The Minister of Tourism, Walfrido Mares Guia, asserted, on December 3, that the Brazilian government will not permit “the growth of tourism to come at the expense of commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.”
This affirmation was made during the seminar, Sustainable Tourism and Childhood, which was part of the World Tourism Forum for Peace and Development.
The forum, which was opened on December 1st by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in Salvador, in the state of Bahia, ended yesterday December 5.
According to Mares Guia, “intelligence work” by the Federal Police prevented the concretization last week of two charter flights from Italy to transport tourists whose interests were exclusively sexual to a capital in Northeast Brazil.
“Upon their arrival, everybody would have been arrested and handcuffed,” the Minister said.
Mares Guia regretted the dire poverty that exists in some Brazilian tourist spots. In his view, this is what leads families to “shove” their daughters into prostitution, especially with foreign tourists.
For the Minister, it constitutes a serious social problem that requires a firm response by the police. He pointed out that denunciation is essential in the fight against this kind of exploitation.
Mares Guia revealed that the Ministry has contacted ambassadors from the countries of origin of some of the foreigners who come to Brazil for the sake of sexual tourism and has already received assurances of collaboration from Germany and Belgium, which have strict laws against this type of violation.
Translator: David Silberstein