For the next two months, Brazil is expected to pull in more than 600,000 tourists to watch and celebrate the 2014 World Cup. As foreign soccer fans flood to the host city of Recife, a number of children’s rights organizations are working double time to spread awareness about child prostitutes — some of whom are charging as little as $2 for sex.
According to British charity Happy Child International, girls as young as 11 are being exploited by pimps, and lured to walk the streets and offer their bodies to tourists. “We know there are significant risks to children before, during and after major sporting events,” the charity’s founder and CEO Sarah de Carvalho told The News. “The majority of fans and tourists traveling to Brazil for the World Cup would be horrified at the thought of causing harm to the nations children. But unfortunately some will take advantage.”
While prostitution is legal in Brazil for those over 18, one sex worker shared that poverty and drug addictions makes younger and younger girls vulnerable to trafficking. “10, 12, 13, 14, they’ll take them at any age,” she told the UK’s Channel 4. “They come and choose a child. A lot of them will go because of necessity. Because of drugs or because they are high. To earn money to survive.”
While combating underage prostitution is not simple, it’s important to spread word to anyone traveling to the South American country. According to the BBC, a group of international soccer players also started a campaign to warn World Cup fans not to exploit children.
Find out more about Brazil’s dark side of child exploitation in the video clips below.
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