Ricky Martin campaign vs. kid sex slavery

Oct. 20, 2004 at 7:04 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Pop star Ricky Martin appealed to Latin American ambassadors at U.N. World headquarters in New York Wednesday to help end child sex slavery.

"I want to see abolition of this slavery," the 32-year-old singer told reporters after delivering the appeal during a luncheon with the envoys.

He was introduced by U.S. Ambassador John Miller, who said it was "a very sensitive subject that a lot of people want to deny," but said it was taking place from "Cambodia to Costa Rica." Miller added the tourists come from "the Netherlands, United Kingdom Germany, Japan and Australia so we all have a role to play."

Martin, known for his English and Spanish language songs, called the child sex tourism trade a "$7 billion a year" industry that involves adults who travel to exploit minors.

"This is organized crime," he said, adding that while he started in show business when he was 9 years old, and "loved" it, "These children do not have a chance. They are lied to."

Said Martin, "I need to see the world step out of denial and see this happening."

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