This week yet another example of the moral panic sweeping Brazilian politics emerged, sparked by two t-shirts released by ADIDAS for the World Cup that were understood be be offensive due to their sexual content. Brazilian officials, including the President, made links between the t-shirts and sex tourism and sexual exploitation, affirming that the t-shirts were promoting both. In the article in Brazilian press, the president of the Brazilian tourist board for example affirmed that, “..we don’t accept sex tourism. Of course people can have relationships during the World Cup, but we don’t want them to be commercialized”.
DAVIDA responded by strongly defending the right of sex workers to work during the World Cup, and calling attention to the fact that sex tourism is not illegal, different from the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. Following is DAVIDA’s statement to Globo, Brazil’s largest media company and primary newspaper in Rio de Janeiro, part of which was published in the newspaper’s blog here:
“President Dilma Roussef reaffirmed in her Twitter the important determination of the Brazilian government to act in the “prevention of the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in #Carnaval and #CopaDasCopas. Yet by writing that Brazil is “ready to combat sex tourism”, she contributes to a confusion, given that sexually exploiting children and adolescents is a crime, be it in Brazil or the exterior, whereas “sex tourism” does not even exist in the Brazilian legislation. Adult women and men that offer sexual services can attend to Brazilians or foreigners, without this constituting any type of crime, on either one’s part. In this context of megaevents in which a moral panic appears to be being disseminated, it is also important that the liberty and individual rights of all segments of the population be preserved, including adult sex workers.”
DAVIDA – Prostitution, Civil Rights, Health