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Sex voor 5 euro

Documentary film, 2014, 45 min.

“You can easy buy a young girl, like you buy chocolate”, says the taxi driver. Sitting in the back seat of the cab is Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau. The wife of Wesley Sneijder, the Champions League football player, has come to Brazil on a mission. As Brazil prepares to host the World Cup this year, the demand for sex with minors is expected to surge. But Yolanthe wants it to stop.

Fortaleza, Brazil. Out to earn money, under-age girls loiter in the bars lining the boulevard, looking for men. Often foreign men, tourists, interested in young girls. The girls are picked up along abandoned exit roads. And the price for sex? 5 euro. But the girls pay a far higher price - a life destroyed in childhood. How can 12-year-old girls entering prostitution escape the vicious circle of poverty, violence and drugs? How does the circle of demand and supply work?

Yolanthe is on a mission. Founder of the charity Free a Girl, Yolanthe and her husband, Wesley Sneijder, attempt to rescue girls from a life of prostitution. At night, Yolanthe goes out onto the streets where the girls work to find out about their lives. Elizabete is 22 and has made a living from sex tourism since she was 12. “People judge me, she says, but no-one knows what my life’s like at home.” Yolanthe follows her into the favela where the girls live. The reality of their family life means the girls are compelled to work as prostitutes to buy food. That they’re targets for drug dealers. And that their parents’ lives were just like theirs, and they entered prostitution with their consent. Fabienna says that when she was 13 she and two other underage girls were abused by the owner of a luxury hotel in Fortaleza. The man was arrested. But the girls are guilty too, she says; they went along with it.

There’s no supply without demand. Sex with minors is, of course, punishable in Brazil and the Fortaleza prison is overflowing. As well as speaking to underage girls, Yolanthe also talks to the sentenced men about why they did it. When they deny any involvement and the conversation breaks down, Yolanthe tells her story to Wesley. And, wearing his heart on his sleeve, he says ‘those guys should be locked up for life’. But when Yolanthe speaks to a man who admits what he did, and tells why he wanted sex with underage girls, she visibly struggles to hide her disgust. As long as the men believe that underage sex won’t affect the girls later, they’ll continue destroying their lives. And they will – for just 5 euro.

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