The traffickers posted photos of children on Facebook, and customers booked them through chat rooms like Yahoo Messenger or m IRC. “The men pretend to love them but sell them into the sex industry in China.
Whats App was contacted for a comment but did not reply.
Mark Latonero, who heads the Technology and Human Trafficking Initiative at the University of Southern Carolina, said social media platforms leave traffickers exposed to investigators but the huge volume of posts makes it difficult for police to identify an actual victim, survivor or trafficker.
Britain’s National Crime Agency said the use of social media by traffickers is an emerging trend, but the agency does not have hard data of how widespread it is.
Globally, nearly 21 million people are victims of human trafficking, a $150 billion industry, according to the United Nation’s International Labour Organization.
They lure them with promises of jobs in restaurants or shops then sell them into sex work, said Sofian, who has researched the exploitation of children via social media in Indonesia. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2015 also cited examples of online trafficking by Croatians, Nigerians, Russians, Bulgarians, Brazilians, Japanese, South Koreans and Mongolians.
The country’s first prosecution of an online trafficking syndicate was in 2010. Lawyer Van Ngoc Ta, who works for anti-trafficking charity Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in Vietnam, said young women were often fooled into believing they were in a relationship online but ended up a sex slave after going to meet that man.Example (1) The female victim met a male online friend on social networking platform.Later on, they became online friends and even lovers.“But most of the time everything’s done through different applications on different sites so law enforcement is having to learn how to use these …It’s a whole different ballgame.” Europol, the European Union’s police agency, said social media and other online technology have not only taken the recruitment and selling process off the streets but also allow traffickers to control victims using remote surveillance.In recent years, swindlers use online social networking as a pretext for committing crimes such as rape, indecent assault, criminal intimidation, theft and fraud.