In a shocking revelation of child sex abuse, girls as young as 11-years-old are being offered as prizes in raffle draws and bingo games in Brazil’s north-eastern town of Encruzilhada.
According to the Meninadanca group, a British charity organisation, underage girls were being put up as prizes in bingo games where paedophiles were participating for the right to sexually abuse the girls. Raffle tickets were also being sold for as low as 5 Euros (about K14) in which the winner gets a young girl to abuse.
With Brazil set to host the 2016 Olympics, more calls are being made to the government to protect children and to curb child prostitution. Brazil has the second highest rate of child prostitution in the world with reports estimating that more than half a million children are actively involved in the sex trade.
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A local lawyer, Michael Farias, who has been investigating the raffles reportedly told UK’s Daily Mail that the competition was widely known and had attracted men from towns throughout the south of the Brazilian state of Bahia where girls are traditionally seen as a source of income. Farias revealed that the girls raffled were aged between 11 and 17; with tickets to win virgin girls sold as higher prices.
“The raffles and bingo of girls in Encruzilhada are no different. They take place in the light of day, with the knowledge and acquiescence of most people. Despite the actions of a few to try to stop them, most of those with the power to do so, including the police and social services, turn a blind eye.”
Child prostitution and child sexual exploitation has become common in rural parts of Brazil, where the abuse of children is rarely seen as a crime.
“I’m ashamed to say that in this part of our country child sexual exploitation has become a common part of life. Everybody knows where to go to find an underage girl, and parents think nothing of selling their own daughters. It is the shame of Brazil,” stated Fabio Dias, a children’s councilor.