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11-Jan-2018 20:33

©UNICEF Philippines/2016/Josh Estey The Philippines has become the global epicentre of the live stream sexual abuse trade, and many of the victims are children.In the slums of Manila, a police raid of a child sexual exploitation operation illuminates the challenges the country faces in protecting vulnerable children and prosecuting their abusers.Apparently, the investigation was triggered when British police discovered offensive videos involving children in the computer of a registered sex offender.Sadly, most of the children in the videos recorded from webcams were Filipino, some as young as six years old, performing indecent acts, to put it mildly.It was just before midnight, and darkness permeated the surrounding narrow alleys as the officers entered with a search warrant.Inside the small single room house, they found an unusual amount of computer equipment: laptops, webcams and a Wi-Fi router.The Philippines is well-known for offering child prostitution.The chatbots registered more than 20,000 webcam conversations, the details of which were passed on to Europol.

In 2013, 15 chatbots were active for 10 weeks in online chatrooms for under-age children.

Four of the researchers pretended to be a ten-year-old Filipina girl, christened ' Sweetie' by the researchers because that was the name used most often by men using the chatrooms.

Once the Filipino avatars went online, they were approached by men throughout the world, 71 countries in total.

The group’s researchers were inundated with potential predators when went online with a highly lifelike, digitally-animated avatar named Sweetie.

Her chat partners thought they were talking to a Filipino minor, but in fact they were communicating with a team in a warehouse in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, who were recording everything and looking for clues to their identity.

An estimated 400,000 of the victims are women while 100,000 are children, with 80 percent of them female under 18.