Language document


04 Nov 2013

Type of document




Child sex tourism
Child pornography
Child abuse


Terre des Hommes The Netherlands

Webcam Child Sex Tourism: Becoming Sweetie. Terre des Hommes 2013


04 Nov 2013

This report is the most comprehensive study on Webcam Child Sex Tourism (WCST) undertaken to date. Four Terre des Hommes Netherlands researchers spent 10 weeks posing as prepubertal Filipino girls on 19 public chat rooms. During that short period, a total of 20,172 predators from 71 countries committed crimes by soliciting researchers, whom the predators believed to be minors, for paid webcam sex performances. But 20,172 crimes in a sample of 19 chat rooms likely reflects only a small fraction of the number of crimes actually taking place every day when we consider the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s estimates that there are 40,000 online chat rooms on which predators lurk. Moreover, WCST takes place on social networking sites, adult webcam sites and online dating sites, in addition to chat rooms. It is likely that WCST takes place tens of thousands of times each day:

'However, the findings of our research, while alarming, only provide a small glimpse into how vast the phenomenon of WCST actually is. While we cannot extrapolate conclusions about the global prevalence of WCST, we do prove that there is a very high incidence of predators seeking WCST on 19 public chat rooms in a 10-week period. Furthermore, based on our analysis of trends in technological developments and other forms of child sexual exploitation, we predict that the WCST trade will continue to grow and spread to other countries if governments around the world do not take immediate action. If action is not taken, we fear that WCST will spiral as far out of control as the online child pornography industry, which is now a multi-billion dollar international trade that law enforcement agencies cannot reign in.'