‘Sex tourism’ a major concern for Brazil

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NATAL (BDCi) – The host of the 2014 World Cup is facing the pressing issue of out-of-town travelers in search of cheap and often underage sex.

Prostitutes and sometimes pimps can be seen in beach cities like Fortaleza and Natal, located in the poorer northeastern region. Authorities say the sex trade sometimes relies on local child-trafficking networks.

Steps have been taken in Natal to get hotels and travel agencies involved in programs aimed at helping at-risk children and cracking down on the tourist quarter.

The Brazilian government has already shut down sex hotels all over the country and continues to support the nongovernmental organizations that work to assist at-risk youth.

During this year’s Carnaval, the government launched a campaign to encourage its citizens to report sexual and child abuse cases nationwide. It has also fought several major brands over featured depictions of Brazil.

Earlier this year, Adidas had released World Cup-themed shirts with sexual jokes. One design shows a woman with just a bikini and a soccer ball that says, “Lookin’ to score. Brazil.”

Following the Tourism Ministry’s passionate objection to all products linking Brazil to sex, the sportswear company promptly recalled the shirts it had created.

Many Brazilians blame these depictions of stereotypes for the prejudice and abuse they receive when they travel outside of the country.

Despite all these efforts, recent reports show that local prostitutes are taking English lessons in anticipation of the wave of World Cup tourists.
By: Diego Díaz
Source: LA Times
Photo: Daily Mail
8 May 2014
8:30 a.m. P.D.T.

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