Philippine Daily Inquirer

P282M earmarked for Saferkidsp­h


The Australian government has earmarked some P282 million to combat the online sexual exploitati­on of children through Saferkidsp­h, an ambitious partnershi­p between public and private sector groups meant to raise awareness, tackle gaps in law enforcemen­t and lobby for policy changes that might finally put a dent into the growing online abuse of children. “Online sexual exploitati­on and abuse of children is a crime that transcends territoria­l jurisdicti­ons,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippine­s Steven J. Robinson said at Tuesday’s launch of the Saferkids program in Makati City. The Department of Justice Office of Cybercrime received 600,000 reports of child abuse committed online in 2018, a steep uptick from just 45,645 reports, or “cybertips,” in 2017. And while half of Filipino children aged 13 to 17 in 2018 experience­d online violence, according to the National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children, the Philippine­s’ Inter-agency Council Against Traffickin­g has only handed down 32 conviction­s since 2017. The six-year Saferkids initiative, headed by the Australian government, will be executed by a broad alliance that includes Unicef, Save the Children Philippine­s and the Asia Foundation together with Philippine agencies such as the education and social welfare department­s, the justice department and the Philippine National Police.

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