MOSCOW, July 17 (RIA Novosti) - Widespread sexual abuse and domestic violence on the British island of St. Helena reported by The Lucy Faithfull Foundation in September 2013 may have been covered up by UK authorities, the Daily Mail reports.
In September 2013, The Lucy Faithfull Foundation published a four-page summary of an 83-page report, commissioned by the Department for International Development (DFID), detailing the widespread sexual abuse of teenage girls, the inability of the local police to handle the situation, and extremely poor provisions for disabled children on St. Helena. The foundation also reported that “sexual violence and brutality were endemic”.
The full report, published in May 2013, may have been kept quiet by the UK authorities due to fears that the information could derail British plans to turn St. Helena into a tourist destination and make it self-sustainable, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday citing "critics."
According to the Daily Mail, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) may now face accusations of a cover-up.
St. Helena lacks natural resources and its economy is wholly dependent on UK government subsidies of 20 million pounds per year.
The UK government has made investments of 250 million pounds into building an airport on the island, due to open in 2016, which should help promote the island as a resort. Currently, St. Helena can only be accessed via a five-day ship journey from Cape Town or a two-day boat trip from Ascension Island.
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation expressed concern that these measures may not resolve the problems, but simply turn the area into a sex tourism destination, with ongoing abuse.
Five months after the publication of the Lucy Faithfull Report, the FCO sent Northumbria Police to investigate police practices on St. Helena. While the police made a number of findings on their visit, they have never been made public.