A new video documentary produced for the Terre des Hommes Sweetie Project and released recently, gives an insight into undercover operations which locate, infiltrate and disrupt child webcam sex activities in the Philippines.
12 children rescued
One such operation led to a police action on a “cybersex den” in Iligan, in the south of the Philippines, in October 2015, during which 12 children were rescued, 5 people were arrested and several computers confiscated. It still is the largest rescue operation of its type carried out in the Philippines to date.
Computerfiles of 'customers' from all over the world
The computers contain information about hundreds of "customers" of this so-called "cybersex den" from countries such as the US, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, France, Italy and Germany. In July the Philippine police finally obtained permission from the court to investigate the computers, which means that the information on these individuals from all over the world who have been involved in sexually abusing these children, is now available to law enforcement in their respective countries.
Focus on demand side
The film gives the background to, as well as the execution of, the rescue operation and calls upon authorities to no longer restrict investigations to the victims and their pimps but to include the “customers” who are responsible for driving the ever- increasing child webcam sex trade. For as long as there is demand there will be "supply".
‘Sweetie 2.0: stop webcam child sex’
The latest development in which the "customer files" are made available to law enforcers to allow international prosecution is a significant move towards taking on the demand side of this crime against children. With its ‘Sweetie 2.0: stop webcam child sex’ campaign, Terre des Hommes already focusses on the demand side. In a joint action with national and international specialists, Terre des Hommes is working on an innovative software system that can be implemented worldwide to combat webcam sex with children. This software is aimed at identifying and deterring millions of potential offenders. The system will be entirely aligned with national and international frameworks for investigation and prosecution. At the same time, we carry out extensive research into the impact of this preventive approach. The project is supported by the National Postalcode Lottery.
Watch a short version of the documentary here: