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Study reveals extent of Kenya child sex tourism

September 8, 2015 ·  By Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) for



A recent study reveals has revealed that children in Kenya were actively involved in transactional sex with both local and international tourists, official sources indicate.

The study was conducted jointly by the Kenyan home affairs (interior) ministry and the UNICEF in four of the country’s eight coastal districts Sarah Jones, the lead consultant in the study carried out between October 2005 and March 2006 in the tourist resort coastal towns of Malindi, Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale reveals that between 10,000 and 15,000 children were involved in sex tourism.
The figures represent between 25% and 30% of children living in and around tourist resorts.

“However, the number of children engaging in sex tourism as a full-time year-round commercial activity is much lower at a figure of 2000 to 3000 daily,” she clarifies.

She said that more than half the girls engaging in full-time sex work were living away from family, parents and guardians, while the majority were living in communities of sex workers, with between four to six girls sharing rents.

Jones lamented that the trade had continued to thrive since more than 75 percent of the people living in tourist resort towns accepted the practice of child sex tourism as normal and tolerable, while only about 20% find it abnormal or immoral.

“59% percent of those interviewed thought that boys involvement in sex tourism as beach boys, procurers and middlemen, or engaging in sex work with tourists were acceptable,” the researcher told PANA here Thursday.

This, she said, was due to the fact that the practice was associated with being a source of wealth and advantage of individual girls and their families.

The official said that the study indicated that more than 45 per cent of girls involved in prostitution and child sex tourism began transactional sex for cash or goods and favours between the ages of 12 and 13 years.

Ten per cent of the girls begin transactional sex below 12 years of age, she added.

Following the release of the study results, the Kenyan Children department says it was committed to stamping out child sex tourism in the country.

Margaret Basigwa, a senior official in the department, in an interview here Thursday agreed that in the past, government agencies were in denial on the existence of child sex trade.

“But now, the government has accepted that the vice exists in the country and is doing all it can to eradicate it,” she confirmed Sex tourism was a real threat to child rights and should be discouraged at all costs, she added, and asked government to be clear about its policies and strike a balance between its objective to “sustainably increase the number of tourists to the country and its commitment to ensuring child rights and protection”.

She called for collaboration between the country’s Treasury and the Ministries of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Home affairs, Foreign Affairs, Education and Health for any reduction measures of child sex tourism to be achieved.

22 juin 2006 14:09:00


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