Globe welcomes UK-based Internet Watch Foundation in roster of partners for child protection advocacy

Committed to its advocacy against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC), Globe further strengthens its anti-OSAEC initiatives by partnering with globally-recognized Internet Watch Foundation. This comes immediately after Globe sealed a partnership with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) in June.

IWF is a UK-based child protection body that employs cutting-edge technology to find, remove, disrupt and prevent child sexual abuse imagery on the internet. The non-profit organization works closely with international law enforcement agencies, governments and other non-government organizations (NGO). Each report on an exploitative image or video received is examined by a pool of expert analysts, who proactively scours the internet for OSAEC content.

This partnership brings together the power of national government, legal authorities and civil society to eradicate the incidence of OSAEC. Globe recognizes that proper reporting, analysis and continuous reduction of materials that promote child abuse and sexual exploitation will allow future generations to thrive in a more positive and progressive society.

“Globe has always been an ally of child rights and child protection initiatives. Partnering with international monitoring groups such as IWF is a mindful step to further our mission in eliminating OSAEC in the country. Through this, we not only advocate responsible online behavior and wellness but help protect the future generation from OSAEC,” said Atty. Froilan Castelo, Globe General Counsel.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said: “In the international battle against child sexual abuse material and the criminals who spread it online, it is good to see more and more companies taking a strong stand and joining us to eradicate this harmful content from the internet. Knowing videos and images of their sexual abuse are still being circulated among online predators haunts victims, making the abuse something that can seem to never go away. The work of our analysts to find and remove this content for good protects victims and helps make the internet a safer place where criminals have no place to hide.”

As a champion for the rights of children, Globe recently served as a panel speaker at the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) Online Training Seminar organized by the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) last May, which aimed to build the capacity of top management on CRBP and deepen their knowledge on its relevance to their sector’s operations, and the use of online digital business platforms.

At the session, Globe discussed its various programs and initiatives to make information technology safe (#MakeITSafePH) for children, parents and caregivers who were impacted by changes in workplace policies during the pandemic, and its best practices to successfully adjust and pivot.

The company also joined the UNICEF-led SaferKidsPH initiative and Safer Internet Day which both raise awareness on pressing and emerging online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) cases. The 18th edition of Safer Internet Day called upon all stakeholders to join hands in making the internet a safer and better place for all, especially for children.

To provide assistance to both children and parents or guardians, Globe opened up “lifelines” for Filipinos to help cope with OSAEC-related mental and physical health concerns. Individuals and families can seek assistance by calling HOPELINE, the 24/7 suicide prevention and crisis support desk of New Good Feelings (NGF) Mindstrong. The non-profit organization is one of the country’s pioneer independent foundations recognized by the International Association on Suicide Prevention. The access to the HOPELINE is free to all Globe and TM customers.

HOPELINE can also be accessed through the HealthNow App, downloadable through the Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS. It is a mobile application that helps patients to conveniently consult with a doctor, and schedule clinic appointments and even purchase medicine for delivery, without leaving their homes. HealthNow is a portfolio company of 917Ventures, a corporate venture builder wholly-owned by Globe, and AC Health, the healthcare arm of Ayala Corporation.

Globe likewise continues to support the ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.’s Bantay Bata #163 Helpline, which is free for all Globe and TM customers. It allows anyone to report child abuse especially during this period when children are at home most of the time. To call, dial #163.

The telco’s flagship modules on digital responsibility found in the Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP) launched in 2016 has been integrated onto the K-to-12 curriculum of the Department of Education (DepEd). DTP educates public and private school teachers and students on proper online behavior. The DTP cyber wellness program has been made accessible to more than 4,000 schools, 115,000 teachers, and 1.9 million students across all regions in the Philippines.

“We intended to do a more holistic approach in addressing online child protection. We address the source of these online materials by site blocking. We understand that this space is dynamic so we need to be continuously vigilant. At the same time, we also look at the victims, and the possible victims of this illegal practice. By giving them helplines and counselling assistance, they may be able to put the experience behind them and hopefully feel safe again,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe SVP for Corporate Communications and Chief Sustainability Officer.

Globe’s sustainability practices help contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), specifically UN SDG No. 9 on innovation and infrastructure, and UN SDG No. 17 on partnership for the goals.

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