Despite global outrage about the phenomenon of webcam child sex tourism, perpetrators still have their way unpunished.
Building on the successful approach with the virtual girl Sweetie, Terre des Hommes, supported by international specialists, is developing a new advanced method to solve the problem of worldwide webcam child sex structurally.
The Daily Mirror went to Africa to find how this teenager and another Briton were driven to take their own lives by criminals in the Ivory Coast. In a generation generally well educated in sexual health and safety, this kind of activity can be seen as “safe sex”.
We found police there struggling to cope with the rackets operating via a network of scammers, internet cafes and Western Union cash transfers. But sextortion cases have trebled in a year and only 30% of victims ever tell anyone because of shame, embarrassment and self-blame.
Some British victims of African gangs have committed suicide, a Mirror investigation reveals today.
Police said: “We just see the tip of the iceberg.” At least four victims have killed themselves after webcam blackmailers tricked them into performing online sex acts.
Now that fake girl could help authorities identify very real child predators.
"Sweetie" is the creation of Dutch children's rights organization Terre des Hommes.
Judicial cooperation between China and Korea is needed to resolve the issue but the rehabilitation of victims should be the focus of the cooperation...
For North Koreans, the promise of defection can be a lifeline — an escape from the notoriously authoritarian and reclusive hermit state.
Organised gangs specialise in smuggling those desperate to leave across the border.
"As soon as I go online, they come to me," Sweetie says in a short video documentary about Terre des Homme's campaign against Webcam child sex tourism. While the fake girl chatted with the real men, the activists tracked the potential criminals down not by hacking their computers, but by using information they volunteered -- Facebook and other social-media profiles, Skype handles, phone numbers, pictures, and video footage.
For the "Becoming Sweetie" project (PDF of detailed report), Terre de Homme paired with Avaaz.org, an activist group that campaigns on international issues from corruption to poverty to climate change.