From all over the world, men send her private messages: “ This is webcam child sex tourism, and it’s one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the world.Young, impoverished children in developing nations are sent into chat rooms where wealthy Western men lie in wait, willing and able to pay money to watch them be sexually abused. “Sweetie” (full name: Sweetie_1000) is a virtual construct, a computer-generated 3D image being controlled by a group of activists and researchers in an Amsterdam industrial warehouse.“The findings of our research suggest that the risk perception among predators seeking [webcam child sex tourism] is incredibly low,” the researchers stated in their report.“Predators seem to believe that online chat rooms are lawless spaces on which they can abuse children with impunity.” The transcripts provided by Terre des Hommes are tough reading.
But the researchers said the 1,000 people whose identities were uncovered and turned over to authorities represent only a fraction of those who attempted to solicit “Sweetie” for sex acts on video.
The biggest problem is that the police don’t take action until child victims file reports, but children almost never report these crimes.” Guyt explained, “These children are usually forced to do this by adults or by extreme poverty.
Sometimes they have to testify against their own family, which is almost an impossible thing to do for a child.” Guyt says he hopes Terre des Hommes’ work with “Sweetie” will serve as a model for law enforcement agencies worldwide to begin dealing with the problem of webcam child sex tourism.
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