The cry for justice.
Meninadança's campaigns aim to challenge, raise awareness, and call for more to be done to tackle Brazil's child prostitution epidemic.
We confront and challenge a local culture of acceptance of and acquiescence to child sexual exploitation.
WHY WE CAMPAIGN
We put pressure on authorities in Brazil to prioritise the fight against abuse and exploitation and act on specific cases.
TO MAKE KNOWN
We hope to force change by making the scandal of child prostitution along the BR-116 an issue around the world.
HOW WE CAMPAIGN
We believe in the power of ordinary people coming together to decry injustice and demand action.
Surprise / Saturation
We use street art, stunts, public events, blitzes and community-wide outreach to get our message across.
We respond to individual cases where girls are victims or in danger and demand urgent action.
The Mayor of Taiobeiras
In November 2015 we launched a campaign to catch Joel Cruz, the former mayor of the town of Taiobeiras, who had fled justice after being accused of using his wealth and power to abuse hundreds of young girls over three decades.
Seven hundred people from all over the world wrote letters to the town's police chief asking for more to be done, eventually reaching the state's highest police authority, which designated an investigator to track Cruz down.
Cruz was arrested in April 2016, and received his first sentence of over 26 years in jail, in December.
Justice for Emilly
Meninadança took on the case of Emilly, a nine-year-old girl from Medina who was raped and murdered in January 2014.
Our legal team represented Emilly’s family in court proceedings, and secured a conviction of 26 years' jail for her killer.
In 2016 our campaign to honour her memory resulted in Medina's council establishing a official day of fight against sexual exploitation every December 9, Emilly's birthday, and the renaming of a public building after her.
I Will Not Be Silent
We brought Medina to a standstill as hundreds of young people took to the streets to protest against violence and abuse, after we discovered that 658 children had been victims of violence in the town in the previous 10 months - one in every ten children.
Wearing badges and black tape over their mouths, they stood silently in front of Medina’s key buildings, the council chambers, police station, and the courts of law. At the town’s main square, they laid 658 white roses on the ground, one rose for each victim.
The Encruzilhada Raffles
We reported in September 2015 that young girls were being offered as prizes in raffles in the small town of Encruzilhada, near Cândido Sales.
Following our investigation published in the UK's Daily Mail, the story was picked up by Brazil's biggest news vehicles and led to an investigation by the state human rights secretariat.
In July 2016 a team from Meninadança walked the 100km through the BR-116's 'child prostitution belt', tying pink ribbons to every km sign, a symbolic act to show the region that young victims of abuse and prostitution are no longer alone.
At the same time a team of 25 people blitzed every gas station, truck park and community along the highway, giving out stickers and fridge magnets which read 'I am against child sexual exploitation' and cards telling people how they can report abuse.
'Your Look Can Transform Our Lives' was a street art project created to challenge the way teenage girls are seen by residents of Medina.
We took an abandoned wall and transformed it into an eye-catching mural, including dozens of ‘eyes’ each painted by one of our girls.
The town was invited to an unveiling event, where the girls danced, read poetry and invited townspeople to look at them differently, not as worthless objects, but as potential and hope for the future.
We Call Her A Child
In Brazilian popular culture, the word 'novinha' - literally 'little girl' - has come to mean an adolescent as an object of sexual gratification.
For our recent campaign, residents of Medina woke up to find the town filled with banners and posters which read: 'You know that novinha? We call her a child', including at the entrance to every local school.
The phrase uses a lyric from a popular funk music song and strikes deep into the heart of a local cultural acceptance of abuse of children and teenagers.