Children blackmailed into sex abuse online: British watchdog
LONDON (AFP) - Children as young as eight are being blackmailed into performing sex acts live on webcams, causing some of them to self-harm or even commit suicide, a British watchdog warned on Friday.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said it had conducted 12 investigations over the last two years which involved this worrying trend - and suggested British children are particularly at risk.
Paedophiles pretending to be children target their victims on open chat sites, before moving them into private areas where they persuade the child to send sexual images of themselves.
"Once the child has sent images, the offenders begin blackmailing them either for more indecent images or, in few cases, for cash," the centre said in a statement.