Child sex abuse and Guyana’s tourism industry

Now that the UNICEF study has openly said what has been widely known for some time but which appears to have been simply swept under the carpet by officials in the offending territories, the question arises as to how we respond to this deeply worrying revelation.

Historically, Caribbean people have sought to set themselves apart from such abhorrent sexual practices as child sex abuse, which were generally held to belong to the more ‘liberal’ metropolitan behavioural cultures. As Caribbean people, we were weaned on adult/child relationships – particularly at the community level – that assigned to every adult the responsibility to keep every child safe and in cases where adults dared to deviate from that norm the social consequences tended to be as harsh as the legal ones.

Revelations like those contained in the UNICEF study help to contribute to a painful unravelling of the notion that child abuse is not a Caribbean problem. Indeed, what the UNICEF study tells us is that the Caribbean is no different to anywhere else; the problem of child abuse in parts of the region’s tourist industry is an organized business phenomenon driven, on the one hand, by men and women who have no moral difficulty with exploiting weak and invariably poverty-stricken children for profit and, on the other, by twisted ‘tourists’ whose visits to the region are designed to, among other things, sate their depraved desires.

The UNICEF study is a grim warning for countries like Guyana, which, while correctly seeking to expand market share in the tourism are compelled to be mindful of the fact that a greater influx of visitors could bring with it certain kinds of dangers which, while putting money into the pockets of people who think nothing about emulating here the child sex abuse practices in other Caribbean territories, will only serve to further deform our own society which is already struggling with its own extant and probably worsening child sex abuse practices.

The solution, of course, does not lie in using the UNICEF study as justification for suppressing visitor arrivals. Now that we have been duly alerted to the problem of child sex abuse in the tourist industry elsewhere in the region the various stakeholder agencies – the Ministries of  Home Affairs, Human Services and Tourism; the Guyana Tourism Authority; the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana and the various hoteliers, tour operators and resort owners, among others – must move immediately, through legislative and other means that include strict monitoring of practices in the industry, to ensure, simultaneously, the growth and development of the sector, on the one hand, and, on the other, the protection of our children – particularly the vast numbers of poor and vulnerable ones – from the very real possibility that more than a few twisted souls may find their way here.

Comments  

Manufacturing sector at standstill – Ramsay Ali

The unchanging dilemma of an uncompetitive   local manufacturing sector continues to be manifested in the persistence of high electricity costs coupled with a notoriously unreliable power supply system and high costs of imported raw material inputs, among other things, Former President of the Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) Ramsay Ali who is also Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Products Ltd.

Sterling Products seeking 10,000 acres for coconut cultivation

With the global coconut industry now offering numerous potentially lucrative opportunities to the manufacturing and agro-processing sectors, the local company, Sterling Products Ltd is signalling its intention to utilize the sector to enhance its own expansion and diversification programmes.

Backing away from a garbage crisis

It had always appeared to be the case that the assurance given the citizenry by Town Clerk Royston King in a statement last week that following the withdrawal of services by City Hall’s substantive service providers, Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers, the City was putting in place contingency measures to manage, in an environmental friendly manner, the city’s waste disposal, was little more than just another example of the municipality getting ahead of itself.

China Railway gets major T&T road project

(Trinidad Guardian) China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has been awarded a $221.7 million contract by the National infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) to build the controversial Curepe Interchange, the state company’s chairman Herbert George has confirmed.

Kitco Market Data

Gold Prices for the three-day period ending Thursday August 17, 2017           Kitco is a Canadian company that buys and sells precious metals such as gold, copper and silver.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×