Rio Bonito is located on the outskirts of Latin America’s largest city São Paulo in São Paulo state. A megalopolis of more than 30 million people was created as a result of population growth and physical expansion between the metropolitan areas around the Greater São Paulo. São Paulo Macrometropolis is one of the world’s most populous urban agglomerations.
Despite Brazil’s economy being one of the largest in the world, the economic inequality amongst its population has reached extreme levels. Such a huge disparity between income levels creates conflict, violence and instability. Children and young people face many challenges as they grow up in this environment.
Since 1968, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in São Paulo-Rio Bonito.
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 shows 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.
São Paulo state had the most cases of rape against children reported in Brazil. Sexual violence against children is historically under-reported. Only 35% of rapes are filed with police.
Between 2011 and 2017 there were 58,037 reports of sexual violence against children in Brazil. The Southeast region had the most cases. Unless they are provided with specialized support. Children who experience sexual violence when growing up, will often suffer the consequences of this violence for the rest of their lives.