Cambodian Children At Risk of Online Abuse, says NCA

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Cambodian Children At Risk of Online Abuse, says NCA

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

British paedophiles target children in poor countries for online abuse
National Crime Agency warns of challenge to safeguarding posed by live streaming and other tech advances
8 October 2018

Tens of thousands of British citizens who pose a sexual threat to children online are increasingly seeking out victims in poor and war-torn countries, the nation’s top law enforcement agency has said.

The Philippines has become recognised as a commercial hub for child abuse imagery and live streaming of child abuse for foreign buyers, and children in Kenya, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and other countries are also increasingly at risk as broadband access and free encrypted technology spreads across the world, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned.

“There is an increasing threat to children in developing countries where safeguarding capabilities cannot keep pace with advancing technologies, and this threat is likely to grow,” said Rob Evans, an expert on the sexual exploitation of children online for the NCA.

“We estimated that 80,000 UK nationals pose a sexual threat to children online – and this is a conservative estimate. What we know about offending pathways leads us to conclude that there are significant risks that many of these individuals will be taking advantage of the ready availability of free end-to-end encrypted technologies and inciting abuse through live streaming.”

Evans said it was impossible to know the number of children potentially at risk, but added: “If there are tens of thousands of potential perpetrators here, then children in countries around the world will also be targeted by offenders from elsewhere – the US, Canada and across Europe.”

Europol has identified live streaming of overseas child abuse, paid for and directed by westerners, as a key threat in the rise of global child exploitation.

The European crime agency said that mobile connectivity, growing internet coverage in developing countries, and the rollout of pay-as-you-go streaming, which provides a high degree of anonymity to the viewer, are furthering the availability and market for this type of abuse.

In the past decade, the Philippines has become a commercial hub for live-streamed child abuse, with webcam footage often paid for and facilitated by sex buyers thousands of miles away.

Many children are abused by their own families or neighbours, watched and directed by foreigners on smartphones, tablets or laptops.

Yet child protection experts are warning that this profit-driven model is being increasingly and rapidly replicated in other countries.

“Any country where there is high smartphone usage, where there are ways to transfer money quickly and relatively anonymously, and where there are high levels of poverty are likely to become places where children will be sought out,” says Jos de Voogd, spokesperson for Terre des Hommes, a Dutch child protection organisation.

“We have recently conducted work in Kenya, where we found that the problem of commercialised live-streamed sexual abuse of children to order is not only occurring, but rapidly rising. We are trying to assess the problem in Cambodia as well.” ... ime-agency
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