Saturday, 24 March 2012

Child Sex Tourism Numbers in Mombasa/Kenya Hyped

The Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association has accused civil societies of blowing the issue of child sex tourism out of proportion. MCTA chairman said though there are some incidents, there is a possibility the civil society has bloated the numbers "to attract funding from donors". "Every year, they keep on recycling the same report," said Hersi, adding that the situation is not that bad at the moment.
He said the Coast receives about 270,000 tourists annually. There have been reports that there are about 3,000 underage girls involved in child sex tourism with tourists. This, the chairman said, wrongly portrays the Coast as a haven for child sex tourism. But he said the reports are full of lies meant to create a crisis that doesn't exist.

He said the NGOs are not involved in solving the problems. "We don't see them solving the problems. If they are honest enough, let them come on the ground and work with us to eradicate the vice. We suspect they are doing this just to get funding. That is our suspicion," said Hersi on the phone. "From the numbers they give, it means out of four tourists, one sleeps with an underage girl everyday. This is ridiculous. We may not be researchers but we have gone to school," said Hersi.
He said the hoteliers at the Coast signed an agreement with the Tourism ministry and Unicef to eradicate child sex tourism in the region. He accused the NGOs of not appreciating this fact. Hersi said underage girls are at far more risk from their step fathers, step brothers and paternal uncles than they are from tourists.

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