Friday, June 19, 2009


In the week that the Swazi Government was put on notice that it would face sanctions unless it clamped down on child sex trafficking in Swaziland here’s news that children face sexual abuse from their uncles.

A meeting to mark the Day of the African Child at Makhosini High School on Monday (15 June 2009) was told that children ‘had nowhere to run to because the people bestowed with their trust, had betrayed them. They said most of their uncles had turned rapists instead of heroes, and they did not get the love they deserved.’

The Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent newspaper, said that according to the children, their uncles took full advantage of their situation and subjected them to sexual abuse. Children at the meeting also said schoolteachers who used them as sex toys.

On Wednesday (17 June 2009), I reported that the US State Department had put Swaziland on notice of sanctions because it did not take seriously the problem of women and children who are sold for sex.

The problem of uncles who rape is only the tip of an iceberg when it comes to child sexual abuse in Swaziland.

As I reported in March 2009, Swazi men believe it is all right to rape children if their wives withhold sex from them. In Swaziland it is estimated that one in three girls suffer sexual abuse, but it is thought that fewer than half of sexual assaults and other abusive crimes are reported to the authorities.

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