Girl of 16 found working as prostitute in Albufeira

A 16-year-old girl was found by police working as a prostitute in the house of a Brazilian couple in Albufeira.

The girl’s mother, Maria de Jesus Pereira, is due to appear at Portimão’s court of minors as part of the investigation that is currently in progress. Maria de Jesus, who was not in agreement with her daughter’s activities, is claiming she was let down by the Comissão de Protecção de Crianças e Jovens (CPCJ), the commission for the protection of children and young people, whom she feels could have prevented the situation.

However, the CPCJ disputes this claim, refusing to take any responsibility. The girl was only prevented from working as a prostitute thanks to the recent interference of the police, who found her in a Montechoro apartment.

Maria de Jesus had been seeking help from the commission for three years. “My daughter turned against me because she wanted to be free to do anything that appealed to her,” revealed the mother to the Correio da Manhã newspaper. “Not knowing what to do, I requested support from the commission and have had regular meetings with representatives from the CPCJ,” she said.  However, Maria de Jesus points the finger at the commission for not providing sufficient support for her daughter. “If she had been placed in care around five months ago, when I lost control over her, maybe the situation would never have become so serious,” said the 35-year-old single mother.

Maria de Jesus lives in Ferreiras, works at a kindergarten and has a part-time job that finishes at 11pm to provide for the family (she has two other younger daughters). She explained: “When I separated from my husband 18 months ago, my daughter started to go out alone in the evening, to the point that, on occasions, she stayed out all night. Finally, she never returned home, although I knew where she was.”

The daughter was living with a 30-year-old man and his 19-year-old wife. It was in their house that she was found working as a prostitute. Maria de Jesus was informed that it was the Brazilian woman who had been making contact with clients and placing adverts in newspapers, falsely stating that her daughter was 18. However, Maria de Jesus believes the man was also involved.