The Road Near Rio’s Olympic Village Where 9-year-old Girls are being Sold for Sex, by Candace Sutton

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Around a bend on one of Brazil’s longest highways, only a 50-minute drive from Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic village, girls as young as nine are selling their bodies to truck drivers for money.

Just a few miles from the glittering new stadiums where the world’s elite athletes are gathering to battle it out for Olympic gold is a shabby world of poverty, violence and child exploitation.

The BR-116 runs for 2800 miles between the World Cup stadium host city Fortaleza in the far north of Brazil to Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo, where the Arena de Corinthians will stage Olympic soccer games in the south.

The road is nicknamed the Highway of Death (Rodovia da Morte) for its mortality rate due to many accidents and unstable weather and conditions along the route.

But its real misery occurs at 262 truck stops along its way, where female children are sold for sex, often by their own families, sometimes as part of a town’s unofficial bartering system.

ro 1Two underage sex slaves near the football stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil before the 2014 World Cup soccer. Picture: BBC. Source:Supplied

As more than 10,000 athletes and spectators fly in from around the world for the $10 billion 2016 summer Olympics, local activists are drawing attention to the reality of the young girls drawn into a life of sex slavery and drug addiction.

At Meninadanca, an organization established to stop the exploitation of at-risk girls in towns along the BR-116, the real life stories are mind blowing.

When a Meninadanca team visited the remote town of Candido Sales, which is bisected by the BR-116, they discovered that underage girls in the town were regularly offered to men as prizes in raffles.

(Related: How To Spot (And Rescue A Sex Trafficking Victim)

Trucks and heavy goods vehicles clog the road lined with bars and brothels through the town, just miles away from the dirt brick homes where Brazilian families live in poverty.

ro 2Child prostitutes as young as 11 work in this slum which lines the fence of the 2016 Olympic football stadium in Sao Paulo. Picture: Jota Roxo. Source:Supplied

Sex trafficking gangs target the town and poor families are vulnerable to offers of money for their little girls.

But even the Meninadanca workers were surprised when a town council psychologist told them raffles were held regularly with the winning ticket holder’s prize being the right to abuse a particular girl being sold.

The psychologist Gleyce Farias said “Candido Sales is a small town, but every day we hear of another girl who has been sold.

“I had to stop a mother from allowing her 12-year-old daughter to ‘marry’ a 60-year-old man, for money of course.

“Another 13-year-old girl ended up in hospital because of the abuses she suffered. She told us how from the age of nine she was made to watch pornographic films, and men would pay her to touch them.”

ro 3By the age of 13, Lilian (above) had been sold to truck drivers by her mother for $4 a time. Picture: Matt Roper. Source:Supplied

 

ro 4Leidiane, 11, worked on the BR-116 highway but became addicted to crack and couldn’t be saved. Picture: Matt Roper. Source:Supplied

As the Rio Olympics are now underway, Meninadanca is attempting to lure the world media’s attention away from the excitement of the games to the confronting scenes beyond.

Matt Roper, a journalist and author, has held a walk of the BR-116 and Meninadanca’s Facebook page has an “adopt a kilometer” program on me for each section of the highway to raise money for the non-government organization.

As the final preparations are made on Rio’s 32 sporting venues, and last minute concerns centre on the Zika virus, Russia’s doping ban and pollution at the Guanabara Bay sailing ground, Meninadanca is tying pink ribbons along the highway.

Roper has helped establish ‘pink house’ refuges for girls rescued from the highway, although he admits many times it is too late.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://fightthenewdrug.org/the-road-near-rios-olympic-village-where-9-year-old-girls-are-being-sold-for-sex-photos/

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Early sexualisation and pornography exposure: the detrimental impacts on children, by Melinda Tankard Reist

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The school principal was perplexed.

I had just delivered a keynote on the impact of sexualisation and pornography exposure on children and young people at a conference of school leaders in NSW.

During the break she approached me, opened her phone and revealed an image created by a group of 5 year old boys, at the Catholic primary school she headed in Sydney. It showed two women, scantily dressed, in provocative poses.

The boys, along with fellow pupils, had been asked to prepare an in-class assignment using the pic collage app to make pictures. This is what the boys stood up and presented to the class.

One was so pleased with the work he inserted his face in between the woman’s bodies at breast height. These little boys didn’t think they’d done anything wrong.

This incident is just yet another outworking of the impact of a pornified world on our children.  Children being hurt. Children hurting others.

Everywhere I go I hear stories. Of children using sexual language. Children touching other children inappropriately. Children playing ‘sex games’ in the school yard. Children requesting sexual favours. Children showing other children porn on their devices. Children distressed by explicit images they came across while googling an innocent term. Children exposed to porn ‘pop ups’ on sites featuring their favourite cartoon characters or while playing online games.

