Stop Webcam Child Sex Tourism

I first heard about “Webcam Child Sex Tourism” in my Peace & Justice Anthropology class last semester and had completely forgotten about it until I decided to clean out my internet bookmarks. This industry is spreading like an epidemic. This form of sex tourism involves rich men from around the world paying your girls and children to undress and perform sexual acts in front of a webcam. These crimes are occurring tens of thousands of times a day, but this organization based out of the Netherlands is fighting this child exploitation with technology. These men don’t have to travel to brothels or hotels to abuse these children; nothing is stopping them. So, this company developed a computer model named “Sweetie” who looks and moves like a real girl. While Sweetie chats with the men, they find these men online. In the first two months they identified the first 1000 predators. They can be stopped.

These children suffer from depression, anxiety, aggression, have no idea what a normal relationship is, and have no idea what sexuality is at their young ages. These poor children are being stripped of their childhood and stripped of their sanity for the sake of these rich men who sit in their luxurious homes and jerk off while instructing a 5 year old girl touch herself. It’s repulsive. They virtually rape these girls and then shut their MacBooks and return to work as if nothing happened.

This company in the Netherlands is a huge step for child pornography and child sex tourism. We have talked in class a lot about silence and speaking out about abuse, but these children are incapable of doing so. They don’t realize that what is being done to them is wrong, nor would they know who to contact if they did. These children are living in such poor conditions that their parents are likely the ones who got them into this business in order to provide for the family. Children should not have to deal with situations like these, not overseas and not in the United States. I think using technology to fight this technology driven sex tourism is genius, and I think that more people should be informed about this growing industry that lurks beneath our society.

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