A TEAM of University students and staff are throwing their weight behind a child protection campaign for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
The group of six will present the ‘It’s a Penalty’ campaign in Brazil to raise awareness of the exploitation of youngsters in the South American country, for football fans travelling to the tournament.
The campaign is supported by both the University of Worcester and the University of Sao Paulo and is led by three international charities, including UK-based Happy Child International.
A host of high profile football figures, including Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Brazilian stars Oscar and Ramires have also already shown their support.
Glyn Harding, principal lecturer in sports coaching science, said: “We have a great working relationship with the University of Sao Paulo and this challenging issue of safeguarding children is one which students, coaches and teachers in the UK and Brazil need to address.
“Football can play a big role in helping to protect the children at risk, and we are very happy to support the remarkable work Happy Child International carry out on behalf of the young people of Brazil.
“The delegates attending the course will be the future PE teachers and coaches across Brazil, so it’s vital we help further raise awareness of child sexual exploitation now and in the future, as a legacy of the 2014 World Cup.”
UNICEF estimates more than 250,000 children are involved in the sex trade in Brazil, with fears girls as young as 11 are groomed for prostitution and offered to football fans and tourists during the tournament.