Ricky Martin Taking Anti-Trafficking Message to Dominican TV and Radio

GENEVA (AP) - Ricky Martin will appear on Dominican television and radio for the next six months to warn people about human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Starting Wednesday, the 35-year-old singer will make public service announcements as part of the "Llama y Vive (Call and Live)" counter-trafficking campaign that has already done work in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Peru.

The ads will publicize a phone line that offers free help and information about trafficking.

Posters and other informational material will be distributed throughout the Dominican Republic, where, according to the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration, both men and women have been trafficked for sexual exploitation.

"According to some reports, more women are trafficked from the Dominican Republic than from any other country in the Western Hemisphere," said Jemini Pandya of IOM, which is working with Martin's charitable foundation.

The IOM says Dominican victims of trafficking are often taken elsewhere in the Caribbean or to Latin America or Europe. The organization also has documented cases of minors trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation, usually to tourist destinations on the coast.

Martin, whose hits include "She Bangs," "Shake Your Bon-Bon" and "Livin' La Vida Loca," started the Ricky Martin Foundation to help children in need.

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