Did you watch the U.S. v. Portugal game last night? Did you cheer for the amazing play of American keeper Tim Howard? Did you howl in disbelief at the last minute goal by Portugal? Even if you’re not a soccer fan, it’s hard not to get swept up in the fun and rivalry of the world’s biggest soccer extravaganza.
Unless you’re a victim of human trafficking.
Every large sporting event in the world has become a red-light district. Where there are many people, there are many people who are willing to buy sex. And that means human trafficking. In December, Time noted that while the nation of Brazil (currently hosting the World Cup) has an age of consent of 14, a recent court ruling allowed that sex with a 12 year old did not necessarily constitute statutory rape, setting the stage for human trafficking to thrive during one of the world’s largest sporting events. This is not to say that the illegal sex trade doesn’t already have a place in Brazil, as Time reported:
Thiago, 27, has worked as a pimp and trafficker across Brazil, convincing the mothers of girls like Amanda and Emmanuelle to hand over their daughters for some $5,000 to $10,000. “I sought the girls in Recife because there is so much poverty there,” he says in São Paulo, asking that his last name not be published. “It makes it way easier to convince the girls to come down and prostitute themselves.” (more…)