Brazil World Cup and sex tourism are totally two different topics, but somehow there is a connection. Sex tourism in Brazil is nothing, new but the World Cup is a big deal. Latin America’s largest country is slowly overtaking Thailand as one of the most popular destination for sex holidays. Also, there is another good reason behind this booming industry. Brazil is going to host the FIFA World Cup 2014, which will begin on June 14 and end on July 13. Moreover, World Cup wouldn’t be the end of the story, the country will also host the 2016 Summer Olympics as well.
Thousands of visitors are expected to come to Brazil this summer for the World Cup. Determined prostitutes are reportedly learning English and making deals with banks in order to receive credit card payments. For them this appears to be a serious opportunity.
In Brazil, prostitution is legal for those who are eighteen or older. But this South American nation has the worst level of child prostitution—between 250,000 and 500,000 children reportedly involved in the business. Critics warn underage prostitution could soar during the World Cup.
Prostitution and sex tourism in Brazil, in the last five years, has undergone a makeover, especially in the richest and largest cities. Brothels in Brazil are now competing with hotel bars and nightclubs. Girls are drawn to prostitution, because of the easy money, while salaries, on the other hand, are very low in Brazil.
Brazil is the world’s largest Catholic country, which, up until the mid-1980s, was run by a dictatorship. Because of a democratic government and a stable economy, Brazil has become a more liberal nation since the 1990s. The reason sex industry has boomed here is because the country has a greater acceptance of pornography and has become more open in talking about sex.
The internet has also had a big influence. There are various sites in Brazil with thousands of girls’ pictures who can be called up to meet for sex. However, as the law insists, the word prostitution cannot be used in Brazil.
Brazil World Cup and sex tourism, it is anticipated, both the factors will attract the tourists traveling there in coming June. Brazil has many exotic beaches, attracting record numbers of tourists. But the country’s erotic reputation has long been attracting an unwanted type of tourists. Many Brazilian holiday operators bring in thousands of European singles looking for cheap sex.
In São Paulo the Café Millenium is reportedly the biggest brothel, with about 300 girls on a busy night. Inside there, there is a bar, a dance floor and hourly rooms to be rented. It has also a swimming pool, a restaurant, a stage for musical performances, a hairdressers, a shop and a fitness center.
As night falls the streets of hot tourist spots come alive. Prostitutes mingle with tourists, dancing at their sides and eyeing up potential business. They hang around beach bars to pick up foreign tourists, mostly from Europe.
As hotels started barring girls under 18, clients began to rent apartments or head to so-called love motels. Experts say many underage girls use fake IDs. Taxi drivers reportedly work with the girls who are too young to get into the bars.
The government has recently started distributing thousands of kits containing information on how to report child abuse. The country has also started a campaign titled “happy being a prostitute” that is believed to encourage prostitutes to use condoms.
Between the upcoming World Cup in Brazil and sex tourism, President Dilma Rousseff’s government is now highly concerned about the latter. Both soccer and government officials are trying hard to crack down on the child sex trade before the event kicks off in June. The authorities are attempting to clean up its image as one of the sex tourism capital of the world.
By Rahad Abir