Calacus has been appointed to provide public relations support for the launch of the ‘It’s a Penalty’ campaign to protect Brazilian children from exploitation and abuse during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio later this year.

In a bid to tackle the commercial sexual exploitation and abuse of children, ‘It’s a Penalty’ aims to raise awareness amongst those travelling to Rio, and worldwide, that vulnerable children are at risk of being groomed and exploited. It’s wrong and together we can do something about it.

The campaign is being developed in association with Comic Relief, A21 and the Global Hospitality Services Hotels, with support of the Brazilian and British Governments, UNICEF, Childfund Brazil and other international Non-Governmental Organization’s and Corporates. 

It has the support of former England footballer Gary Lineker, Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt, Brazil footballer David Luiz and Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis, former track cyclist and Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, former Paralympian Tanni Grey Thompson and former South African Rugby Union captain Francois Pienaar. 

It’s a Penalty aims are to educate potential offenders that paid for sex with a child aged 17 years or under is a crime, and that they could face prosecution both in Brazil or in their home country on return. Also, to equip and empower the general public and sporting fans travelling to Brazil with this important message: ‘If you see something, say something.’ This – s 

Calacus will provide media relations, strategic consultancy and social media support for It’s a Penalty and Calacus Managing Director David Alexander said: “Calacus is passionate about the positive impact sport can have on society and It’s a Penalty is making a tremendous difference to the lives of vulnerable young people.” 

The campaign includes a short film that will be shown on flights of International airlines and in Hotels around the world this summer.

Sexual violence is the second most reported crime against children in Brazil, with the majority of victims aged between 10 and 14 years old. In 2011, 10,425 children and adolescents were reported as having been the victims of sexual abuse, many as young as 11 years old. 

The launch of the new It's a Penalty campaign for Rio 2016 will be on Wednesday May 4th, at the National Crime Agency in London.