Poá is a municipality in São Paulo that is located in the south-east region of Brazil. . It is located in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, to the west of Porto Alegre.
Although São Paulo is Brazil’s richest state, poverty is concentrated in rural areas. Favelas (slums) line outskirts of metropolitan areas and remote regions. This developing city can´t keep up with the rapid population growth. Many families lack basic sanitation, housing and face overcrowded hospitals and high crime rates.
Since 1968, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in São Paulo-Poá.
The inequality in Brazilian society has marked effects on the lives of many vulnerable families. More concisely, children, women and youth are disproportionately affected by working poverty.
Evidence from various studies show that children from low income families are often forced to work. Children have to work long hours performing physically challenging or even hazardous work to support their families and buy food. Many children and young people drop out of school without completing primary education.
Around 500,000 children are suffering from commercial sexual exploitation.
Brazil is a source, transit, and destination country for sex trafficking of women and children. Brazilian women and children are subjected to sex trafficking within the country and abroad.
Vulnerable children and adolescents are often forced into commercial sexual exploitation by organized gangs. They usually suffer physical and psychological abuse and are forced into using drugs or alcohol.