The world cup is well under way and thousands of sports fans around the world enjoy a sense camaraderie and playful competition as they cheer for their country. There is a dark side of popular sporting events, however, that is deeply troubling, and sparsely reported. The business of sexually slavery and child exploitation is a problem that persists and may be easily masked under the guise of respectable sporting events like the World Cup.


In Brazil, there are about half a million child prostitutes that sell themselves for money. Moreover, since the problem is entrenched in Brazil‘s society, there is concern that the World Cup will only exacerbate the problem. The open and fluid attitude towards sexuality in Brazil only serves to blur the lines and make it more difficult to stop.


The problem of sexual exploration in Brazil is internationally known; yet, little has been done to end it. The root of the problem is a result of poverty, family difficulties, and social infrastructures. Hundreds of thousands of children live in horrible conditions and live a life they do not wish because they can not afford any better.


(Related: World Cup Means Loss of Homes For The Poorest Brazilians)


People might rather not think about the issues within the host country when they could be  preoccupied with rooting for their favorite team; however, the world cup might be a more opportune moment to bring about real change. If there was media attention given to many of the social problems such as sexual slavery, Brazil may want to steer clear of any potentially harmful publicity.  There is no easy solution to the problem of sex trafficking, particularly when it is largely embedded into Brazil’s society.  However, awareness and advocacy are two good places to start.


What are your thoughts on the sex trafficking problem in Brazil? Let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter @whatsthesich