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Sex Tourists: Brazil Fights 'Out of Control' Child Exploitation

Tourists come to northeastern Brazil to take advantage of its beautiful beaches, colonial architecture, and history. Tragically, some come to take advantage of the children. Read Transcript


Reporter: IN RECENT

YEARS, GROWING NUMBERS OF

TOURISTS HAVE FLOCKED TO

NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL.

HERE THEY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF

THE REGION'S BEAUTIFUL

BEACHES, THE CLON COLONIAL

ARCHITECTURE AND IT'S

GIRLS.

CBN NEWS TRAVELLED TO BRAZIL

TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE

CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING EP

DEM.

EPIDEMIC.

TAXI DRIVERS, HOTEL WORKERS

AND DRUG DEALERS FORM AN

UNDERGROUND NETWORK

CONNECTING SUPPLY AND

DEMAND.

AND EVERY WEEK, HIS AGENCY

RECEIVES FIVE TO SIX NEW

VICTIMS IN NEED OF HELP.

AFTER OUR INTERVIEW, WE

WALKED TO THE BEACH, ACROSS

FROM OUR HOTEL, AND HE

NOTICED CHILDREN FOR SALE

RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.

OUR TRANSLATOR APPROACHED A

YOUNG BOY, WORKING AS A

TRANSVESTITE, AND HE AGREED

TO TELL US HOW THE SYSTEM

WORKS.

THEY COME IN THE CAR.

THEY ASK HOW MUCH IT IS.

I TELL THEM, AND THEY SAY IF

THEY WANT ME.

AND IF THEY WANT ME, THEY

TAKE ME.

Reporter: LEAH USES THE

25 TO $50 PER TRICK TO BUY

CLOTHES AND FOOD FOR HIMSELF

AND HIS MOM.

HE TOLD US HE STARTED AT AGE

14.

HIS LIFE AND PAIN WAS

CLEAR.

I DON'T LIKE IT.

I HATE IT.

I JUST DO IT BECAUSE I NEED

IT.

Reporter: BRAZIL MAY

SOON OVERTAKE THAILAND AS

THE NUMBER ONE COUNTRY IN

TRAFFICKED CHILDREN.

THE UNITED NATIONS ESTIMATES

THAT MORE THAN A QUARTER

MILLION ARE SEXUALLY

EXPLOITED HERE.

MUCH OF IT HAPPENS IN THE

NORTHEAST REGION, WHERE

CHILD SEX TOURS ARRIVE FROM

EUROPE AND THE U.S.

WE SEE KIDS START AT AGE

12, 13, IT IS A WAY FOR THEM

TO HAVE AN INCOME, TO

RECEIVE MONEY EASILY.

Reporter: AS IF THE

PROBLEM OF CHILD SEX

TRAFFICKING WASN'T BAD

ENOUGH, THE WORST MAY BE YET

TO COME.

MANY FEAR THE WORLD CUP

GAMES, TO BE HELD IN THE

STADIUM BUILT BEHIND ME,

WILL BRING A FLOOD OF

TOURISTS NOT JUST FOR

SPORTS, BUT FOR CHILDREN.

WE ARE TRYING TO FIND A

WAY TO AVOID THIS.

Reporter: HE WORKS IN

CHILD SERVICES IN THE METRO

AREA OF HAFIFI.

HIS RESEARCH SUGGESTS KIDS

HERE ARE OWNER DANGER.

WHAT WE SEE BEFORE AND

AFTER THE WORLD CUP IS

TRAUMA IN THE COMMUNITIES.

Reporter: THOSE WHO

WORK WITH YOUTH HERE BELIEVE

MORE TOURISM MEANS MORE

CHILD EXPLOITATION.

THE PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND

NON-PROFITS ARE TEAMING UP

TO RAISE AWARENESS AND TRY

TO PREVENT A DISASTER.

