According to the Brazilian government, out of the 59.5 million children and teenagers in Brazil, almost half of them (45.9%) live in extremely poor conditions where they find themselves vulnerable to great risk.
Boys tend to join the drug gangs where their lives become in danger either due to the drugs or rival gangs. The girls tend to find themselves in even more vulnerable situations as many are forced into selling their bodies for money.
UNICEF estimates that there are around 500,000 children involved in the sex industry in Brazil with another inestimable number suffering ‘hidden’ systematic abuse within the home. In some cases the child’s own family has been found encouraging them to sell their body or has actively ‘touted’ the child for sex.
The problem is particularly bad in the North East of Brazil which is quickly becoming the new ‘Sex Capital’ of the world since the 2001 Asian Tsunami.
A government study amongst some of the girls forced into prostitution found that the average age of their first sexual encounter was just 10 years old.
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