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India, November 22, 2013 – Daily Pioneer

A Plus II second year girl student was allegedly misbehaved by the Managing Director of a Plus II science college here.

According to Kendrapada SP Rabinarayan Behera, one Roshni (name changed), a plus II second year girl student of Pattamundai-based Ramadevi Plus II Junior college, was allegedly forced to have sex by college MD Pravas Dhal.

The victim girl, who was staying in the college hostel, lodged an FIR at Pattamundai police station on November 16 alleging that Dhal forced her to spend night at his residence with him and allegedly demanded to fulfill his

sexual desire.

He threatened to kick her away from the hostel and spoil her career, if she did not oblige. On November11 last, Dhal allegedly took some photos of the girl in his mobile and forced her to have sex

with him.

Later, the victim girl came to her house and brought the matter before her family members. The girl also lodged an FIR at Pattamundai police station against Dhal.

Behera informed that a case was registered bearing case no-356 under various Sections of IPC against Dhal and a haunt is on to nab him.

Meanwhile, victim girl’s father alleged that though they lodged an FIR at Pattamundai police station on November 16, but police failed to register the case till Tuesday.


Tanzania peacekeepers under investigation over sexual abuse in DRC

Africa, June 4, 2016 – Africa News

Tanzania is expected to launch an investigation after U.N. confirmed eleven women, including six minors who were alleged victims of sexual abuse by its peacekeepers, were impregnated.

“We can confirm that out of the 11 allegedly abused women six were minors. Seven of the alleged victims have already given birth and four women are still pregnant. They have been referred to UNICEF which has deployed a team on the ground,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.

Eleven of its troops stationed in DRC have been accused of sexual abuse and are now facing repatriation. Four of the eleven were deployed in the Central African country.

The United Nations military mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said it is investigating claims of sex abuse by members of its Tanzanian contingent.

“At this stage, on the Tanzanian brigade, pending the results of an investigation all measures will be considered in terms of how we respond including potentially the repatriation of the unit and command accountability will also be sought.”

The United Nations reported 99 allegations of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse involving U.N. staff members last year, a sharp increase from the 80 allegations in 2014. The majority, 69, involved personnel in 10 peacekeeping missions.

Kenya’s tourist coast attracts youths, sex workers

Kenya, March 9, 2017 – Afrol

afrol News / PlusNews, 9 March – With her sleeping six-month-old baby daughter under one arm, 17-year-old Alice [not her real name] explains why she moved to Mombasa from ‘up country’, and how she joined the growing ranks of young girls involved in the commercial sex trade on the Kenyan coast.

“When I was sixteen I became pregnant and my parents were very upset. They threw me out of my home and I dropped out of school, so me and my boyfriend at the time decided we would move to Mombasa to start a new life here. After three months he left me, and I had to find a way to make money. There are no jobs around here, and I had no money. I had to buy food to feed my growing baby. I just carried on from there,” she said.

Serving ideally mzungus [white] male tourists, but otherwise locals, she does not see herself as a prostitute, preferring instead to be referred to as someone who practices bangaisha – a ‘Sheng’ [Kenyan slang] word meaning ‘soliciting for business’.

According a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report, commercial sex tourism is growing rapidly on the Kenyan coast, and gaining increasing acceptance as a valid way of earning an income, spurred on by a flourishing tourism industry. According to the Kenyan Tourism Board, 1.68 million tourists visited Kenya in 2005.

The UNICEF report says that out of all the girls interviewed for its survey, 76 percent felt that commercial sex was an acceptable way of making money.

This opinion is backed up by Mathilda Katana, field coordinator for SOLWODI (Solidarity with Women in Distress), a Kenyan NGO which provides support to commercial sex workers (CSW) on the Kenyan coast. Katana operates the NGO’s branch in Mtwapa, a suburb of Mombasa, where CSWs are trained to learn new skills, are offered counselling, and the younger ones are encouraged to return to school.

“You see a lot of them around here. It is a hot spot. They walk around and show themselves off. They have decided that is how they earn their living and they don’t care,” she said.

With so many tourists on the coast, and so few other jobs available, for some there is little option other than to join the sex trade.

