July 12, 2017

Drought in Kenya drives girls as young as 12 to have sex for money

Written by Kate Lyons

This article originally appeared on The Guardian.

Families in desperate need of food are sending their daughters into prostitution to survive, according to an International Rescue Committee report

Girls as young as 12 are being forced into having sex for money to feed their families in drought-hit parts of Kenya.

Families in rural areas of Turkana, one of the regions hardest hit by late rains, are sending their daughters to urban centres to make money. Many are forced to sell their bodies, earning as little as 50 Kenyan shillings (37p) for sex, according to a report published by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) on Wednesday.

In early June, the IRC visited the red-light districts and areas where sex workers solicit in the town of Lodwar. In one night, case workers found 320 girls aged between 12 and 17 whom they believed were involved in transactional sex. Invited to a drop-in centre, 88 of the girls visited in the following days and confirmed that they had been driven to prostitution as a direct result of the drought and lack of food.

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