Osvaldo Laport and UNHCR
Uruguayan actor and musician Osvaldo Laport first collaborated with UNHCR in 2004, when he appeared in an award-winning television spot marking World Refugee Day and also donated a percentage of the sales from his men's fragrance, Tiempo, to the refugee agency.
Laport continued to promote the work of UNHCR during public appearances and press conferences in 2005. In Argentina, where he lives, Laport visited small businesses in Buenos Aires run by female refugees from Colombia and Peru, drawing attention to their situation. He also met refugees from Afghanistan, Colombia, Nigeria, Peru and Sri Lanka during a visit to Santiago in Chile.
On World Refugee Day (June 20) that year, he appeared in a radio spot to mark the day and joined refugees from around 20 different countries at an event in the capital. Six months later, Laport was a guest on Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona's popular show, "La Noche del 10," where he highlighted the work of UNHCR and the plight of refugees.
Laport was inducted as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in Buenos Aires on October 10, 2006, and UNHCR has benefitted from his time and generosity ever since. He has been a very active and effective Goodwill Ambassador, unfaltering over the years in his support on World Refugee Day and for other UNHCR awareness events and campaigns, including fund-raising. During field visits in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru he has also brought hope to refugees and other displaced people and drawn attention to the challenges they face.
In 2009, Laport undertook his first field visit outside South America for UNHCR. He visited camps for the internally displaced in the troubled eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An award-winning documentary of the visit was shown in several South American countries. In 2011, meanwhile, Laport participated in a well-attended ceremony in Buenos Aires to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention.
Goodwill Ambassador Laport has often focused on refugee women in his advocacy and awareness activities and in November 2011 he attended a workshop in Lima, Peru, with some 30 refugee women from Colombia, Haiti and Cuba to mark the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign, which UNHCR supports.
In July 2012, Laport travelled to his native Uruguay to brief President Jose Mujica on the work of UNHCR. In October of that year, he was awarded a prize for his humanitarian work during an international film festival, Cine Migrante, in Buenos Aires.