“There are no jobs and to get a job is very hard. We look for jobs but we can’t get any because there are so few,” said Alice.

Many other young women, however, are forced into prostitution by members of their family, according to Stella Muchiti Mulama, assistant programme manager and researcher for the Straight Talk programme. The programme runs youth-focused media events such as radio shows, monthly magazines, and a website. Its aim is to lobby decision makers, and enable youth to discuss issues affecting their lives, such as their involvement in sex work.

“Children are often coerced into prostitution by elder people […] Parents actually push their children to do sex work. It happens quite a lot. Sometimes mothers, who are also involved in sex work, bring their daughters into it too. We have had stories of mothers forcing their children to have sex with clients in order to earn their school fees,” she said.

Elizabeth Akinyi, the head of projects at the Coast Province branch of SOLWODI agrees with this view: “Parents play a big role. The children of sex workers are very much at risk. They are abused by the customers that come to see their mothers; sometimes the girls are also made to serve the men.”

There are however many other factors that bring young women and girls into the sex industry: peer pressure, financial and social circumstances, and low aspirations, added Akinyi.

“Peer pressure is also a big factor as well as a lack of basic needs. There are children who are staying in families that are very poor. There are parents who can’t even afford to give their children sanitary towels. There is also the issue of ‘this is what I want’. There was one girl who was saying to me, ‘I wanted to buy these hipster jeans, but my mother refused, so I did this [prostitution] so I could get the jeans’,” she said.

High Earnings
Although earnings in the sex trade can vary widely, potential income is much greater than if working in any other profession.

According to sex worker, Jane [not her real name], 22: “It [the income] depends on the competition, the season and where you are. It’s never specific. In the low season you end up offering yourself for 20 KES (Kenyan shillings) [US 30¢] if the tourists aren’t there. It can be 5,000 KES [US$ 70] if the tourists are there. House help is very badly paid. I used to go around and wash people’s clothes. But at the end of the day they give you 150 KES [US$ 2], which is nothing. So you have to look for other ways to pay rent and buy clothes,” she said.

It is tourism, and more importantly the tourists themselves, that bring these young girls to Mombasa. Due to the tightening of laws in places like Asia, many of the mzungu tourists who go abroad to abuse underage girls are now flocking to Kenya, where laws are seen as lax.

However, it is with these mzungu tourists that the girls can earn the most money, so they have become their preferred clients.

According to Julia, 17, from Mtwapa: “My target is always mzungus, but I do appreciate the locals too. But the mzungus are the ones with the money.”

She added that because of her age, she was at a disadvantage when it came to negotiating with mzungus, who she described as ‘very arrogant’.

“Two nights ago, I was with a mzungu man in a local bar. He was buying me drinks and we eventually agreed that I would go back to his place. We had already agreed a price, but after I had sex with him, he refused to pay me. He said that he had been buying me drinks, and that was my payment. When I challenged him, he beat me,” she said, pointing to the bruises near her left eye.

AIDS and Condoms
HIV/AIDS plays a big part in the lives of young CSWs on the coast and in Kenya more generally. The US Census Bureau projected that there are currently more than 1.8 million children living in Kenya who have been orphaned by AIDS, and at least two of the young women in this feature said they had ‘no parents’.

A lack of parental guidance and the poverty that the majority of AIDS orphans face in Kenya, forces many into becoming CSWs.

Astrid Winkler is project manager with Respect, an Austrian NGO which is a member of ECPAT International (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes). Respect is a key implementing partner of the ‘International Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism’ within Kenya.

Ms Winkler said, “Many children […] are orphans because of HIV. This often leads to them dropping out of school, and lack of education. I see it as a kind of ‘vicious circle’, starting with poverty, HIV, neglect, and ending in the sex business at the [Kenyan] coast.”

Most young sex workers are knowledgeable about AIDS. However, in many cases, their circumstances often force them to have unprotected sex, as sex tourists offer more money for sex without a condom. The UNICEF report of 2006 found that more than 35 percent of girls did not use condoms at their client’s request.

