Child Prostitution in Mombasa.

I find stories like this, about the child sex trade in Kenya, to be completely appalling. To me there isn’t much that is lower than abuse of children for sexual purposes.  (Sermon over!) I sure hope that the new Obama administration makes an issue out of this kind of thing.

I hadn’t a clue about the city’s thriving sex business until I noticed dozens of women and several girls and boys, no older than age 10, dressed for sale on the narrow road heading north from the city. Go-go bars and clubs frequented by sex workers form a patchwork of poverty along the road that is highly trafficked by European sun-seekers. According to my Kenyan friends, they’re seeking more than sun. When I inquired about the phenomenon, everyone told me that tightened restrictions in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia had pushed the trade to Mombasa, where dozens of weekly flights from Europe fuel its existence.

But I suspect there’s more to it. This situation is just the latest example of malfeasance and human rights misery that follows the weakest governments. Child sex tourism in Mombasa is the direct result of lax local laws and corrupt public officials, including police. The police tried on five occasions to take my driver’s license and hold it for a bribe; one can only imagine how they engage in the finances of sex work and childhood sex slavery. While the core of the problem is poverty, it’s clear that poor governance plays an enormous role in it.

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