Sex, Work and the 2016 Olympic Games (Organized Panel and Moderated Session) (ProsPol Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark)


Like all mega sporting events, the 2016 Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro were preceded by media reports alleging that the games would be accompanied by a steep increase in prostitution, and sexual tourism, as well as negative phenomena such as child sexual exploitation, trafficking of persons. This particular event was further complicated by the fact that the city had recently hosted another, similar affair: the 2014 FIFA World’s Cup. Gentrification, urban renewal, moral panics, economic and political crisis and a lack of any overall concern for sex workers’ health and lives contributed to making both events stressful and not very lucrative for Rio’s sex workers. The Olympic Games, however, were even less lucrative than the Cup, but were also seem to have generated less overt violence towards sex workers themselves. Prostitution Policy Watch / Observatório da Prostituição (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) worked together with sex worker rights organizations to conduct extensive and intensive research during the Games, exploring their impact on sex workers and the sale of sex in Rio and comparing and contrasting this with the situation during the World Cup. The papers forming this table are some of the results of this effort, which brought together academics, students, journalists, sex workers and activists to observe and record what the Games meant for our city’s sex workers.


Conference website:

Citation: De Lisio, A. (March 2017). “Sex, Work and the 2016 Olympic Games” organized panel and moderated session at the Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance (ProsPol) Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark .