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Prostitution in Brazil: Wikis


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In Brazil, prostitution itself (exchanging sex for money) is legal, as there are no laws forbidding adult prostitution,[1] however it is illegal to operate a brothel or to employ prostitutes in any other way.[2]

In the late 1990s, the International Encyclopedia of Sexuality quoted police estimates putting the total number of prostitutes in Brazil at about 1 million.[3]

In 2002, pressure by the sex worker organization Davida contributed to the Brazilian Ministry of Labor adding "sex worker" to an official list of occupations.[4] Prostitution is not regulated in any way (no mandatory health checks, no licenses are issued etc), but street prostitutes and call girls can contribute to the official government pension fund and receive benefits when they retire. [5]

Jane, openly HIV-positive prostitute and mother, member of Davida and model for its fashion label Daspu. Hotel Nicácio / Praça Tiradentes / Rio de Janeiro, 2006[6]



In 2003, it was estimated that about 6% of Brazilian prostitutes were infected with HIV. Because of information campaigns, condom use among prostitutes is high.[2]

The Brazilian government turned down $40 million in U.S. anti-HIV/AIDS funding in 2005, because the U.S. government required all recipients to sign an anti-prostitution pledge. Brazil's AIDS commissioner Pedro Chequer was quoted as saying "Sex workers are part of implementing our AIDS policy and deciding how to promote it. They are our partners. How could we ask prostitutes to take a position against themselves?"[7] The Brazilian anti-AIDS program, which employs prostitutes to hand out information and free condoms, is considered by the United Nations to be the most successful in the developing world.[8]

Child prostitution

Child prostitution in Brazil is widespread and a serious problem. Brazil is considered to have the worst child sex trafficking record after Thailand [9]. The phenomenon is closely related with high levels of poverty and inequality in the country.[10]

The Brazilian government is increasingly frustrated with the fact that a number of foreign tourists travel to Brazil for sex tourism,[11] including child prostitution.[12] The government of Brazil is working stringently to clamp down particularly at child prostitution.[13][14]

Prostitutes abroad

High numbers of Brazilian prostitutes are found in some regions of the United States and Western Europe, including Portugal, Spain, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Sex tourism

Sex tourism exists throughout the country, but it is most apparent in coastal resort towns in the Northeast, South, and Southeast, and in major tourist destinations such as Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza, Ceara, as well as in the wildlife tourist areas of the Pantanal and Amazon.

Human trafficking

Women are trafficked from all parts of the country. The government reported that trafficking routes existed in all states and the Federal District. The National Research on Trafficking in Women, Children, and Adolescents for Sexual Exploitation Purposes identified 241 international and national trafficking routes. Persons exploited in trafficking schemes typically come from low-income families and usually have not finished high school. [15]


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