Virtual 10-year-old Philippine Girl catches thousands of pedophiles + Video
Terre des Hommes Netherlands, a Netherlands-based children rights organization, said thousands of children had fallen victim to sexual abuse via “webcam”, also known as Webcam Child Sex Tourism (WCST).
“In Southeast Asia, Philippine children often fall victim to such crime,” said Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ program advisor for Southeast Asia, Hanneke Oudkerk, in Jakarta on Thursday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
Oudkerk said the organization carried out research using a virtual character called Sweetie that was made to appear like a 10-year-old Philippine child.
During the research, Sweetie was controlled by researchers. Within just 10 weeks, more than 20,000 predators from countries across the world had asked Sweetie to perform sexual acts for them via webcam.
When the predators interacted with the virtual little girl, researchers collected their identities via social media to, said Oudkerk.
The research reveals that predators ask children to perform sexual acts only five minutes after their conversations start.
The study further shows that Webcam Child Sex Tourism leads to not only physical violence but also post-traumatic stress.
Oudkerk said that victims often felt embarrassed and guilty about the episode and tried to suppress their feelings by drinking alcohol, consuming drugs or participating in other destructive behavior.
It is predicted that the number of child victims of webcam sexual crimes will continue to increase due to affordable Internet access. According to official FBI and United Nations data, 750,000 child predators are connected to each other via the Internet.
Australia, Canada, India, the UK and the US are countries with the highest number of men active in Webcam Child Sex Tourism. With such proof, Oudkerk said, Terre des Hommes Netherlands urged governments to be proactive in investigating such crime through a global petition that started on Nov. 4.