Truck on the BR-153, Brazil, 2012
Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
The BR-153 connects northern Brazil to the south and is one of the longest highways in South America. There is a bar that facilitates prostitution every 45 kilometres, on average. In reality they are clumped around the gas stations where long-distance truckers stop to rest for the night. According the the UN Brazil has 241 separate trafficking routes operating within its borders, 110 service internal trafficking, 131 are for international trafficking, the highest concentration (76) is in the north of the country. Surveys suggest that the primary motivation for entering prostitution is Brazil is economic, it provides single mothers with a means to support their families. Others are escaping domestic and sexual abuse in their family or marital homes. Prostitution is almost never a choice; however, in rural Brazil where family structures are often fluid it is a viable employment option (and sometimes the only option) for a woman living in poverty.
A prositute and her children, Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
Putting the kids to bed before work, Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
Preparing for work, Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
On the street, BR-153, Tocantins, Brazil
These women wait for clients right outside of their homes on the BR-153.
Mastigado Da Jumenta, Brazil, 2012
Prostitutes hang out in front of the bar to generate interest from potential clients. The name of the bar translates as "chewing donkey," female donkeys chew when they are having sexual intercourse.
Waiting for customers, Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
Paying for a room, Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
A seventeen year old prostitute hands the bar's owner money for the room she and a client have just finished using. She pays a set price of around $10. She is five months pregnant but doesn't know who the father of her child is.
Young women at work, Brazil, 2012
Jessica, one of the two girls on the right hand side of the photograph, is 18. She came here to work as a prostitute because she couldn't find any other work, she says "BR-153 is where the money is." She and her friend have been invited to work abroad by traffickers, but they have been dissuaded by workers from local NGO's.
A woman in the room she uses both for living and seeing clients, Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
A bar owner, Brazil, 2012
Working at 10 a.m., Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
A room for rent, Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
Bar interior, Brazil, 2012
Bar owner, Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
This man, and many other men and women like him, are not pimps in the traditional sense. They provide a space for women to socialise with their clients, and rooms within their establishments for women to have sex with their clients. However, their rooms are their main source of income, in the absence of prostitution they would have little or no business to speak of. Bar owners can only be prosecuted if they are caught with underage customers. The legal drinking age in Brazil is 18.
A group of bars in Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
BR-153, Tocantins, Brazil, 2012
BR-153: Girls At Risk To Be Trafficked - Brazil
The BR-153 connects northern Brazil to the south and is one of the longest highways in South America. There is a bar that facilitates prostitution every 45 kilometers, on average.