Martin has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2003 and focuses on defending children’s rights against exploitation, abuse, and trafficking.
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