Globe joins civic groups in campaign against sexual exploitation of Filipino children online

Campaign against sexual exploitation
Safer Internet Day is an occasion to push the child protection agenda. Photo from Child Rights Network.

As more Filipino children go online in these days of home study for students owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, a safer internet experience must be ensured by parents and guardians.

Child Rights Network and Plan International, a civic group that creates awareness and stops online sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines, had recently partnered with Filipino telecom Globe.

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Globe and the civic group worked together in February 2020 to mark Safer Internet Day, one of the many occasions to campaign for safety precautions for children going online for schoolwork or entertainment.

The collaboration highlighted Globe Telecom’s Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP) for students, teachers, and parents, as a key Globe initiative to keep children well-protected once they connect to the Internet.

Miguel Bermundo, Director for Globe Citizenship and Advocacy Marketing, talked about three major efforts of the company to keep the children safe during the media launch of Child Rights Network #ShutDownOSEC (Online Sexual Exploitation of Children) campaign, and Plan International’s Safer Internet Day activities attended by hundreds of students, parents and other stakeholders with the topic “Building Resilient Online Community Against Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children.”

“These days, many children turn to the internet when they search for information, play, and communicate with their peers. However, without proper guidance, there is now a higher danger of children being exposed to sexual solicitation, cyberbullying, lewd and violent materials, among other disturbing content which may affect their well-being negatively,” said Bermundo.

Globe Director for Citizenship and Advocacy Marketing Miguel Bermundo talks about Globe’s efforts to fight abuse and exploitation of children during a panel discussion at Plan International’s Safer Internet Day celebration.

Globe’s DTP was launched in 2016 in response to the growing online abuse involving the youth. It received Best Initiatives in Social Responsibility recognition from The Asset Corporate Awards in 2018. Through DTP, teachers and parents are trained to provide workshops to students on cyber safety and security, digital citizenship, and critical thinking.

Since it is crucial that the youth are equipped with the right information to help them make proper decisions in their daily actions in the online world, the Department of Education has adopted DTP and will be integrating the workshop modules in the values formation subject under the K-to-12 curriculum.

This way, all students nationwide will benefit from the lessons on digital citizenship and learn about the responsibilities that come with being online.

Globe also partnered with ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. by offering toll-free calls to Bantay Bata #163 helpline for all Globe and TM mobile phone users to make it easier and safer to report, rescue, and rehabilitate sick and abused children. Dialing the helpline also means hope for Filipino children and their families who are suffering in silence due to child abuse.

Aside from the DTP workshops and Bantay Bata’s reporting helpline, Globe continues to extend mental wellness support to those falling into depression and other related mental illnesses.

Together with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation, Globe provides toll-free calls to HOPELINE 2919 for those undergoing emotional crisis and in need of immediate assistance.

The recent National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children (NBS VAC) in the Philippines, reported that about 2.9% of children have their own nude body or own sexual activities shown via the internet or mobile phone, 28% have been presented images of sexual activities of other people, and 35.4% have received sexually charged, negative, foul words or messages.

On the other hand, the Department of Justice’s Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OOC) reported receiving 37,715 cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 2016, which grew to 45,645 in 2017, while the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported 172 cases of child pornography in 2017, up from 62 cases the previous year.

The Department of Education had also adopted Globe’s Digital Thumbprint Program to keep schoolchildren safe from online sexual exposure.

More child safety initiatives include the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles that are all set for implementation after the release of the IRR and the Marikina City program for the Philippines’ first fire safety program for school children.

SEND CHEERS to Globe as it continues to strive to keep children safe online!

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.