Today I launched the Australian Government’s child protection program in Manila with the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon ‘Dinky’ Juliano-Soliman and Department of Justice Secretary Alfredo Caguioa.

Working in partnership with the Philippine Government and The Asia Foundation Australia is providing $2 million over three years to support efforts to protect children from online sexual abuse and exploitation and reduce the risk of children being exploited online.

The Philippines Child Protection Against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Program brings together public and private resources to help create a safer online environment for children.

Australia will work with the Philippines to develop rapid reaction teams for more effective investigations and prosecutions, and to provide greater assistance to the victims of abuse.

The program will help prosecute offenders, promote children’s rights, advocate for stronger laws and create a sex offender registry and notification system. The program will also develop an information and education campaign targeting identified sexual abuse hotspots.

Today’s announcement aligns with Australia’s anti-crime programs in the Philippines and complements our long-standing cooperation on social protection and combatting human trafficking and money-laundering.

I thank the three Australian companies with significant operations in the Philippines, ANZ, Telstra and QBE, who are contributors to the program.

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