The Swiss federal police (Fedpol) are using the internet to allow people to report cases of suspected child sex tourism abroad.

Anyone who observes that the sexual integrity of a child is threatened or in danger can use the federal police website to register their complaint in an online form.

To prevent abuse of the system, anonymous reports will not be accepted. Fedpol will view and sort the reports and undertake a preliminary evaluation before forwarding the files to the relevant cantonal police forces.

The online form was developed in cooperation with the child protection association, Ecpat Switzerland. It is available to anyone who witnesses incidents abroad but is mainly aimed at travel agency staff and clients.

According to a police statement, tourists who aim to have sexual contact with children take advantage of differences in the laws and penal systems.

They abuse the naiveté, poverty and weak position in society of parts of the population in foreign countries which are particularly affected by sex tourism, it said.