US-PH Child Protection Compact: Ensuring better future for Filipino kids

Just recently, the U.S Embassy in Manila partnered with the Department of Justice Interagency Council against Child Trafficking (IACAT) and launched a series of activities to implement the U.S Philippines Child Protection Compact (CPC) partnership. This agreement was signed earlier this year by U.S Charge d’Affaires Michael S. Klecheski and the Philippine Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre II. 

In the battle to conquer the evils of trafficking, the State Department’s  Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) led consultations for the United States to where they awarded an amount of $3.5 million USD or PhP 175 million to the implementing partners: the International Justice Mission (IJM) and the Salvation Army World Service Office. The IACAT led the CPC Partnership negotiations for the Philippine government where they also intend to fund PhP 40 million or $784,000 USD to uphold the partnership’s objectives.

The CPC partnership aims to support sustainable improvements to combat online sexual exploitation of children and child labor trafficking and to expand specialized child protection services and prevention efforts to further improve the coordination among agencies involved.

As the IJM begun working with the Philippine government and other civil society organizations to strengthen the government’s determination to investigate, prosecute, and convict child traffickers, there is a need to give a wide-ranging, trauma informed care for child victims of such crimes; and to stop online sexual exploitation of children and forced labor from happening.

IJM alongside the Philippine government for investigation is expected to formulate activities that would focus on geographical hotspots for online sexual exploitation of children. 

Henceforth, this will further enhance the protection of vulnerable children in target regions in the Philippines.

We look forward that all implementing partners work with the government to develop sustainable long-term care for child victims of online sexual exploitation by investing in foster care systems for recovering survivors. This, while IJM and its partner organizations and agencies also give technical support to local government units and other partners to enhance the current community-based fight against exploitation and labor trafficking.

Let rehabilitation programs be developed for the comprehensive care of child survivors on online sexual exploitation. Social workers, and other stakeholders must also aid these child victims in terms of psychological care and legal services.

The commencement of US – Philippines child protection activities under the Child Protection Compact underscores the Philippine government’s serious commitment to protect its children from the evil snares of human trafficking and of cyber child pornography. 

Time and again, nobody has any right to destroy the future and the innocence of our children. 

From the words of Justice Secretary Aguirre II: “You come after our children and we will come after you!”

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