The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has expressed concern over increase in sex tourism and child prostitution in the coastal region.
The KFCB Coast Regional Manager, Boniventure Kioko said commercial sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism was rampant in the coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi.
Kioko said cases of tourists sexually abusing children is on the rise, and called for concerted efforts to prevent and combat child sexual exploitation in the tourism sector.
He announced a major crackdown on child sex tourism, involving KFCB, the police and the children department, through County Area Advisory Councils (CAAC). “We must work together to stop child sex tourism and pornography,” he said.
The KFCB official said the recently activated CAAC will have an important role in preventing and stopping child abuse, and providing treatment and support for abused children.
Kioko cited the recent case of Keith Morris, 72 who has been convicted by a British court for sexually abusing children in Kilifi.
Keith was tried following an investigation by United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Kenyan authorities
The British pensioner was convicted of nine counts of child abuse in the Kilifi child sex case.
Kioko said parents must be vigilant against foreigners preying on vulnerable children under the pretext of helping them out of destitution.
“Parents tend to think of the foreigners as nice people who adopt their children, who look after them but some of them are pedophiles” he said.
He said hotels, villas and apartments dotting the coastline must join the fight against child sex tourism.
“Hotel managements must keep an eye on paedophiles and those found helping tourists abuse children, must face the full force of the law,” he said.
By Hussein Abdullahi