How Brazil’s one million sex workers are preparing for the World Cup
AFP News | June 2, 2014
From taking English lessons to setting up credit card facilities, the host country’s licensed brothels and street workers are making sure they take advantage of the big event.
More than 3.7 million soccer fans are this month expected to flood Brazil, where prostitution is legal.
In downtown Belo Horizonte are 23 brothels, known as zonas, hidden up narrow staircases and between grim-looking shops.
A number of the zonas’s sex workers are getting English classes from a volunteer to cash in on the six matches the city’s Mineirão stadium will host.
“For sure [the city’s prostitutes] will get more money with the World Cup,” a desk worker at a union for sex workers told The Independent.
“In the nightclubs they’ll be earning a lot. It’s normal for foreign guys to look for them, they always do, and now there’ll be more foreign guys. They’ll do very well.”
The prostitutes of Belo Horizonte will also be accepting payment on credit card during the big sporting event.
Local media have also provided lurid accounts of other preparations underway across Brazil.
In Fortaleza, a local prosecutor said: “Foreign clients order underage prostitutes who are delivered directly by the hotels’ pimps.”
A massage parlour beside Congonhos airport is reportedly offering a limousine service and hiring English speakers.
In São Paulo, a dental student is reportedly earning $US5,000 ($5,370) by giving exclusive attention to a German businessman for two weeks.
Although prostitution is legal in the South American nation, government officials will reportedly be monitoring the sex tourism industry, especially for underage sex workers.
“Every tourist who arrives in Brazil will know that the exploitation of children and juveniles is a crime,” said Adelino Neto, head of child protection at the Tourism Ministry.