Educators, child welfare groups, childcare workers, mental health bodies medicos and parents are reeling. All are struggling to deal with the proliferation of hyper-sexualised imagery and its impacts on the most vulnerable – children whose sexuality is still under construction, children for whom pornography becomes a template for sexual activity, a ‘how to’ manual for future use.

Porn before first kiss

Pornography exposure – for young men at least – is at saturation point. Research has shown some worrying trends related to earlier onset exposure.

According to some sources, the average first age of exposure to pornography is 11 years, with 100% of 15-year-old males and 80% of 15-year-old females reporting that they have been exposed to violent, degrading online pornography.

MTR BI2Children are seeing violent depictions of sex, torture, rape and incest porn. Boys are having their sexual arousal conditioned by depictions of extreme cruelty, seeing women being assaulted in every orifice by groups of men.  And all this before their first sexual experience – even their first kiss.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.childhoodtrauma.org.au/2016/july/melinda-tankard-reist

Why and how to talk to children about pornography, by Anne McCormack

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The internet and social media are now a normal part of established culture for young people growing up. For parents, this can bring a whole new level of concern as even with safety filters on devices, having access to the internet and the social media world makes it more likely that young people may come across and gain access to content that is sexually explicit.

Internet access and social media has changed the landscape for parents in many ways. When it comes to teaching young people about what is healthy and safe in relationships, as well as the issue of supporting young people’s individual sexual development, these aspects of parenting now point to the need for discussion around the issue of pornography.

Young people can accidently encounter sexually explicit material online or they can actively seek it out. And while secondary schools have an obligation to teach on the topic of relationships and sexuality, according to Mairead McNally of Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan, there is no part of the curriculum that addresses pornography. It is useful for parents to think ahead about how to talk with young people about pornography.

Here are some reasons why young people could benefit from such talk:

 1. Social media as a sexualised environment

The social media world and the internet in general can become a sexualised environment quite quickly for some young people. For example, the young person may follow a celebrity online who posts sexually explicit selfies or content of themselves. This selfie culture can contribute to normalising the uploading of material that is sexually provocative or explicit, and it can inadvertently give young people the message that they must present themselves in a certain “sexual” way in order to be deemed of worth. The trend towards the sexualisation of the self can tend to glamorise the area of pornography.

2. Interest in sex

Wanting information about sex is normal and if young people are not getting the message at home that they can ask questions and talk openly about sex, they may feel more inclined to access such information and pornography in order to find out for themselves what sex is about. Pornography is not real and yet young people viewing it can often think it is.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/parenting/why-and-how-to-talk-to-children-about-pornography-1.2692131

Child Safety: Stop Posting Naked Photos of Your Kid, by Jarrett Arthur

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A follow up to our previous post… the article Jarrett originally posted.

Child Safety: Stop Posting Naked Photos of Your Kid.

 

Editor’s Note, by Kirsteen McLay-Knopp

After reading the article at the link above, I decided to do some online searching of my own.  After typing “naked kids’ photos” into Google and clicking on “images”, hundreds of pictures of naked children immediately appeared.  Most were having fun and doing normal activities like taking baths but, as Jarrett rightly points out in her article, did their Mums and Dads really intend that ANYONE searching online like I did could view them?  How often have such photos been shared in less than savory circles?

Children in swim wear featured highly too, as did scantly-clad children.  I’ve never posted pictures of our kids in their togs (swimming gear) on Facebook or anywhere else, I never quite felt right about doing that… I guess I thought that was “family stuff” you might show the grandparents or someone.  Some of the pictures I saw posted were VERY innocent, but it certainly makes you wonder why they come up under the search title “naked kids”… do some people out there get off on seeing scantily clad kids or kids in swimming gear?

I was also concerned to see that there were a number of nude photographs of children in developing countries.  While I have no problem with their nudity in the context of their respective cultures (and don’t believe that children should be taught to be ashamed of their bodies) I did have to wonder who took these photos and why, as well as why there are so many of them on the internet… as well as, of course, who continues to search them.  Considering that many children are sexually exploited in our world’s poorest areas, this is a concern too.

 

Proof Positive: Why You Should Keep Naked Baby Pics Private! Jaw dropping realization about online searches and the demand for explicit child photos, by Jarrett Arthur

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Dear Parent/ Carer,

Please bear with me as I walk you through my own personal experience in discovering the huge and sick online demand for images of child exploitation.

In 2014, I wrote a blog article entitled, “Child Safety: Stop Posting Naked Photos of Your Kids“ (… posted on BeAKidsHero.com as “3 Reasons to Keep Naked Baby Pictures Private“). It got sort of decent engagement, few shares, and fewer comments. In general it was pretty much ignored and the overall feedback I received was underwhelming to the point of being disappointing.

