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It Ain’t Easy Being a Kid in Brazil


It Ain't Easy Being a Kid in Brazil

One study from the University of Brasília shows that 69 percent
of the victims of sexual abuse in
Brazil are children. The work
concluded that in a majority of cases the violence is done
within the very
home of the young person. The number of
denunciations is insignificant with respect to the reality.

by:

Rogéria Araújo

 

In Brazil, children represent a population of 50,266,176 inhabitants and statistics related to them are very depressing
with respect to maltreatment, sexual exploitation and child labor, among other crimes.

Last October 12, when Brazil celebrated Children’s Day, the country had moment to reflect on the numbers that
illustrate how Brazil is treating its population of children. Exploitation and sexual abuse represent the major problem for children.

The National System for the Combat of Abuse and Child Exploitation in Brasília, which can be reached by a
national toll-free number (0800 99 0500), provides an annual X-ray of this type of violence committed daily against children.
From February, 1997 to January, 2003, the system received a total of 2,937 denunciations; the Southeastern region had the
most, 46 percent, and the Northeastern region came in second with 28 percent.

The Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry that deals with sexual exploitation in Brazil began on June 12 and is
working on 300 cases coming from Brazilian cities such as João Pessoa, Salvador, Natal, Porto Velho, Manaus and Rio Branco.
Last week a public hearing took place in Foz do Iguaçu, where there are denunciations of child trafficking from here to
Argentina and Paraguay.

In this Triple Border area, according to a study by the International Labor Organization, there are approximately
3,500 children and adolescents who are victims of sexual exploitation as workers in nightclubs.

There is no lack of research on the subject. One study coordinated by Professor Eva Silveira Faleiros, of the
University of Brasília, and with support from the federal government’s Special Secretary for Human Rights, shows that 69 percent
of the victims of sexual abuse are children. The study considered 40 cases from the cities of Belém, Recife, Vitória,
Goiânia and Porto Alegre.

The study adds that only a third of the victims are not living with their aggressors; in a majority of cases the violence
is done within the very home of the young person. Furthermore, 95.7 percent of those who sexually abuse are men and in
the majority of cases (70.9 percent) women made the denunciations.

According to the study’s coordinator, the number of denunciations is insignificant with respect to the reality and
the insufficient attention given to the victims. The study is published in its entirety in the book
Abuso Sexual Contra Crianças e Adolescentes e os (des) Caminhos da Denúncia
(Abuse of Children and Adolescents_Bypassing the Denouncements).

Created in 2002, the National Committee to Confront Sexual Violence against Children and Adolescents agrees that
the installation of the toll-free number and the installation of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry demonstrate
genuine willingness to combat the problem.

For the first time the Supreme Court of Justice opened a discussion on the theme and included new topics such as
sexual trafficking, sexual tourism, internet pornography, and pedophilia, affirms Neide Casanha, the committee’s coordinator.

 

Rogéria Araújo is a reporter for Adital (Agência de Informação Frei Tito para a América Latina—Friar
Tito Information Agency for Latin America). Comments may be sent to
adital@adital.org.br

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