The UK Government is conducting a three-day training beginning Tuesday on safeguarding children at the British International School in Manila. The programme aims to protect more children from sexual abuse and exploitation in the Philippines by working with professionals to provide them with specialist training.
As part of the wider child protection work that has been conducted in other South East Asian countries, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre in co-operation with the British Embassy will be delivering training and educational resources throughout October, to those who work to protect children and young people. Issues such as child protection, children's rights, travelling sex offenders and the provision of educational materials will be covered in the training, which is being funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) through the British Embassy Manila.
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British Ambassador Stephen Lillie said, "Every child matters and has a right to be protected from all forms of abuse and exploitation. The ease of access to the Internet and greatly increased availability of international air travel means that this problem is not restricted by national boundaries. Protecting children is a global challenge that will entail a concerted effort. We are committed to play our part, working with South East Asian countries to uphold children's rights through our joint project with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.
"Here in the Philippines, we are partnering with the Department of Education to train teachers in child protection work. We recognise the importance of involving teachers in this programme. More than just being educators, they serve as our children's guardians in what is essentially their second home, the school. The training they will receive will empower them to fulfil their role in safeguarding their students".
This training builds on CEOP's partnership work through the International Child Protection Network (ICPN), which has seen the creation of Advisory Panels in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, now extending its network in the Philippines, with key specialists working together to better safeguard children. The ICPN website - www.ceop.police.uk/icpn - and specialist training that has so far reached over 350 professionals and over 3000 children and carers, are all designed to share understanding in minimising risks posed to children by adults with a sexual interest in them.
In addition to the training event, the CEOP Centre will also be launching a corporate child protection charter with the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP). It is hoped large companies will support child protection efforts in the country by contributing to ongoing local projects but also by helping CEOP raise awareness among children and parents through the use of key educational resources with staff.
Chief Executive of the CEOP Centre, Peter Davies explains more: "Working with professionals in countries where children are vulnerable from those who travel to harm them is a core area of work for the CEOP Centre. Delivering training to teachers, police officers and NGO's in the regions provide skills and resources needed to educate and empower young people in their care. This means more children will know how they can make themselves safer from abuse and importantly, active deterrence messages to would-be offenders and public reassurance can be delivered. Expanding the current networks of trained professionals in a range of countries will also show a united front against those adults with a sexual interest in children who think they can continue to exploit our most vulnerable".
1. The workshops will be taking place on Tuesday 18th October, Wednesday 19th October and Thursday 20th October at the British School Manila, 36th Street, University Park, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila.
2. TRAVELLING CHILD SEX OFFENDER, NOT ‘SEX TOURIST' Travelling child sex offenders seek to offend against the world's most vulnerable children in the hope that they will evade detection and prosecution. The phrase ‘sex tourism' sanitises the reality of what is taking place. The ‘sex' is forced, therefore it is rape. The word ‘tourism' implies sun, sea and sand when frequently children are sought in the most deprived areas of the world.
3. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre works in both online and offline environments to protect children from sexual exploitation. Full information on all areas of work, as well as online safety messages and access to online reporting, can be found at http://www.ceop.police.uk/.
4. The CEOP Centre is the UK's dedicated police led organisation for protecting children from exploitation with outreach channels to all areas of both domestic and international policing. It is a member of the Virtual Global Taskforce which also includes the Australian Federal Police, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Italian National Postal and Communication Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Interpol. Further information is available at http://www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com/
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