…my heart sank immediately, my vision blurred, my ears started ringing, and I got about as close as one can get to vomiting without having to run to the toilet.

“Why isn’t anybody noticing this important article about keeping kids safe?” I’ve been thinking to myself over the course of the past year.

That is until I realized recently that there were many, many people noticing this article.

And upon this discovery my heart sank immediately, my vision blurred, my ears started ringing, and I got about as close as one can get to vomiting without having to run to the toilet. It was proof positive of why you should keep naked baby pics private!

How do search engines work?

Let me start off by explaining what a search engine query is, in case you don’t know. Each time you visit Google, or Bing, or Yahoo, and type a series of words into the search engine browser, you create a search engine query. Different than keywords, queries are the exact sequence of words (misspellings and all) that you type into that white box. Some recent examples of my personal queries: “Female owned businesses in Austin Texas,” “Innovative shoulder mobility exercises,” “How late is the Valencia post office open until.”

The search engine then tries to decide what information you’re looking for and sends you a list of websites it thinks are the best fits for your search engine query. How does it determine which pages are best? It’s complicated, but one of the ways is by matching the titles of pages (articles, blogs, website home pages, etc.), and content of pages, to the words in the query. So if someone queries, “Jarrett Arthur self-defense,” Google, or whatever they’re using, will send them a link to my website because it’s the best match.

I was shocked to learn…

As a website owner and Google analytics customer, I have access to a report on the top search engine queries created by other people that are determined to be a match with my site, or pages on my site. Below is a screenshot of an actual report I just pulled from my website data. It shows 34 commonly used search engine queries that people have entered into their browsers that their search engines have determined my website is the best match for…

stop posting naked photos of kids

So, in case you’re lost and not understanding what’s happening here, let me spell it out. Of all the ways that search engine users on the Internet find my website through queries, the above 34 commonly used phrases from around the world are among the most prevalent. Because of the words in the title of my blog post on NOT posting naked photos of kids, which contains words associated with these queries above, Google and other search engines send these query creators to my blog post. Each entry does not represent one single query… each entry represents multiple queries, of which these are the most frequent.

To read more, follow the link below…

http://www.gingerkadlec.com/posts/proof-positive-why-you-should-keep-naked-baby-pics-private/?utm_source=Ginger+Kadlec%3A+BeAKidsHero%E2%84%A2+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d44f146e52-Proof_Positive_Keep_Naked_Baby_Pics_Private&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ef7c99686b-d44f146e52-186551997

More Kiwi kids video chatting with strangers on risky website: what is Omegle? By Jessy Edwards

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A website with the tagline “Talk to strangers!” is putting increasing numbers of Kiwi children at risk, cyber safety professionals say.

Stumble across website Omegle and you’re just two clicks away from being in a video chat with a stranger.

A 14-year-old Wellington girl who has used the site said it contained “lots of nudity”.

“There’s quite a lot of teenagers on there and then occasionally you get creepy old men going on. If you’re on chat, people send quite creepy things, like wanting to sex and stuff.”

Cybersafety consultant John Parsons said he was first alerted to the site in 2013 and immediately warned that the risk would increase over the coming years.

“There’s no question it’s got worse,” he said on Wednesday. “We’re seeing more and more people getting introduced to it and who have gone on to these anonymous platforms where the most horrendous things have been said to them and they’ve seen things that are hard to forget.”

He said he had seen victims of the site as young as 8.

In 2014, an 18-year-old faced sexual grooming charges after travelling from Bay of Plenty to pick up a 12-year-old at her Wairarapa home, six months after they first met on Omegle. The youth admitted indecently assaulting the girl.

NetSafe executive director Martin Cocker said: “All the system does is connect you randomly to another user, so those people could be anybody from anywhere with any intention, which is the unsafe bit of it.

“If criminals are able to establish a relationship that allows them to convince a young person to do something over the webcam, there is nothing stopping them from recording it and exploiting it.”

Another 14-year-old said she went on the site after hearing about it from school friend, and it could be “scary”.

“You don’t have to have a username and you click a button which just takes you to video chatrooms around the world.

“You usually come across people who are a bit weird so you exit out of them until you find someone that you want to talk to. It’s mainly just old men who probably just go on there for a bit of a sexual good time.”

Cocker’s advice to parents was to teach their children to use the internet ethically and safely.

“There are basic conversations that adults should have with their children about people misrepresenting themselves, and that some people would want to do you harm, and you and the child should work together to make sure this doesn’t happen.”

Omegle does not pretend to be suitable for children. A warning on the site says: “Predators have been known to use Omegle, so please be careful.  Do not use Omegle if you are under 13. If you are under 18, use it only with a parent/guardian’s permission.”

Originally published in the Dominion Post.  Many thanks to Jessy Edwards who gave permission for “The Forever Years” to re-publish this article in full.  🙂