Jun 18, 2010

Sex & Soccer?

My eyes were opened to the reality of sex trafficking and the World Cup today after being inspired to dig into this issue from a Facebook post. For the second consecutive World Cup, dozens of media organizations world-wide have reported that as many as 40,000 sex workers are being trafficked into the host nation to meet increased demand for prostitution from visiting soccer fans. The true amount of trafficking during the games is still yet to be known, but reports of women forced into sex in association with the World Cup have already come to light.
The sad fact is despite more than a dozen international conventions banning slavery in the past 150 years, there are more slaves today than at any point in human history. Slaves are those forced to perform services for no pay beyond subsistence and for the profit of others who hold them through fraud and violence. While most are held in debt bondage in the poorest regions of South Asia, some are trafficked in the midst of thriving development. Such is the case in Africa's wealthiest country, the host of this year's World Cup. While South Africa invests billions to prepare its infrastructure for the half-million visitors expected to attend, tens of thousands of children have become ensnared in sexual slavery, and those who profit from their abuse are also preparing for the tournament. During a three-week investigation into human-trafficking syndicates operating near two stadiums, found a lucrative trade in child sex. The children, sold for as little as $45, can earn more than $600 per night for their captors.

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