Friday, July 18, 2014

UK: British Territory, St. Helena, Popular for All the Wrong Reasons

According to the UK-based Daily Mail, St. Helena island, a British protectorate, and one of the most remote islands on Earth, has in recent years become notable for all the wrong reasons: Sexual abuse.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation found puberty was widely regarded as a defining "marker" for young girls’ availability, rather than the age of consent on the British-owned island. 

The Daily Mail revealed this week how a shocking report which was never made public by the British government found St Helena was rife with child sexual abuse, domestic violence and sexual exploitation.

For instance, a report by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation revealed that in the British territory of St Helena, a society prevails that is generally tolerant of sexual assault.

COMMENT: It seems very reasonable that given St. Helena's isolation from the world, that the British government should seriously look for a community of similar demographics that might consider relocating the island's small population to a community that they could be assimilated into and afford young girls and women enhanced protection from sexual abuse.

With Saint Helena's population on the decline, it seems highly inappropriate that building a £250 million airport at a cost of US$427.9 million would hardly solve the island's problems, other than to attract more pedophiles to the island's shores, which it hardly needs.
  
THE DAILY MAIL of late has revealed a startling report into child sexual abuse on the British overseas territory, which is home to only 3,800 people.

The British daily has revealed that a "casual form of prostitution" has emerged whereby women and teenage girls are routinely traded for food and consumer goods. 

Meanwhile, both the Salvation Army and the Human Rights Office told them that domestic violence was endemic on the island.

Commissioned by DFID [Department for International Development], two experts at the charity interviewed more than 50 St Helena residents including police officers, diplomats, school children, social workers and hospital staff.

They also investigated Ascension Island, home to a Royal Air Force (RAF) station and 900 residents, a two-day boat ride from St Helena. The report found evidence of the "grooming of children for sex exploitation" particularly on Ascension Island’s bars, where alcohol is used as a disabling narcotic.

It found young, male workers from the RAF base routinely preyed on young girls. 

The charity made 28 recommendations, including the removal of trial by jury for sexual offenses on St Helena, claiming locals are appeared extremely reluctant to convict alleged perpetrators of sexual abuses unless the perpetrator himself is hated by the community.

It also called for urgent improvements to residential facilities for children and adults with disabilities to head off a public scandal.

The buildings where children with physical and learning difficulties were housed were run down and extremely depressing, while staff were forced to use their own wages to buy sufficient food for residents.

Hazel Wilmot, owner of the Consulate Hotel in Jamestown, St Helena, who moved to the island in 2008 from Botswana, said that the island had taken great strides to clamp down on sexual offenders in recent months.

Sexual abuse became part and parcel of island culture. There was a sense that ‘we know we have a problem, but why don’t the expats go home and leave us to our island ways.

We are strengthening our police, we are strengthening our investigations, our laws, our child protection. The island is changing quickly and for the better.

The British government seemingly unwisely has plans to build a  £250 million airport on the island that will be finished in 2016, yet such a project would bizarrely attract pedophiles if it became known just how vulnerable young girls and women are to sexual exploitation.   

The airport, which opens in 2016, will end centuries of isolation for the island, which is a five-day boat ride from Cape Town.

More than 90% of public expenditures on St Helena is funded by British taxpayers.

One of the most remote islands in the world, the island has few natural resources and no sustainable economy.

The South Atlantic island, 1,200 miles from the African coast, was uninhabited until it was discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, and for centuries was only used as a stopover for ships, due to its extreme isolation.

Survival on the volcanic island has always been a struggle for its settlers and it now suffers from a steadily declining population as more people leave the island to search for employment.

At the end of 2012, the population was 3,800, down from 4,200 in 2008.

French emperor, Napoleon, was famously exiled on St. Helena in 1815 by the British and died in a prison on the island.