Sex tourism is always a controversial topic and raises a lot of discussion about the issue. Recently, a number of British lawmakers were accused of using parliamentary trips abroad as an opportunity for the covert use of sex workers and wild parties, according to POLITICO.  

As the website reported this week, several government officials and lawmakers in the UK and overseas are hearing claims of drunken, lewd, and sexual misconduct by certain Members of Parliament (MPs) and their peers on such trips.

Many MPs claimed that while some colleagues were quietly pursuing a genuine and valid interest in relations with these countries, others treated the trips as “a jolly” for essentially recreational purposes.

POLITICO also reported that some MPs had taken part in parties organized by diplomatic representatives, to which the organizers “invite” young men and women for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities. 

“Certain MPs were often proactive in asking foreign governments for a full, expenses-paid trip overseas, the same local officials said, sometimes going as far as floating their preferences for champagne and large meals,” POLITICO reported.

Sex Tourism In Southeast Asia

Florian Wehde

A member of the House of Lords asked hosts for directions to a brothel when he traveled to Southeast Asia. He was on a visit with an all-party parliamentary group (APPG), according to another MP. APPGs are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament, running by and for Members of the Commons and Lords.

Another Tory MP and former minister used to stay on after the MPs’ delegation had returned home in order to pursue his “interest in [local] women,” two former colleagues said.

“He showed an interest in pretty young girls,” said one. “He routinely stayed on after these visits and linked up with young women in the place in question.”

A senior Labour MP displayed a fondness for “Russian girls” during trips overseas, according to a foreign diplomat, who said local officials felt powerless to intervene because they worried about preserving their influence in Westminster.

Largely unregulated

APPGs are subject to less stringent rules than the House of Commons’ better-known select committees but are still able to use parliamentary premises for their meetings. These groups’ focus on foreign countries means they tend to make regular trips abroad, funded by overseas governments or private companies and often on parliamentary time.

UK Government allows APPGs to use parliamentary premises for meetings and a special portcullis logo. However, they are not official parliamentary bodies and are largely unregulated. Unlike select committees, there is no formal system for deciding their membership and they usually do not have dedicated staff unless provided by an external body such as a private company or a charity.

MPs do not receive any salary for attending APPGs. Trips undertaken by MPs as part of their APPG activities must be declared in the register of interests. However, the trips are not subject to any formal reporting process.

Sex tourism has become a widely popular industry over the past decades. This activity has skyrocketed in countries throughout Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. Many cities and holiday spots are becoming attractive sex tourism destinations. Recently, Travel Noire reported stories about the increase of sex tourism in the Gambia and Jamaica.