Three Irishmen are among 1,000 adults identified in an international online sex crimes investigation involving young children.
The investigation by children’s rights organisation Terre des Hommes Netherlands, identified more than 1,000 adults willing to pay children in developing countries to perform sex acts in front of a webcam.
With the help of a virtual 10-year-old Filipino girl named Sweetie, the researchers identified adults from more than 65 countries in less than two and a half months. The video footage of the child predators has been handed over to Interpol, which is expected to contact the gardaí.
Terres des Hommes said its work showed “how unrestrained child predators can act but also to show how easy it is to track them”.
The researchers operated in public chat rooms from a remote building in Amsterdam. In a short period, more than 20,000 adults from around the world approached the virtual girl, asking for webcam sex performances. While the adults interacted with the virtual girl, the researchers gathered information about them through social media to uncover their identities.
Terre des Hommes has created an online petition to pressure governments to adopt proactive investigation policies. It can be signed through Avaaz,org or via youtube.com/sweetie
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