All posts tagged internet

Disturbing new trends emerge in sexual abuse of children –

Published October 15, 2014 by misty534

A recent United Nations report draws attention to alarming trends in sex offences against children in Southeast Asia. Contributing factors range from economic disparity, urbanisation and cheaper air travel, urbanisation and cheaper air travel to faster internet connections that have fostered a a huge child pornography industry, with many types of offenders.


A researcher from the children’s rights group Terre des Hommes starts a session in a public chat room where users solicit a fake 10 year old named “Sweetie from the Philippines”,, in a computer generated image.  The group says that in recent years more child prostitutes in Southeast Asia have been leaving the streets but the abusive sex trade has simply moved online!

Sex offenders who prey on children have adjusted as technology and demographic changes in the region make it even easier to engage in illicit activities, says the 49 page report titled ” Protecting the Future: Improving the Response to Child Sex Offending in Southeast Asia” released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Debunking the sterotype that those engaged in child sexual exploitation are westerners, the report also shows that Asian tourists and expats are increasingly involved.

“Tackling child sex exploitation is no simple task.  Finding solutions to this appalling crime will require a concerted effort from a multitude of actors across the region”, said Jeremy Douglas, the UNODC Regional Representative.

“The dividends from a well-coordinated response include efficiency and respect for the rule of law, but more importantly, it will create a safer environment for children and ensure offenders are stopped in their tracks”.

Action in one country is longer sufficient as offenders can easily migrate to jurisdictions with less resistance, said Mr Douglas.

For too long, a piecemeal approach has been the norm, and while national governments and the international community can count some major successes in the past few years, withouta comprehensive response to the problem, exploitation will continue to lurk just below the surface!

According to the International Labour Organisation, there are approximately 4.5 million victims of sexual exploitation around the world, around 20% of them children.  These child victims exist in every country in Asia and are caught in a range of different circumstances that make them vulnerable to exploitation.

The UNODC report explained the intertwined nature of sexual exploitation of childre, which encompasses the overlapping issues of the prostitution, the depiction of children in sexual abuse material (child pornography) trafficking of children for sexual purposes, and the sexual abuse of children (including but not limited to child sex tourism)

The report said socio-economic disparities increase vulnerability to victimisation, as GDP per capita in the ranges from $944 in Cambodia with similarly low levels in Myanmar and Laos, Vietnam ($1,716), Indonesia ($3,557) to Thailand and China (around $6,000).

In Thailand, tourism constitutes 6.5% of the country’s gross domestic product!! The country is also a top destination for sex tourism for foreigners around the world. The combination of the region’s youthful population and widespread poverty also increases vulnerability to child sex exploitation.

The economic growth arising from tourism has not always translated into better opportunities for children who live in tourist areas.


Children found in these areas, such as those employed in entertainment establisments or living or working on the street, are at greater risk of being exploited.  Unfortunately, historical, economic and social issues in the region have created in some cases an environment ripe for sex tourism and with this, avenues for the sexual exploitation of children in tourism and travel.

The sclae of the challenge is immense. Cheaper air travel, globalisation and new telecommunications technologies all interact to exacerbate an already complex and difficult problem

As governments in the region struggle to take control of the situation, travellers who prey on the young adapt and move to areas, with more lax regulation and enforcement.  In short, a crackdown in one country can lead to an influx in another.

For example, Cambodia, Vietnam and more recently, Mongolia have suffered an influx of tourists whose main goal is to have sex with a child, possibly as a result of the Thai government’s efforts to combat child exploitation within its borders. The information was provided by Expat, a non-government organisation to END CHILD PROSTITUTION, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN FOR SEXUAL PURPOSES

Offenders have develped and shared a number of methods to disguise their criminal activities. For example, the use of multiple passports and absconding bail in order to travel between countries in the region, particularly to those that have a lower capacity for detcting these crimes, and concealing identities when engaged on online child sex chat forums.

Well established patterns of child sex exploitation integrated into tourism flows suggest future growth projections will threaten many more children, as the number of arrivals is expected to triple.

The process of urbanisation could also dislocate families from traditional and stable sources of income in their home countries, or regions. This economic, precariousness can push some people into the sex industry, especially young people who are also disconnected from their families and susceptible to outside influence.

Responses to this trend should not attempt to limit the flow of people into cities, but rather prepare them for the risks they may face, including internet education.

As internet usage becomes more widespread across the region, more children will become vulnerable to online “grooming” and exploitation through sexual abuse materials and the online streaming of child sexual abuse.

Protection in this area must encompass a wide range of actors beyond law enforcement, such as parents, schools and teachers the UNODC noted.

The online environment of the 21st century has transformed criminality in various ways, as an advanced vehicle for communications, it has created a transnational enviornment that provides new opportunities for organising and participating in harmful activities, and the virtual nature of the online environment means criminal activity can sometimes fall outside the jurisdiction of the criminal justice process

The report also noted that those involved in “Child sex tourism” were not only tourists but could also be business travellers, foreigners working directly iwht children and other vulnerable groups, military personnel posted abroad, diplomats and government employees, expatriates or foreign nationals on extended travel, and retired expats residing abroad.

‘Brits don’t know how to report online child sexual abuse’

Published March 18, 2013 by misty534

‘Brits don’t know how to report online child sexual abuse’



As many as 1.5 million adults may have stumbled upon child sexual abuse on the internet, but more than half do not know how to report it, new research has warned.

