We are appalled by the news that some holiday-makers who travel to Kenya from abroad are sexually abusing children in Kenya. In tourist destinations worldwide including Kenya, children are routinely subjected to horrific sexual abuse, violence and degradation at the hands of unscrupulous traffickers and offenders from many different countries, including the UK.
While the UK Government’s aspiration to fight child sexual exploitation and abuse abroad is commendable,1 we are concerned that progress will not be achieved without an in-country, dedicated UK crime specialist to collaborate and share information with the Kenyan police at the earliest stage to ensure effective and efficient investigations.
To help address this issue, collaborative investigations of transnational child abuse cases involving foreigners as well as UK nationals in Kenya must be initiated at an earlier stage. To do this, the British High Commission (Embassy) in Kenya must host a permanent specialist officer, who will receive reports of abuse of Kenyan children and coordinate investigations into such cases with the Kenyan police.
The presence of a permanent specialist officer in Kenya will help ensure effective and efficient investigations for such cases dealt with quickly and decisively.