In Brazil, it is estimated that 500,000 children roam the streets as prostitutes, selling their bodies in order to provide for themselves.1 Pressured into this position by physical abuse, economic need, or simply because it is their best option for survival, these children sell themselves to sexual exploitation for only a few dollars. Long viewed for its sexually liberal reputation, Brazil has been a popular a destination for sexual tourism. With the growing anticipation of the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games, the issue of child prostitution has been put in the spotlight by both the Brazilian government and civil society groups as a pressing issue that cannot be ignored.
In June, Brazil expects to host over 600,000 foreigners with the arrival of the World Cup.2 However, many fear that among these tourists will be some looking for more than the thrill of the game; those seeking the thrill of spending a night with a young Brazilian. As the global gaze turns toward Brazil for this upcoming sporting event, the country has also come under scrutiny for its laws and practices regarding prostitution and the sexual exploitation of children. Although prostitution is legal there, the issue of illegal child prostitution continues to grow.
Girls kidnapped by drug gangs and sold as sex slaves to cash in on the 2014 FIFA World Cup
(…)Child sex gangs trekked to some of Brazil’s poorest villages where they snatched or bought young girls from their families.
As local anti-child prostitution campaigner Matt Roper first reported in the Sunday Mirror, he has been told a sinister account of traffickers and the Russian mafia bringing in girls from around Brazil and even from Africa to work as sex slaves.
Roper told news.com.au when he travelled to Sao Paulo to personally investigate Sao Paulo’s child prostitutes he learned police had largely ignored the scandal which was going on “in broad daylight”.
Roper runs Meninadanca and the Pink House, a charity and safe house which takes child prostitutes off Brazil’s “highway of hell”, the country’s main roadway where young girls prostitute themselves.
Drug syndicates were reportedly bringing in bus-loads of children to work as prostitutes among the city’s 11.3 million population.