A ComRes poll conducted for the Internet Watch Foundation found that 91 per cent of people wanted child pornography removed from the internet.

Four per cent of men questioned – the equivalent of one million men, and two per cent of women, the equivalent of 500,000, said they had actually come into contact with it, or had stumbled across it.

But the survey found that as many as 12 per cent of people would just ignore it, with many more not knowing how to report it.

Throughout the whole of 2012, the Internet Watch Foundation said it had logged just 73 UK webpages hosting child sexual abuse images or videos. This compared to 9,477 hosted in other countries around the world.

Susie Hargreaves, chief executive officer at the foundation said there was “clear public concern” over the availability of images and videos of children being sexually abused on the internet.

“What is concerning for us is that not enough people know how to report this or would rather ignore it, especially considering the survey tells us that around 1.5 million British adults have seen this sort of content online,” she said.

“Although we’ve seen record removal times in the UK, during 2012 we saw a higher proportion of images of children under 10 years old being sexually abused.”

“We are also very aware that there are internet hosting companies in the UK which could do more, and faster, who are not members of IWF.

“We have a responsibility to do all we can to help protect children – and adults who were abused as children -from having their abuse viewed time and time again. We need to prevent people from stumbling upon this content and assist other countries in creating a hostile environment for hosting it.

“The problem is very much still out there, and is a great public concern, so our message is if you think you’ve stumbled upon child sexual abuse images or videos on the internet, report it to”

Norfolk pensioner on indecent images charges fled to Philippines

Published February 26, 2013 by misty534


A Hethersett pensioner who downloaded more than 600 indecent images of children fled to the Philippines for nearly a year-and-a-half before finally being arrested when he returned to Britain, a court heard.

Colin Harvey, 65, was found with the images when police raided his address in Great Melton Road, Hethersett, in August, 2010, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Kevin Eastwick, prosecuting, said there was a total of 656 images but most had been deleted from his computer equipment.

However, after being bailed he failed to turn up as requested in June 2011.

“He spent most of that time in the Philippines and when he returned in November 2012 he was charged with the offences,” said Mr Eastwick.

He said Harvey pleaded guilty to making and possessing indecent images of children and had been in custody since his court appearance on November 23 last year.

Ian James, for Harvey, said he had deleted the images. “They were not retained for continuing use.”

Sentencing him, Judge Mark Lucraft told Harvey: “From June 2011 till November last year, you were at large and appear to have spent most of that time in the Philippines.”

He gave Harvey an eight-month sentence suspended for two years, ordered him to attend an internet sex offenders programme and placed him on 24 months supervision.

He also made Harvey subject to a sexual offences prevention order which monitors his use of the internet and placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

David Cameron rejects automatic block on porn to protect children

Published December 14, 2012 by misty534

By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent


David Cameron has rejected proposals for an automatic block on online pornography over fears parents would assume the internet was safe for their children.

The Government decided against bringing in new anti-pornography filters for the internet, less than a year after the Prime Minister intervened to say they should be considered.

In May, Mr Cameron ordered officials to examine the case for filters, which would have forced people actively to request an internet connection that gives access to adult material. The default option would have been a porn-free internet service.

However, the Government has now decided that this type of “opt-in” system “can create a false sense of security” because it does not screen out all harmful content.

There were also fears it could have “over-blocked” useful websites giving children access to “helpful information on sexual health or sexual identity”.

The consultation on an automatic blocking system was launched, after a group of MPs warned internet service providers need to do more to protect children from harmful images.

Campaigners, led by Claire Perry, Tory MP for Devizes, handed a petition of 115,000 names into Downing Street in September demanding an opt-in system for pornography.

However, the Government’s consultation response yesterday said it would instead rely on the voluntary co-operation of internet companies to strengthen controls on pornography.

It will now urge the companies to “actively encourage parents, whether they are new or existing customers, to switch on parental controls”. All users should be asked whether they have got children and parents would be guided through a process of installing anti-pornography filters.

Ministers will also ask the big internet service providers to make sure the person setting up controls is over 18.

Companies could face legislation in future if the Government feels they are not making enough of an effort to shield children from adult material.

Child protection campaigners last night reacted with disappointment to the news that the Government is not backing an automatic block. Four in ten parents believe their children have been exposed to adult material on the internet.

Alan Wardle, of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), said the tougher controls are “a step in the right direction” but they should have “gone further”.

“The best option to protect children is for adult content to be automatically blocked by internet service providers,” he said. “Given that half of the parents who took part in the Government consultation wanted this option we are concerned their views have not been heard.

“Hard core pornographic videos are just a few clicks away and a quarter of children have been sent unsolicited sexual material online.”

Helen Goodman, Labour’s shadow media minister, said the lack of an automatic block is “disappointing”.

“It’s a small step forward but I still don’t think they are prioritising child protection,” she said.

She said it is “utterly fallacious” to suggest that parents might be lulled into a false sense of security if pornography is blocked.

“It’s like saying don’t wear a seat belt because then people will drive dangerously,” she said.

Campaigners are now trying to get backing for new laws without the help of the Government.

Baroness Howe, the wife of former Tory Chancellor Geoffrey How, is launching a bid to bring in an “opt-in” system through the House of Lords

Last night, Lady Howe, an independent cross-bench peer, said: “I will be disappointed if this is left entirely to voluntary activity when a simply process like an opt-in system would protect children and help parents who can be less savvy with technology.”