A virtual avatar, created by a child rights group, attracts 1,000 alleged webcam sex offenders whose names have now been handed over to Interpol. Watch a video of computer-generated "Sweetie".

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Video: footage of "Sweetie" and Terre des Hommes Executive Director Albert Jaap Santbrink speaking at a press conference

She is 10 years old, her name is Sweetie, and she lives in the Philippines.

"Sweetie" attracted the attention of 1,000 men across the world - including 110 Britons - over a period of two months, all of whom offered her money. Some 20,000 men contacted her in total.

But Sweetie is the creation of Terre des Hommes, an international children's charity, which used the avatar to highlight to plight of children in developing countries

The video footage of the child predators who contacted her and offered money, was handed over to the police authorities after the "experiment". Interpol now has information about alleged sex predators in 65 countries.

In only 10 minutes we traced one thousand men from all over the world who were willing to pay Sweetie to perform sexual acts in front of the webcam. Albert Jaap Santbrink

Terre des Hommes has urged authorities to tackle what it says is the growing problem of minors being coaxed into performing sexual acts in front of a webcam, and said it would provide them with the technology it had developed.

It called on authorities to be more proactive in tackling the problem of chatroom sex with minors, saying it would otherwise grow to rival the multi-billion child pornography industry in scale.

"The biggest problem is that the police don't take action until child victims file reports, but children almost never report these crimes," said Terre des Hommes activist Hans Guyt.

'Webcam child sex tourism'

The group's researchers were inundated with potential predators when went online with a highly lifelike, digitally-animated avatar named Sweetie.

Her chat partners thought they were talking to a Filipino minor, but in fact they were communicating with a team in a warehouse in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, who were recording everything and looking for clues to their identity.

Albert Jaap Santbrink, executive director and activist from Terre des Hommes (featured in video above), said he had major concerns over what he called "webcam child sex tourism", saying many of the children involved were as young as six years old.

"In only 10 minutes we traced one thousand men from all over the world who were willing to pay Sweetie to perform sexual acts in front of the webcam," he told the press conference at the Hague.

He added in a statement: "On public chat rooms, adult webcam sites, social networking sites, other sites, predators from wealthy countries are paying to watch in direct (live) children from the least developed countries perform live sex shows via webcam. These children are often forced and many of these children are even as young as six-years-old."

The organisation cited estimates by the United Nations and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation saying that at any moment there were 750,000 potential predators online.

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