When kids swap school for clubs
Somewhere on the Kenyan Coast
Heinz (53, German) has another three hours before his charter-plane touches down in Mombasa.
Grace (14, Kenyan) is carrying her little brother and is on her way to fetch water.
Roberto (64, Italian) is still fast asleep, unaware of his pending hang-over.
Mary (12, Kenyan) is dressing her younger sister for school
Moses (42, Kenyan) is smoking a cigarette in front of his house overlooking the beach.
Heinz has unpacked and is having his first Tusker (local beer) on the beach.
Grace just fed her little brother, swept the floor and is doing the dishes.
Roberto cracks a painkiller and vaguely remembers last night.
Mary is on her way for a hair extension and some new clothes.
Moses hates town-council meetings and anti-corruption investigations.
Heinz buys some souvenirs from a beach-boy and asks where tonight’s action will be.
Grace had a shower from a leaking bucket and sprays on some cheap perfume.
Roberto chats to other Italian tourists and watches the Kenyan beach-boys.
Mary feels on top of the world and feels the stares from the men.
Moses got off the hook and needs a beverage and something to cheer him up.
Heinz orders some drinks for Mary and some of her girlfriends.
Grace opens the door for Moses and leads him into the bedroom.
Roberto’s brain is making overtime while chatting ‘innocently’ to his Kenyan male friends.
Mary wispers in Heinz’s ear and puts her hand on his leg.
Moses decides it is his last visit to Grace because he wants a younger girl.
Heinz pays Mary five euro extra. Without a condom is so much nicer.
Grace walks into the club and sees an Italian looking man walking out with a boy.
Roberto ushers the boy inside his room and looks if he has been followed.
Mary returns to the club, meets Grace and points at two other male tourists.
Moses tells his wife he had a long day.
This is a fictitious day that could happen in virtually any developing country with lots of tourists. The report on sex tourism in Kenya should only be seen in a wider context and is most likely only the tip of the iceberg.
- 10-15 thousand children on the Kenyan Coast are involved in casual sex work.
- 2-3 thousand girls and boys are involved full-time in commercial sex work.
- The fundamental breakdown and corruption of local families and communities results in an acceptance of sexual exploitation of children.
- 38% of the clients are from Kenya, 18% from Italy, 14% from Germany and 12% from Switzerland.
( First update: 10/06/2010)
On the 9th of June 2010, the South African Tourism and hospitality industry signed the 'Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct', which protects children from being (sexually) exploited within its tourism. The hope is that this code of conduct will also be effective long after the World Cup games have left the country.
Laws on child sex abuse have been tightened before the games have started, an initiative that was welcomed by UNICEF.
So far 1000 companies in 35 coutries have signed the Code. To read the full news article click here.