Child sex tourism exists.
This simple fact is shocking and horrifying to many parents and others who care about children.
A Brazilian Congressional Report states that Brazil is the second worst country for child prostitution (Thailand is first).
There are actual travel agencies that specialize in bringing tourists from the United States and Europe to countries like Thailand and Brazil and then actually helping them to set up transportation, hotel rooms and even meeting with the child.
Brazil has been working to fight child prostitution by promoting awareness and giving people who have seen suspicious behavior a place to report it. That’s why so many Brazilians are so unhappy about a recent decision regarding Rio’s Carnival parade.
Carnival’s Samba Queen is traditionally a sex symbol. She is typically a scantily clad woman who dances down the street in Carnival’s parade. This year’s Samba Queen is a 7-year-old girl.
Child advocacy groups say that this is sexualization of a child during a time, Carnival, when child prostitution in Brazil is at its height. They believe it is not only inappropriate but potentially dangerous.
A Brazilian judge is considering stopping the child from performing. A Brazilian child advocacy group has come out as strongly against the decision.
“We’re not against children taking part in Carnival, but we’re against them in that position, which promotes a sexual image of children and teenagers,” said Carlos Nicodemus to the Associated Press. He is the president of Brazil’s Council for the Defense of the Rights of the Child.
This is happening in Brazil, but pedophilia is present everywhere. Last May, a man from the Philadelphia area was charged with helping to operate and participating in a child sex prostitution ring in Russia. The children he was hurting were Russian orphans.
Pedophiles can be wealthy, poor, gay, straight and any ethnicity. Most are male, but some are female. In fact, Pennsylvania’s Child Predator Unit just arrested its first woman in January.
If you have any information about possible child sexual abuse or exploitation, you are urged to call the Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.