World Cup 2014: British police issue warning to England fans over Brazil’s under-age prostitutes scam

Criminal organisations are planning to dress up girls as young as 11 as adult sex workers - and fans could face prison sentences for under-age sex

British police have warned that criminal organisations are looking to exploit the influx of football fans for the World Cup in Brazil later this year by dressing up children as adult prostitutes for financial gain.

England fans were warned that they could expect prison sentences in South America or Britain for under-age sex, amid official warnings that Brazil was emerging as one of the most significant destinations for travelling child sex abusers.

Reports from Brazil have suggested that girls as young as 11 are dressed to look older than they are and forced into the sex trade. It is illegal in Brazil to pay for sex with a child aged 17 and under.

The country’s burgeoning economy and the award of this summer’s World Cup and the Olympics in two years is likely to trigger an expansion of child sex markets, according to the latest threat assessment by child protection experts.

The country is thought to be second only to Thailand for the commercial sexual exploitation of children, according to the National Crime Agency.

“Brazilian children suffer abuse in the commercial sex trade and may have their appearance manipulated to look older,” said Johnny Gwynne, the head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

“They are children and they are being threatened and intimidated to make money.”

Charities and police have launched a campaign to warn travelling fans of the dangers of having paid-for sex with children under the age of 17. A short film will be played on flights to the country during this summer’s World Cup.

Sexual violence is the second most reported type of crime against children in Brazil with the majority of child victims aged between 10 and 14. Around 600,000 foreign visitors are expected to visit Brazil for the World Cup, which starts on 12 June.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable