Child Sex Tourism (CST) is the obnoxious practice that involves the enticement, manipulation, buying, selling or forceful abduction of children less than 18 years for commercial prostitution in a well organised multi-billion dollar global sex tourism industry.
According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the illicit trade with an estimated 2 million victim children globally, results in physically and psychologically traumatized children with attendant consequences such as rejection, pregnancy, drug addiction, HIV/AIDS and even death.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) on its part estimates that human traffickers generate about USD$32 billion profit annually from buying and selling of affected victims worldwide.
The internet and ease of global travel allow Paedophiles and Situational Child Sex Tourist to easily plan and embark on vacations to places were Child Sex Tourism thrive. Poverty and hope for a better life are usually the known key drivers for the increasing supply of sexually exploited Children, which also implies that there is a steady demand for sex with children from older men with disposable income. Countries like the United States, Canada, Brazil, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos and Bangladesh are said to be haven for Child Sex Tourism.
Sadly while some families are directly involved in the luring of their children into the illicit trade, recruiters, traffickers and pimps are also known to be the go between the Sex tourist and the sexually exploited children.
In Africa, Kenya ranked the Continents’ fourth largest economy by the World Bank is home to the bustling trading port city of Mombasa now infamously a haven for sex tourist. Paul Adhoch, head of the United Nations Aid agency TRACE Kenya, responsible for combating the trafficking of children says:
they are significantly deep in the communities, in poverty stricken areas looking for sex – nothing else
These mostly white tourists are usually between 50 and 60 years old. TRACE Kenya also believes that approximately 40,000 Children may be actively engaged in prostitution in the Port City and other nearby tourist destinations.
Adhoch further says:
I think there is a network and they believe that you can get sex with children. I also believe that quite a number of these travellers – the Wazungu (white men) come here for sex tourism
The Kenyan Government and some other African states like Nigeria have enacted new laws that impose stiffer punishment for Child Sex offenders and traffickers. Some Western countries were most of the Paedophiles and Situational Child Sex Tourist originate from are also fashioning out laws that permit the prosecution of their citizens for Child Sex offences committed outside of their country, but all of these have not yielded the desired result
The sexual act with this Children by the adult tourist are known to mostly take place in hotel rooms and other tourism facilities, it is therefore, morally necessary for all hospitality and tourism firms and operators to take concerted efforts in checkmating these crimes committed by customers within their grounds.
More importantly, regular tourists are advised to only use the establishments that have signed up to the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in the hospitality industry or other globally accepted best practices that protect children in their business line. This Code spells out an industry-driven opinion with a mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the industry in order to preclude the sexual exploitation of children.
The CODE includes a “six criteria” essential steps to help in protecting the children:
- To establish a policy and procedures against sexual exploitation of children
- To train manpower that will further implement the rights of children, prevent sexual exploitation and the managerial psychology
- The Clause in Contracts provides the Value Chain, by stating a common repudiation and zero tolerance policy against sexual exploitation of children
- Provision of information to travellers on children’s rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation and its management
- Provision of Support, Collaboration and the Engagement of the stakeholders in its management
- Provision of annual reports on the implementation of the Code