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When the Playroom Becomes a Crime Scene: Pedophiles Coax Children into Performing Sexual Acts via Webcam

(PresseBox) (Berlin, Germany, ) Meeting friends in the Internet, establishing contacts, trying out new things - before even learning to write: An increasing number of children age six and up are using the availability of free Internet services to talk with each other face to face through video chatting. And all too often they are left to do this unsupervised on their PCs. "Unfortunately, pedophiles are also aware of this fact and take advantage of the opportunity to speak to children via webcam and persuade them to perform sexual acts on themselves. They often record the visual chat session and exchange the video content with other interested parties on the Internet," warns Dennis Grabowski, chairman of the non-profit, non-governmental organization "no abuse in internet" (naiin).

Thus, the number of such child pornographic "webcam videos" has risen over the past years, especially due to the increased number of webcams being used in children's rooms. According to naiin's own research, over 1.300 such cases came to light in 2009 alone. The organization estimates the number of victims worldwide in the five-figure range.

This makes it all the more important that parents do not leave their children unattended while they are becoming acquainted with the Internet. "We want to appeal to parents either to completely ban webcams from their children's rooms or to only allow children to use webcams under supervision," says Grabowski. In particular, parents should not give children access to a PC or laptop with an integrated webcam; instead, they should choose products that allow a webcam to be attached externally, if needed.

This can help prevent what has already become a frightening reality for so many children: Through chat features, many children have been encouraged to undress and perform sexual acts on themselves. The images are transmitted live to pedophiles; and, as if that were not enough, the recordings are often cut and edited into "webcam videos", which are subsequently distributed throughout the Internet at an alarming rate. These videos featuring child pornographic content are most notably spread using share hosting and file sharing services that are available for free. But the films are also exchanged in isolated circles.

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naiin - no abuse in internet e.V.

naiin (pronounced 'nine') was established on 18th August 2000 by representatives from civil society, Internet companies and politics. Since then, naiin, as a non-profit, non-governmental organization, has been fighting all forms of cybercrime across the world, as well as strengthening civil rights and ensuring better consumer protection and privacy on the Internet. naiin is globally unique and independent thanks to the financial support it receives from both the Internet community and the Internet companies. Over 5,000 companies and countless consumers across the world already support naiin in its commitment.

naiin operates one of the world's largest Internet hotlines, where users can report illegal content that they have accidentally come across on the Internet. naiin gets valuable tips through the hotline that make it possible to take action against illegal activity on the Internet.