Chris Rogers encounters many young girls on the streets of Brazil.
Young children are supplying an increasing demand from foreign tourists who travel to Brazil for sex holidays, according to a BBC investigation. Chris Rogers reports on how the country is overtaking Thailand as a destination for sex tourism and on attempts to curb the problem.
Her small bikini exposes her tiny frame. She looks no older than 13: one of dozens of girls parading the street looking for clients in the blazing mid-afternoon sun. Most come from the surrounding favelas or slums.
As I park my car, the young girl dances provocatively to catch my attention.
“Hello my name is Clemie – you want a programme?” she asks; programme being the code word they use for an hour of sex. Clemie asks for less than $5 (£3) for her services. An older woman standing nearby steps in and introduces herself as Clemie’s mother.
“I usually have more than 10 clients per night. They pay 10 reais each – enough for a rock of crack,” says Pia, 13-year-old prostitute
“You have the choice of another two girls. They are the same age as my daughter and the same price,” the mother explains. “I can take you to a local motel where a room can be rented by the hour.”
I make my excuses and head toward the bars and brothels of the nearby red-light district.
Despite assurances of a police crackdown, there appears to be little evidence of child prostitution disappearing from the streets of Recife. In four years’ time the country will be hosting the World Cup, which will fuel its booming economy.
Brazil has defied the global economic downturn thanks, in part, to its, exotic, endless beaches attracting record numbers of tourists.