“I try to use condoms every time, but sometimes they refuse or offer much more money if we don’t. If I am offered 200 KES [US$ 3] by a mzungu for sex with a condom, or 1,000 KES [US$ 15] for sex without, then I don’t use condoms. I have to feed my baby,” said Alice, 17.

Some, more experienced, CSWs use the threat of AIDS as a defence mechanism, in order to force their male clients to use condoms.

“We use condoms as much as we can. But we don’t have any other means to survive, so if they refuse then we have to go with that. Sometimes I lie and I tell them that I have AIDS to force them to use condoms, but I don’t have AIDS. But AIDS is a big worry,” said Tia [not her real name] a 23-year-old CSW in central Mombasa.

Local Community
According to the UNICEF report, Kenyan clients represent 40 percent of the total number of clients the girls have. However, the girls are not accepted in the local community, making their lives even harder.

“People abuse you and call you names and make you feel like nothing. It has forced me to move three times in two years,” said Tia.

Others however, including Alice, regard the negative attitude of the local people as merely an occupational hazard.

“I do get in trouble [with the locals] but I don’t really care what the community think; my life is hard enough,” she said.


Sex, Partner swapping, HIV and the Maasai

Kenya, DECEMBER 24, 2008 – Afrik News

Tiampati Ole Kirgoty, 45, looks tired and can hardly support his frail body. He and his two wives are HIV positive. They are supposed to pick up their monthly prescriptions of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) at the district hospital in Narok, capital of Kenya’s Rift Valley Province, but this presents a dilemma for the Kirgotys who belong to a nomadic Maasai community.
They regularly leave their main home in the village of Olo Lungunga in Narok South District to find better grazing for a herd of cattle that is their main source of livelihood and wealth. At such times, reaching the hospital in Narok to pick up their medication is extremely difficult.

“For me what is really important is to get good grass for my animals because they are the only wealth I know,” Kirgoty said. “They [health workers] tell us to stay around here to always take medicine they give you, but my animals also need food.

“They are the future of these many sons you see here; when I die they will divide [the cattle] amongst themselves.”

Kirgoty has missed a number of visits to the hospital to get his ARVs, but one of his wives, Nampuoyi, a mother of seven children has made the monthly trek a priority, however far the family moves away in search of pasture.

“I cannot miss to go for the medicine because my small child also needs the medicine to survive,” she said. “My husband is valuing the animals more than his life. Even me, if it were not for the child, I would not go when we move far away.”

Nomadic lifestyle

HIV infection rates amongst the Maasai have reached alarming levels in recent years. The National AIDS Control Council, which coordinates Kenya’s AIDS response, estimates that 30 percent of Maasai are now living with HIV, about four times the rate among the general population.

While cultural practices such as wife sharing have made the Maasai particularly susceptible to HIV, their nomadic lifestyle has hampered the delivery of life-prolonging HIV/AIDS treatment.

Nasela Kiampai, 33, told IRIN/PlusNews that she had lost two children because her husband’s insistence that the family keep moving with their livestock had made it impossible for her to keep them on ARVs.

“We were advised by the doctor to always take the children to the hospital for care after they tested HIV positive together with me, but [my husband] insisted that we move together,” she said. “I pleaded to be left behind but he even beat me up. We just watched as the two children died one after the other.

“Just look at me, the way I am weak, but we still move very far with the animals when there are no rains like now.”

Margaret Lempaka runs the organisation Touch of Love, which uses volunteers to encourage Maasai people living with HIV in Nasok District to adhere to their ARVs.

“Through volunteers we try to reach out to them wherever they move to but it is difficult,” said Lempaka. “The women are willing to get our advice but they fear their husbands who believe that their animals are more important than human life.”

Superintendent of Narok district hospital, Dr Victor Leshore, confirmed that many patients belonging to Maasai communities took their ARV medication sporadically.

“I think we have one of the highest cases of [ARV drug] resistance because of the inconsistency of the patients to take their drugs as scheduled because of the migrations,” he said. “I think the best way to deal with it is to give these people an alternative means of livelihood which will also not be easy.”

Lempaka’s organisation has tried assisting HIV-positive Maasai women to stay in one place, particularly those with children also in need of care, by helping them generate alternative sources of income.

