Hi, I'm Sweetie

Today, I'm going to write about something sombre: Webcam Child Sex Tourism.

The internet may seem like a wonderful place with endless opportunities. We all appreciate the freedom of the internet, but freedom comes at a price. On the web, people can socialize and companies can promote (sometimes without regulations), unfortunately it also allows offenders to find it easy to hide behind the anonymity and think that they get away scot-free.

Just imagine if this conversation went on with your own child:
Sweetie (10-year old girl): “What you want see?”
User: “U.”
Sweetie: “What u pay for?”
User: “Naked.”

I know what you are thinking... I feel the same.

Here are points for food-for-thought:
“The number of predators connected to the Internet at any one time is estimated to be 750,000.”
"Only 6 predators have ever been convicted for engaging in WCST"
"There is NO existing law prohibiting WCST in Singapore (Details on pg 93)"

The work of Terre des Hommes, Netherlands: 4 researchers spent 10 weeks posing as prepubertal Filipino girls such as "Sweetie" on 19 public chat rooms. During that short period, a total of 20,172 predators from 71 countries committed crimes by soliciting the researchers, whom the predators believed to be minors, for paid webcam sex performances. Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ four researchers identified 1,000 predators through various social media and other means (without hacking) in 10 weeks.

They also compiled this 113-paged report titled "Becoming Sweetie: a novel approach to stopping the global rise of Webcam Child Sex Tourism," which they call the most comprehensive study of the WCST to date. I read everything and on page 29 you will see "Psychological effects of WCST on child victims" which is disturbing and sad.

Somewhere around the 6:00 mark of the video, we see Malaysia's offenders' count at 6, and it cuts off before we can see the stats of Singapore. However, the point here is, this is a global problem and it does not matter at all where you reside. On the one hand, it reminds me to enforce internet safety on my child, and on the other hand, I also want to do more than that and protect future children from being hurt.

I also commend the creative and innovative effort that Terre des Hommes used to nab these disgusting people.

If this video has done anything to move you, the least you can do is to go over and sign the petition at the end of the video. (I did.) If you did that, you would have done a little more and it counts.