With the Olympic Games bringing thousands of tourists to Rio de Janeiro, activists fear a business boom for the city’s sprawling underage prostitution trade, affecting thousands of young girls sold to foreigners.
Rio de Janeiro’s sex trade is so prominent that highway BR 116 is known as the “Exploitation Highway,” as it is often populated with underage sex workers.
Matt Roper, the founder of Meninadanca, a nonprofit organization that helps girls in Brazil who could potentially become victims of the sex trade, told Fox News Latino he fears the Olympics will boost this trade.
“There is certainly evidence that points to an increase in child sex trafficking because of the Olympics. We know that the activities of sex gangs who recruit poor young girls have intensified in the months running up to the start of the Games in Rio,” he said, adding, “In the days before the start of the [Rio] Games, a brothel specializing in underage girls, situated right in front of the Olympic Park, was busted in a police investigation. The girls were aged 13 to 15 and were taken to live at the house after being promised jobs as models, but then forced to have sex with rich clients.”
A U.S. official report from the state department found that “the Brazilian Federal Police estimates that 250,000 to 400,000 children are exploited in domestic prostitution, in resort and tourist areas, along highways, and in Amazonian mining brothels.” Many of these girls are brought in from remote villages in Brazil and promised a very different life. Many have been brought to Rio and told they would have normal jobs such as waitresses. However, once they arrived, the reality of the situation become apparent. However, by the time they realized what was going on, it was too late.
According to The Huffington Post, Roper highlighted one story of a young girl who was caught in the sex trade. “She [Ana Gabriela] ended up being held captive in a favela, and made to sell her body right in front of the Copacabana Palace, which is the main hotel in Rio, on the Copacabana beach. She was 15.” Where Ana was forced to work was right next to an Olympic event.
Traffickers reportedly have been looking to restock their stables of young sex slaves to address the demand from foreigners traveling for the Olympic Games; this is not unique to Brazil. The Huffington Post pointed out that in “2004 Olympics in Greece saw a 95% increase in human trafficking victims that year, while Germany’s 2006 World Cup is estimated to have brought in 40,000 trafficked sex slaves – though the numbers are disputed.”
Last month, Breitbart News reported on the sexual culture surrounding the Olympics, particularly among athletes trapped in the Olympic Village. “Organizers of the Rio Summer Olympics provide an average of 41 condoms and 17 packets of lube per athlete competing at the games,” according to one report. Breitbart went on to point out:
The 450,000 prophylactics distributed include 100,000 female condoms. The number does not include the condoms handed out by national Olympic committees. Australia, for instance, issues to its team members super-strength condoms, which allegedly provide “near-complete anti-viral protection against Zika virus in laboratory studies.