Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Kenyan men trafficked as sex slaves to Gulf states

By Paul Canning

A Kenyan gay magazine has exposed male sex trafficking between Kenya and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Identity magazine says that gay and bisexual Kenyans are being lured from universities with promises of jobs only to end up as sex slaves.

The prestigious Kenyatta University is being particularly targeted, the magazine found. The men are often desperate as Kenya suffers from high unemployment.

Men are offered jobs as air stewards or in offices and help with visas and passports. Officials are bribed to facilitate travel.

They spoke to one victim promised a job in Qatar but who ended up suffering humiliating and violent sadistic sexual abuse. He managed to escape but told the magazine that he had traveled to the Gulf state with five others and they were then separated at the airport.

Qatar has no anti-trafficking legislation and is on a U.S. Department of State watch list for showing no evidence of overall progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders and identifying victims of trafficking.

Kenya does have anti-trafficking legislation, as of last year, but because homosexuality is illegal in both the Arab states as well as Kenya the men are unable to report abuse to police.

In July two men were reported to have been arrested for gay sex in Nairobi. In May the Kenya Human Rights Commission accused the police of sexually assaulting gay men in their custody.

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