Red Letters

I will be taking my boys, along with 20 others, to the World Cup this June. Yes, we will participate in the fanfare, but are also seeing some great ministry sites. This report is disturbing to me for a number of reasons. The most alarming is the South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection in the entire world. I just don't get it. 

40,000 prostitutes bound for South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, officials warn

Saturday, March 6th 2010, 4:32 PM

As the city prepares for the 2010 World Cup, officials are warning about an influx of sew workers.

AP/Aman Sharma

As the city prepares for the 2010 World Cup, officials are warning about an influx of sew workers.

Officials are warning that tens of thousands of sex workers could enter South Africa during this year’s World Cup, and that children are at risk of being targeted by the sex trade.

World Cup organizers say up to 40,000 prostitutes were recruited for this year’s event, which takes place in a country where 16 percent of the population is believed to be living with HIV.

Officials also raised the possibility that local children would be recruited into the prostitution business partly due to the fact that World Cup takes place during a four week national school holiday.

The concerns were raised at a meeting of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Davis Bayever, South Africa’s deputy chair of the country’s Central Drug Authority, said his government feared the large influx of sex workers and pledged an attempt to stem the tide.

"It's horrific and very concerning," Bayever said. "Money talks, and if you're a sex worker then there is going to be money in South Africa in 2010."

Bayever said that passport checks, screening, and profiling will take place at the borders to try and prevent illegal arrivals. He believes the women will be traveling from all over the world, especially Eastern Europe.

Especially troubling was the prospect that impoverished children would be lured into sex work by the country’s sordid drug and prostitution underworld.

"There is no doubt that they will be targeted to become prostitutes," Bayever said. "Children from poor rural families will be given a carrot by criminals who tell them they will have a job if they come to the big city."

Around 450,000 fans are expected to travel to South Africa to attend this year’s World Cup.

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