10-year-old ‘Sweetie’ targets online child predators

By Hajar Lakhouili
Correspondent

(AP Photo) ‘Sweetie’ targets participants in webcam child sex tourism.

With significant numbers in the amount of child predators, Terres Des Hommes, a Dutch children’s rights organization, created “Sweetie,” a computer-generated 10-year-old child who targets online sexual predators, according to CNN.

The simulation goes by the name of  Sweetie, a girl from the Philippines. The men who visit her ask her to take off her clothes, among other sexual requests, while they pleasure themselves.

“As soon as I go online they come to me. Ten, 100, every hour. So many. But what they don’t know: I’m not real,” reported a video created by the organization.

Sweetie is a computer model, made piece by piece to track down men who partake in these actions, according to the video.

There are 750,000 child predators on the Internet at any time, according to the United Nations and the FBI, reported by CNET. Of those, it was documented that there have only been six men who have been charged with “Webcam Child Sex Tourism.”

Men from wealthy Western countries contact children from poor countries, such as the Philippines, for online sex showings, CNET stated. The men will pay the children with untraceable pre-paid credit cards, anywhere from $10 to $20.

During the 10 weeks of the sting operation, Sweetie was contacted by approximately 20,000 men. Hans Guyt, a researcher at Terre des Hommes, stated that they were taken aback by the scale of the problem, the Euronews detailed.

According to Euronews, the men use false names and locations, but through the investigative research done by Terre des Hommes, they were able to catch 1,000 predators. They gave their addresses, phone numbers and photos to Interpol, an intergovernmental organization that acts as the international police cooperation. These men were mainly focused in the United States, the United Kingdom and India.

Terres des Hommes partnered with Avaaz.org, an activist group that takes on international issues through the use of petition. So far, the petition from Terres des Hommes asking police and child protection authorities to take actions against these webcam predators has over 235,700 signatures from around the globe, according to Avaaz.