Ricky Martin visits Syrian refugees in Lebanon

June 3, 2016 12:37 PM

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MINNIEH, Lebanon (AP) — 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 spoke to The Associated Press Thursday during a visit to Lebanon 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.

In this picture taken on Thursday June 2, 2016, Ricky Martin, right, the world-renowned singer and UNICEF goodwill ambassador, cheers with Syrian children during his visit to an informal Syrian refugee camp, in Minnieh, near the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon. He said that the word "refugee" had lost its value but that the international community should "open its heart." (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

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.

In this picture taken on Thursday June 2, 2016, Ricky Martin, center, the world-renowned singer and UNICEF goodwill ambassador, holds a ball as he plays with Syrian children, during his visit to an informal Syrian refugee camp, at Minnieh town near the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon. He said that the word "refugee" had lost its value but that the international community should "open its heart." (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

In this picture taken on Thursday June 2, 2016, Ricky Martin, center, the world-renowned singer and UNICEF goodwill ambassador, kicks the ball as he plays with Syrian children during his visit to an informal Syrian refugee camp, in Minnieh, near the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon. He said that the word "refugee" had lost its value but that the international community should "open its heart." (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

In this picture taken on Thursday June 2, 2016, Ricky Martin, left, the world-renowned singer and UNICEF goodwill ambassador, applauds as he watches Syrian children dance on one of his popular sings, during his visit to an informal Syrian refugee camp, at Minnieh town near the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon. He said that the word "refugee" had lost its value but that the international community should "open its heart." (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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