Girl, 14, in Brazil’s child prostitution epicentre

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ALEJANDRA could be simply one other misplaced lady on the Brazil’s “freeway to hell” if she didn’t reside within the squalid little truck cease city of Candido Gross sales.

The 14-year-old, whose drug-addicted mom died on the notorious BR-118 freeway, is a working prostitute from the city the place underage women are raffled off to middle-aged males.

Candido Gross sales is likely one of the epicentres of Brazil’s youngster prostitution epidemic.

Mendacity 1200km up the freeway north west and a world away from the glitter and sands of Rio de Janeiro and Copacabana seaside, the city is in Bahia, one among Brazil’s poorest states.

Bisected by the BR-116, Candido Gross sales is clogged with vans and heavy items autos crawling by the city’s bars and brothels.

Simply metres away are rows of grime brick properties the place households like Alejandra’s reside in poverty.

The world is named “o fim do mundo”, “the tip of the world”.

Intercourse trafficking gangs goal the city and poor households are weak to gives of cash for his or her little women.

When anti-child prostitution organisation Meninadanca arrange in Candido Gross sales two years in the past, even they had been stunned to seek out the extent of abuse of ladies nonetheless of major college age.

City council psychologist Gleyce Farias informed Meninadanca, which runs the Pink Home charity, that common raffles provided the successful ticket holder a younger lady as first prize.

“Candido Gross sales is a small city, however on daily basis we hear of one other lady who has been offered,” Ms Farias mentioned.

“I needed to cease a mom from permitting her 12-year-old daughter to ‘marry’ a 60-year-old man, for cash in fact.

“One other 13-year-old lady ended up in hospital due to the abuses she suffered.

“She informed us how from the age of 9 she was made to look at pornographic movies, and males would pay her to the touch them.”

One of many “misplaced” younger women the Pink Home employees heard about after they first arrived was Alejandra.

Dwelling along with her grandparents after her alcohol and drug-affected mom died on the freeway, Alejandra had turned to prostitution at a younger age.

Federal Freeway BR-116 or Rio-Bahia, can also be nicknamed “freeway of dying” by truckies because of its many hijackings and accidents.

The 4300km industrial artery stretches from Fortaleza on Brazil’s northeastern coast south to Jaguarão, the place Uruguay borders with South America’s largest nation.

It’s Brazil’s main freeway, bringing meals, electronics, cigarettes, and prescription drugs to Brazil’s wealthiest cities together with Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

It additionally passes via scores of poverty stricken villages and cities, to which it brings distress, drug habit and a social tsunami of kid prostitution.

When Meninadanca was first established to deal with the issue of ladies promoting themselves on the street, it discovered Leidiane, a thin 11-year-old.

Leidiane’s mother and father despatched her out every evening to the freeway in a skimpy solar costume to promote her physique to truck drivers so her household might eat.

The waif of a lady stood amid the mud and the diesel fumes on a shoulder of the freeway promoting herself for $12 a time, to additionally meet her acquired drug habit.

Typically, when truckies had completed along with her, they might simply push her out the door of the lengthy drop down from the cabs of their car-carriers or semi-trailers.

In a brand new brief documentary simply launched by the Pink Home, Alejandra speaks of her life on the street, getting picked up, used and paid by convoy of passing drivers.

“We get inside and so they ask the place will you get off?” Alejandra says, standing at the hours of darkness with one other younger intercourse employee as vans and vehicles roll by. “So we are saying the place we are going to get off and he pays the place we get off.

“He pays there and we take it and after we come again we take one other truck.

“If we don’t get a raise, we come again strolling.

“They’re unhealthy to us, these truck drivers are perverts.

“If we don’t sleep with them, they may kill us, or they may rape us.

“Or they may chop us up, they may do something.”

Pink Home co-ordinator Claudia takes the video digital camera alongside a avenue in Candido Gross sales which the younger women frequent.

“There’s a girl on the town who picks up these women who grasp round and takes them to her home and there it’s changed into a brothel,” Claudia mentioned.

“That is youngster prostitution, however right here it’s just like the city is blind to this, you recognize.”

Alejandra takes the documentary makers to the small, dingy home, the place she ostensibly lives along with her grandparents, and shares a tiny room along with her disabled brother.

Her grandfather turns into teary when requested why Alejandra continually runs away, and says loads of meals and rice is offered to the lady.

Alejandra confesses she loses her mood along with her grandparents, maybe as a result of she isn’t the centre of consideration.

“At residence I speak with my mum, my grandmum who I name my mum and he or she turns her again and doesn’t give me consideration,” Alejandra mentioned. “I get so offended at residence.

“I usually don’t sleep at residence.”

Alejandra mentioned she was “afraid” and the interviewee satisfied her to return to the Pink Home in Candido Gross sales, the place women are taught self price and inspired to bop and respect their our bodies.

Alejandra dances with the women and expresses a want to turn into a ballet dancer, or dance instructor.

Co-ordinator Claudia believes the Pink Home can work to finish the kid prostitution which is ruining the lives of Brazil’s poorest younger women.

Within the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup soccer and the 2016 Rio Olympics, media introduced world consideration on poverty and youngster prostitution amongst Brazilians. Specifically, a picture by the BBC’s Panorama of two very younger women within the shadow of the Castelao World Cup Stadium in beachside Fortaleza shamed the nation.

Experiences mentioned women from the poorer states had been being introduced in to service employees on constructing the stadiums for these huge occasions, after which for the sports activities followers attending them.

When a 13-year-old lady broke her leg within the Pink Home, her mom threatened to sue for lack of earnings as a result of the lady couldn’t work the streets whereas her leg was in plaster.

The Pink Home needed to change its schedule to suit the lives of the women, a lot of whom spent your entire evening on the streets.

However in March this yr, the younger women took half in a march towards youngster sexual exploitation, stopping truck drivers and site visitors on the motorway.

Claudia and her crew are “starting to see lives reworked as the women begin to perceive their true price … and that they deserve a cheerful and fulfilled future, free from exploitation and abuse”.

She added: “I consider we are able to change this. I consider sooner or later this may finish.

“I think about the little (Meninadanca has to) provide, and it’s not a lot, simply getting near a lady like that, speak and hear.”

However is it too late for Alejandra? “She’s not one of many common women. She comes sporadically to the home.

“Typically one thing has to occur for us to carry her to the home. She’s a bit of tough.

“She’s nonetheless within the evening. They just like the evening.”

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