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Artur Correia, executive secretary of the CCS in Praia, is reluctant to ring alarm bells about the extent to which sexual tourism is becoming big business in Cape Verde, but he is worried. Cape Verdians involved in the sex trade tend to be more discreet about their line of work than foreigners. Become a member of The New Humanitarian today. It is around midnight and the main tourist drag in the pretty beachside town of Santa Maria, on the island of Sal is starting to fill up for a long night of partying.
But making a living is often harder than they expected, and some turn to prostitution to make ends meet. Making ends meet Cape Verde legislation does not penalise prostitution, and the s of sex workers operating covertly and overtly in Sal indicates there is a demand for their services.
the discussion. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in We deliver quality, reliable journalism about crises and big issues impacting the world today. Get the latest humanitarian news, direct to your inbox up to receive our original, on-the-ground coverage that informs policymakers, practitioners, donors, and others who want to make the world more humane.
Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Our readers trust us to hold power in the multi-billion-dollar aid sector able and to amplify the voices of those impacted by crises. Earlier this year, the brutal stoning to death of two female Italian tourists - a third survived by feigning death - shocked these peaceful islands.
Cape verde regions
Out on the terrace, a group of Italian men drink and chat with local women. But, as people from here all know each other, Cape Verdian prostitutes are usually much more hidden about what they do.
Once a quiet town, Santa Maria is now at the heart of a tourism boom, which is fuelling the economies of this tiny archipelago and of Cape Verde as a whole. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more. In one of the bars that line the cobbled street a young woman in a miniskirt dances alone to blaring music while men watch her from their barstools.
Become a member of The New Humanitarian Support our journalism and become more involved in our community.
Your contribution means we can continue delivering award-winning journalism about crises. While there is no official data on sex tourism, there is also no shortage of anecdotal evidence that it is happening, and officials and residents agree it could grow if left unchecked.
In some cases, tourists had asked children to find them under-age girls for sex. The local press hinted at a love affair gone horribly awry and a botched cocaine deal but, whatever the motive, the murders put the spotlight on the phenomenon of rich foreigners having sexual relationships with impoverished locals.
Although she does not say so, Carla, the young woman in the miniskirt, is a sex worker looking for clients and has spent the last few hours going between Santa Maria's numerous bars and discos. We keep our journalism free — no paywalls — thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world.
Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides ability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide. The murderers were three local young men, one of them the former boyfriend of one of the slain tourists.
Help make quality journalism about crises possible The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in Related stories. Carla, 29, and a mother of three, from Sao Vicente Island, initially says she works in a restaurant, but after a few beers sipped through a straw she becomes more candid: "Business has got better for us Cape Verdian girls because the police got rid of all the Nigerian and Senegalese girls recently; there's less competition now.
Sal now attractsholidaymakers annually, but this growth has brought concerns that Cape Verde is also becoming a destination for sex tourists.
As another charter plane lands in Sal's international airport and the tourists queue up at immigration, worries about the potentially negative impact of the tourism industry are the last thing on the minds of holidaymakers. up.