Some children are even being "advertised" online using indecent photographs taken at home, it said. New videophone technology could lead to even more children being abused, a report released on Tuesday added. It also raised fears that thousands of children photographed or filmed being abused would never be traced.
In general children do know not to talk to strangers and not to take sweets from them, this is what we teach them, and the report said that the victims of the abuse, which was often carried out by relatives and friends, may not be traced because no single agency has the money or authority to find them.
Internet message boards and chat rooms are being used to sell children for sex and also promote when and where sex abuse can be watched live online, the charity reported.
"These internet sites also say 'how good a purchase' the child is by rating them from one to 10," it added. "Evidence is emerging that children, sometimes very young, are being abused in this way by people well known to them - family members, friends of the family and trusted adults such as teachers or youth leaders."
The underlying suggestion in the report would seem to suggest that this type of child abuse may have been going well before the Internet came to being and that the availability of this new technology is actually bringing to surface the tip of the iceberg which before was well under cover.