What's the Latest Development?
The Dutch rights group Terre des Hommes Netherlands announced today (Nov. 4) that they have turned over to authorities the identities of over 1,000 people worldwide who offered payment in return for online sex from "Sweetie," a computer-generated 10-year-old Filipina girl. They were able to obtain identifying information by collecting it from social media while the people were online chatting with the "girl." The ones that were caught represented only a fraction of the more than 20,000 people who propositioned Sweetie over a 10-week period.
What's the Big Idea?
Terre des Hommes Netherlands say they created Sweetie to highlight the increase in webcam child sex tourism, a form of exploitation that they say has resulted in tens of thousands of victims in the Philippines alone. Campaigns head Hans Guyt believes police around the world should be patrolling chat rooms where predators seek out victims: "The biggest problem is that the police don't take action until child victims file reports, but children almost never report these crimes. The child predators doing this now feel that the law doesn't apply to them." The group reports that, to date, only six people have ever been convicted of webcam child sex tourism.
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