Cybersex trafficking

Cybersex trafficking, or live streaming sexual abuse[1][2][3] is a cybercrime involving sex trafficking and the live streaming of coerced[4][5] sexual acts and/or rape on webcam.[6][7][8]

Cybersex trafficking is distinct from other sex crimes.[6] Victims are transported by traffickers to 'cybersex dens',[9][10][11] which are locations with webcams[12][7][13] and internet-connected devices with live streaming software. There, victims are forced to perform sexual acts[5] on themselves or other people[14] in sexual slavery[5][15] or raped by the traffickers or assisting assaulters in live videos. Victims are frequently ordered to watch the paying live distant consumers or purchasers on shared screens and follow their commands.[8][16][17] It is often a commercialized,[18] cyber form of forced prostitution.[5][19] Women,[20][21][22] children, and people in poverty are particularly vulnerable[8][13][23] to coerced internet sex. The computer-mediated communication images produced during the crime are a type of rape pornography[24][25] or child pornography[26][27][28] that is filmed and broadcast in real time and can be recorded.[29]

There is no data about the magnitude of cybersex trafficking in the world.[30][31][32] The technology to detect all incidents of the live streaming crime has not been developed yet.[33] Millions of reports of cybersex trafficking are sent to authorities annually.[34] It is a billion-dollar, illicit industry[27] that was brought on with the Digital Age[7][23] and is connected to globalization. It has surged from the world-wide expansion of telecommunications and global proliferation of the internet[8] and smartphones,[35][36][37] particularly in developing countries. It has also been facilitated by the use of software, encrypted communication systems,[38] and network technologies[39] that are constantly evolving,[18] as well as the growth of international online payment systems with wire transfer services[35][31][40] and cryptocurrencies that hide the transactor's identities.[41][25][42]

The transnational nature and global scale of cybersex trafficking necessitate a united response by the nations, corporations, and organizations of the world to reduce incidents of the crime;[14] protect, rescue, and rehabilitate victims; and arrest and prosecute the perpetrators. Some governments have initiated advocacy and media campaigns that focus on awareness of the crime. They have also implemented training seminars held to teach law enforcement, prosecutors, and other authorities, as well as NGO workers, to combat the crime and provide trauma-informed aftercare service.[43] New legislation combating cybersex trafficking is needed in the twenty-first century.[44][37]