An article in DW (Deutsche Welle, a German international broadcaster) details the “booming cybersex industry” in the Philippines and includes a video report from there on the work of one foundation (PREDA) trying to help child victims of it.
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BBC reporter Angus Crawford, who travelled to the Philippines 2 years ago when the “Sweetie” story first hit the headlines in 2013, reflects on the facts surrounding the recent arrest of a British man, Trevor Monk. Monk first used live streaming from his home in the UK to pay children in the Philippines for webcam sex and then later travelled there himself to abuse children thus establishing a link between “watching” abusive images and actually committing the crime in person.
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An article in The Guardian online states that although tracking payments with the help of Visa and Paypal has helped catch paedophiles on the internet, many are now turning to “anonymous technologies” such as Bitcoin and the dark net to continue abusing children. The report calls on financial institutions to do more. .
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As worldwide attention on online sexual exploitation of children snowballs, the Sweetie campaign in the Philippines also intensifies. In 2013, Terre des Hommes Netherlands unveiled Sweetie, a virtual 10-year-old Filipina girl with a very distinct task of identifying pedophiles around the globe in selected public chatroom.
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The Dutch police need greater powers when investigating paedophiles according to Hans Guijt, head of special projects at Terre des Hommes. The appeal is prompted by the closing down of a global child pornography network which resulted in an Australian and a Dutch national being sentenced.
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Terre des Hommes once again won an award for Sweetie. The computer-generated 10-year-old girl received an Accenture Innovation Award, which is annually presented to companies and organisations that perform outstandingly in the area of innovation and sustainability. Sweetie took home the award in the Safe & Secure Society category.
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Following convictions of online child sex predators in Great Britain, Denmark, Belgium, Poland and Australia, a Dutch child sex abuser has been arrested for the first time thanks to Sweetie.
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The innovative projects via which Terre des Hommes highlights child exploitation can still count on interest from abroad. On 7 October, a delegation from Terre des Hommes gave a presentation to the Italian parliament on Sweetie and the VR Experience.
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The Terre des Hommes Sweetie project has won the 'Transparant Prijs' in the category 'Flagship project with the most impact’. The award corresponds to a cash amount of € 25.000.
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A second online child abuser is convicted thanks to the ‘Sweetie’ 2013 campaign. It is the sixth conviction wordwide. The man is sentenced to prison for 28 months. He will appeal against the sentence.
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In England too, a child abuser has been convicted as a result of the 'Sweetie' campaign in 2013. The man worked as a primary school teacher and his online child abuse was discovered while he was chatting with the virtual girl that helped Terre des Hommes detect a thousand perpetrators of webcam child sex. The man, who is placed under surveillance, gets two-year suspended prison sentence as well as a mandatory treatment for online child abusers.
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Again, a child abuser has been convicted in Denmark as a result of the 'Sweetie' campaign in 2013. The man, a former policeman, was caught because he was chatting with the virtual girl that helped Terre des Hommes detect a thousand perpetrators of webcam child sex. He was sentenced to sixty days in prison.
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