Webcamsex with children
The two men are suspected of webcam sex with children, a relatively new phenomenon where children are forced to perform sexual acts for a webcam. The Dutchmen caugt the attention of the police during an international investigation into a crime group that offered live streams of sexual abuse of young children in the Philippines. The police investigated dozens payments of thousands of euros made by the Dutch to the Philippine crime group.
Demand of Western 'customers'
The 2013 Sweetie survey of Terre des Hommes already showed the extent and nature of this type of sexual abuse of children. It is estimated that in the Philippines alone tens of thousands of children are victim of this form of sexual exploitation. Poverty is the main reason why children are being exploited in the developing world via webcam. The "demand" comes mostly from Western clients.
South-East Asia child sex tourism destination
The investigation of the Public Prosecution Service revealed that these men have traveled frequently to countries in Southeast Asia and also to Gambia. Possibly the suspects have abused children in these countries. South-East Asia and Gambia are known as major destinations for child sex tourism.
Detectives and chatbots stop child abuse
It has proven to be very difficult to arrest perpetrators of child sex tourism and online child abusers. Therefore, Terre des Hommes has set up Project Watch to train detectives to identify child sex tourists and gather evidence against them. In the "Sweetie 2.0: Stop webcam child sex" project potential online child abusers are detected and deterred through a new software system. Sweetie and Project Watch project manager Hans Guyt is pleased with the arrests: "Individuals who cynically exploit the extreme poverty in developing countries and abuse vulnerable children to fulfill their own sexual pleasures, should be severely punished."
Thanks to Project Watch and Sweetie child abusers in several countries have been arrested and brought to trial. Both projects are supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.