THE SOCIAL WORKERS ARE

VERY CONCERNED ABOUT IT, SO

THEY'RE WORKING WITH

EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS IN THE

CITY AND GIVING WITHIN IN

THE SCHOOLS.

Reporter: AND MANY IN

THIS REGION RECOGNIZE A

LONG-TERM STRATEGY IS

ESSENTIAL TO WIPE OUT A

TRAGEDY THAT IS DEEPLY

EMBEDDED IN THE CULTURE.

POOR CHILDREN HERE TYPICALLY

GROW UP IN SMALL, CROWDED

HOMES, WHERE THEY SEE

SEXUALITY THAT SHOULD BE

PRIVATE, AND OFTEN FACE

ABUSE THEMSELVES.

THEY START EARLY TO SEE

SEX IN A DISTORTED WAY, SO

IT IS EASIER TO START IN

THIS KIND OF LIFE.

Reporter: DRUG DEALERS

ALSO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF KIDS

ADDICTED TO CRACK AND OTHER

ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES.

IT IS ALSO COMMON FOR

DESPERATELY POOR PARENTS TO

ENCOURAGE THEIR CHILDREN TO

SELL THEMSELVES.

THE MOMS -- SOMETIMES

THEY PUT THEIR CHILDREN IN

THIS SITUATION BECAUSE THEY

NEED HELP.

Reporter: IN THE CASE

OF SOFIA, A 15-YEAR-OLD WE

MET, HER PARENTS SIMPLY

LOOKED THE OTHER WAY.

SOFIA SAYS SHE STOPPED

BECAUSE SHE WANTS A BETTER

LIFE.

I REALIZED IT IS NOT

GOOD.

YOU CAN GET PREGNANT AND BE

UNABLE TO GO ON WITH YOUR

STUDIES AND GET A GOOD JOB.

Reporter: THE

U.S.-BASED MINISTRY

COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL IS

IN THE SEX TRAFFICKING FIGHT

FOR

THE LONG HAUL.

COMPASSION USES CHILD

SPONSORSHIPS TO FUND

MINISTE MINISTERIES ACROSS

THE NATION.

PASSION PARTNERS WITH LOCAL

CHURCHES TO TAKE CARE OF

CHILDREN'S PHYSICAL NEEDS.

AND IT EMPHASIZES ACADEMICS,

INCLUDING A SPECIAL

CURRICULUM THAT TARGETS

SPECIAL ABUSE.

AND COMPASSION EMPHASIZES

DECISION-MAKING FOR A

LIFETIME.

IT IS A TOUGH CONCEPT FOR SO

MANY CHILDREN, WHO'S

FAMILIES DESPERATELY NEED

HELP NOW.

BUT PREVENTION, VIA

ONE-CHILD SPONSESHIPS MAY BE

THE BEST WAY.

I BELIEVE THE BEST WAY TO

COMBAT EXPLOITATION IS THE

PREVENTION WE'RE DOING IN

PARTNERSHIP WITH

COMPASSION.

Reporter: AND FOR THAT

REASON, TUAREZ HAS BECOME A

REGULAR AT THIS PROJECT.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH

KIDS IN THE HOPES OF HELPING

THEM TO REALIZE THEIR

DREAMS.

FOR THESE CHILDREN, IT IS

NOT TOO LATE.

AND IT MAY NOT BE TOO LATE

FOR LEAH.

AFTER OUR INTERVIEW, WE

PRAYED FOR HIM AND FOR HIS

DREAMS.

I WOULD LIKE TO GET

MARRIED WITH SOMEONE I'M IN

LOVE WITH AND QUIT DOING

WHAT I DO.

Reporter: LEAH TOLD US

HE WOULD LIKE TO BECOME A

NURSE, A TRUE MIRACLE,

PERHAPS, THAT ONE CHILD IN

SO MUCH PAIN WOULD DREAM OF

HELPING OTHERS.

REPORTING IN HAFIFI, BRAZIL,

HEATHER CELLS, CBN NEWS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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