On Thursday September 27th a government panel (Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito ) was dispatched to Recife to investigate the child abuse and sexual exploitation situation in the city. Reps from the local and state government were present along with the chief of Police, local judges and reps from other NGOs including ReVive. The panel heard statements from various sources on the situation here in the NE of Brazil. The government panel were concerned that the huge investment currently taking place in the state leading to large construction work could result in an increase in the number of children and teenagers being abused and exploited. In other states where similar large investment was taking place, the number of rapes and reports of child abuse had risen by 500%!
The head of the government panel said that they were concerned by the situation here in the NE. She declared Recife the 3rd worst city in the country for Sex Tourism (after Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza) and that much more needs to be done to combat this terrible situation. She said that the government needs to do more to prosecute those involved and told of a case where a Judge cleared a man of raping an under-age girl because the girl was already in a situation of exploitation and therefore no longer deemed ‘innocent’. These twisted visions need to be changed. She also lashed out at the government run projects saying that we need to put an end to ‘poor public policies for the poor people’ and that we need to invest richly in them to inspire them for the future.
The state government gave evidence of sex trafficking gangs operating in Pernambuco and said that the number is rising. Gangs are realizing that once you sell a drug it’s gone and you have to go and get more, but you can sell the same young girl many times over.
The Chief of Police branded our city of Olinda a child prostitution ‘hot spot’ and told of many young girls being forced into prostitution. He also told of young children being elicited at the gates of local schools to participate in pornographic films.
ReVive will be opening it’s first centre in the city of Olinda to help as many girls as it can free themselves from this horrendous situation, restore their lives and renew their hope for the future. It’s obvious that there is a great need for this kind of work – there are currently no other NGOs working in the city with these girls – with God’s help, ReVive can play its part in facing this terrible situation which is destroying the lives of many young children. We hope that the local and state governments will do more to help and that other NGOs will also get involved in putting an end to child abuse and sexual exploitation here in the NE of Brazil. Get involved – together we can make a difference.