Human Trafficking Research

Domestic Sex Trafficking of Children in Brazil

June 01, 2018
Domestic Sex Trafficking of Children in Brazil
Publication Documents




The trafficking of children for sexual exploitation in Brazil is both devastating to their health and well-being, and a gross violation of their human rights. Fueled by a mix of power inequality, extreme economic insecurity, corruption, and regressive social norms, child sex trafficking has flourished in Brazil. This report presents the findings of a mixed methods study on trafficking of children for sexual purposes in Brazil. 

This paper begins by providing a general background on child sex trafficking and a specific overview of the situation in Brazil, including the key determinants of child sex trafficking in Brazil. The remaining sections are: 1) An analysis of legal and policy challenges to prevent and respond to child sex trafficking; 2) The psychosocial impact of child sex trafficking; 3) alternative approaches to address the effects of sex trafficking among children; and 4) recommendations for future actions and targeted investments. 

Section one offers a discussion of the international and domestic legal frameworks to address child sex trafficking and gaps in implementation. Particular attention is given to the effectiveness and obstacles faced by Brazil’s Children Guardianship Councils (CGCs). The section concludes with a discussion of the challenges and opportunities to prevent and respond to child sex trafficking. Section two discusses the psychological impact of child sex trafficking, focusing on the impact of trauma referred to as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The role of dance movement therapy is considered as an alternative support and recovery approach to address the psychosocial impact of child sex trafficking. Results are presented from participant observation of a dance therapy organization: Menina Dança. Based on the findings, recommendations are offered to the Brazilian government and organizations working on child sex trafficking.