Online sessions can be conducted at low cost using a cellphone or a computer with a webcam.
Connections to prospective clients are made easily; clients remain anonymous and make payments by wire transfer.
[Arabic | Chinese | French | Portuguese | Russian | Spanish | Urdu] New technologies are facilitating the online sexual exploitation of children, including the live streaming of sexual abuse of children using web cameras or cellphones, often for profit.
Experts believe tens of thousands of children globally are sexually exploited online, and the number appears to be growing.
The victims may be boys or girls, ranging from very young children to adolescents, and hailing from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
Children, often naked, have been exploited on camera—including by family members or neighbors—and coerced into exhibiting themselves and performing sex acts for the viewing of individuals watching online.
In many cases, family members justify facilitating the online sexual exploitation by asserting that it is not harmful to the child, especially in cases where there is no direct physical contact with the child.
The online sexual exploitation of children presents new challenges for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and victim service providers.