Launch of SaferKidsPH Campaign
Remarks by Ambassador Steven J. Robinson AO
22 October 2019, Makati City
Good morning distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I wish there was no need to stand here today to launch the SaferKidsPH campaign.
However, as Undersecretary Neri presented, the trend of online sexual exploitation of children is increasing and the facts and figures highlight the need to increase awareness on the extent and the impact of online sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the Philippines.
David further emphasised that the internet is a critical part of our lives now, particularly the lives of young people, and it presents both opportunities and risks. It is all our responsibility to make sure children are safe online.
Online sexual exploitation and abuse of children is a crime that transcends territorial jurisdictions.
It is a complex crime of trust and sometimes survival. The fact that children are exposed to this kind of exploitation and abuse is abhorrent but is is a painful and dark reality. The SaferKidsPH campaign aims to bring more light to this issue.
Like the ever-changing platform of the Internet, the campaign will be dynamic, backed by evidence and will mobilise people across society to amplify the call to action. Addressing the exploitation of children needs to involve everyone: governments, communities, civil society, businesses, schools, children and parents.
As you can see, the SaferKidsPH logo represents three changing faces of the Internet – from sad to happy.
Through this campaign we hope we can achieve the transformational change that is needed to keep girls and boys safe online, and harness the creative and positive use of the Internet.
But there is more to SaferKidsPH. For the next six years the Australian Government will support the Philippine Government’s efforts to raise national and local awareness on children’s online safety, and promote child-sensitive investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cases. UNICEF, Save the Children Philippines, the Asia Foundation and the Australian Federal Police are leading this work with us. Please join me on stage:
o Ms Oyun Dendevnerov, UNICEF Philippines Country Representative,
o Atty Albert Muyot, CEO of Save the Children Philippines,
o Mr Ethan Geary, Deputy Country Representative of the Asia Foundation Philippines,
o Andrew Perkins, Senior Officer of the Australian Federal Police.
I would also like to invite on stage the Honourable Dr Sharman Stone, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, who is a strong advocate to end violence against women and children. SaferKidsPH brings together all Australian Government efforts in the Philippines in combatting child exploitation and I am honoured she is joining us here today.
As a father and grandfather to two grandchildren, I call on you to be part of this campaign. Awareness is the first step to vigilance and action. Let’s all work together to make the internet a safer place for our children.