MINNIEH, Lebanon — Ricky Martin, the world-renowned singer and UNICEF goodwill ambassador, says that the word “refugee” has lost its value but that the international community should “open its heart.”
The 44-year-old Puerto Rican visited Lebanon Thursday with UNICEF to meet Syrian refugee children.
The star, whose charity and advocacy work has focused on combating child labor and human trafficking, says he was moved by a Syrian refugee he met in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
He says the 11-year-old refugee, named Batoul, is “working in agriculture, 12 hours a day. And she’s getting paid with water.”
Martin says, “this is happening to our kids. This is happening to our future generation.”
News of the visit was released by UNICEF Friday because of an embargo.