UNICEF: Kenya Child Rapes on Rise

AP, January 26, 2008

Kenya has seen a rise in child rapes since last month’s disputed presidential election sparked violence and forced thousands into makeshift camps, the United Nations children’s fund said Friday.

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Many of the estimated 255,000 people forced from their homes since the Dec. 27 vote have gathered close to schools and police stations in the hope that these will offer a measure of protection.

Preliminary reports collected by three U.N. agencies in Kenya indicate that girls and women in the informal camps are forced to “trade sex for biscuits, protection, transportation, or are raped while trying to get to a latrine during the night,” UNICEF said.

One Kenyan non-governmental organization, the Mombasa-based Gender Violence Recovery Center, has reported that cases of sexual violence have doubled since the elections, according to UNICEF, which is seeking $3 million to help protect the children.

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