Very disturbing news coming from Kenya. The East African nation's new LGBT magazine Identity reports that college students and unemployed men have been forced into sex trafficking. Young men are reportedly being lured to Gulf states with the promise of high-paying jobs ... but ultimately become sex slaves.
Jordan-based Al Bawaba reports:
The report alleges that gay and bisexual men are lured from university campuses – particularly from Kenyatta University – with promises of high-paying jobs and then transported to labor as sex workers for men in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
According to the magazine, due to Kenya’s soaring unemployment rate, the men are easily fooled into this trap. The publication interviewed one Kenyan victim who was promised a job in Qatar but ended up suffering sexual abuse.
Qatar specifically, has no laws against human trafficking, which has made cracking down on the practice nearly impossible. “Qatar is a transit and destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution,” the US State Department stated in a recent report.
The expose is on page 33 of the December issue of Identity. It's an excellent magazine on LGBT issues and includes several reports on the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.. Read a PDF HERE.
Kenya's government is considered moderate on gay rights. They were the first African nation to include gay and bisexual men in their national HIV strategy. Two pro-LGBT justices were confirmed to the Supreme Court in June.
But there has been a backlash against calls to decriminalize homosexuality in the East African nation, such as one cabinet minister's proposal to scrap the nation's sodomy laws. Last November, Prime Minister Raila Odinga called for the mass arrests of gays at a political rally but later retracted his statements.
Some Background ...
KENYA: Pro-LGBT Justices Confirmed
Controversy in Kenya After Pro LGBT Nominees
Kenyan Prime Minister: "All Gays Should Be Arrested"
KENYA: Questions Surround Mandatory HIV Testing
AIDS 2010: Joel Nana on African Gay/Bi Men, HIV
WATCH: CNN Surveys Gay Rights in SA, Kenya, Cuba
Kenyan Gays Demand Protection After Brutal Assault
Kenya: "Things are Changing in Favor of Gays"