“We give them a small amount of capital to start businesses as an alternative to the nomadic lifestyle,” Lempaka explained. “Widows are more willing but women who are still in marriages are completely controlled by their spouses and we have not been very successful with them.”

Culture versus condoms

Attempts to promote HIV awareness and prevention among the Maasai have come up against cultural taboos and practices such as the sharing of wives and girlfriends by men of the same age-set.

Boys as young as 14 who have been circumcised are also encouraged to demonstrate their maturity and manhood by having unprotected sex with multiple partners.

“Once a man has been circumcised, they are free to engage in sex with girls,” said Mzee Nkaisery, a Maasai man. “To tell them to use a condom, which is a foreign thing, is to abuse culture which is punishable in our community.”

Jack Tande, a social worker with Friends of the Maa, a local NGO promoting HIV awareness among pastoralist communities, said it was difficult to discuss condom use amongst the Maasai because their culture prohibits discussions about sex amongst different age sets.

“We are beginning to see some change,” he said, “but there is still a long way to go, especially in the rural areas where culture is strongly guarded.”


Alleged ‘sex traders’ dispute charges

Naimbia, June 3, 2014 – Newera

WINDHOEK – Two women accused of selling minor girls for sex denied all charges against them in the Windhoek High Court before Judge President Petrus Damaseb yesterday.

Johanna Lukas – who New Era reported about extensively because of her impregnation in custody – and Gwen Nelwembe, a Zambian citizen, face various charges of trafficking in persons, rape, soliciting or enticing a minor to the commission of a sexual or an indecent or immoral act and rape on diverse occasions. Lukas faces 11 counts and Nelwembe 2 counts. It is alleged that Lukas and Nelwembe offered the minor girls up for sale to a Swakopmund resident, Marthinus Martin Pretorius, during April, May and June 2012 for sex under coercive circumstances, since the girls were exceptionally vulnerable because of their ages. Pretorius, who is a South African citizen, was at the time of the incidents employed at one of the Uranium mines at the coast. He managed to evade arrest and is believed to have fled to South Africa.

After Advocate Innocencia Nyoni read the charges one by one, Lukas – who made news after she casually whipped out her breast and fed her then one-month-old baby during her first pre-trial appearance before the Judge President – answered not guilty in Afrikaans on every charge. Her legal representative, Louis Karsten confirmed the pleas and told the Judge President that his client will not submit a plea explanation, but that her answers in the reply to the state’s pre-trial memoranda already address the issues. In the reply Lukas admitted she knew both complainants, but she denied the allegations that she ever enticed them to have sex with Pretorius for money. While she admits that she took one of the complainants to the home of Pretorius, she denies it was with the intention to coerce her into having sex with Pretorius. According to the reply she went to the house of Pretorius because he allegedly wanted to start an organisation to help the less privileged and she knew the complainant to be in need of assistance. According to Lukas she never knew that Pretorius had sexual intercourse with any of the complainants, at least not until she was arrested by the police. She further denies she took any of the complainants to the home of Pretorius on subsequent occasions.

While Lukas confirmed to New Era that a DNA sample was taken from her baby for the internal investigation lodged by the police following her mysterious impregnation, the outcome of the investigation remains unknown. Lukas, however told this reporter that the father of her baby is not a police officer, but a fellow inmate although she would not divulge his name. How the inmate managed to get into Lukas’ cell or vice versa to have sex remains a mystery for now.

Nelwembe who spoke through a Nyanja interpreter, Christopher Maswahu, also denied all the charges against her. Her state funded lawyer, Tabitha Mbome confirmed the pleas and also informed the Judge President that she will not submit a plea explanation and will not disclose the basis of her defence at this stage. She told the Judge President that she will confine herself to her reply to the state’s pre-trial memoranda. In the reply Nelwembe admitted she knew the complainant, but she denies ever enticing or asking the complainant to have sex with Pretorius in exchange for money. She also denied any knowledge of any sexual relations between the complainant in her case and Pretorius and put the onus on the state to prove any or all off the charges against her. The case continues.