US, PH ink child protection pact

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The United States and the Philippines signed a new partnership to enhance efforts to reduce online child sexual exploitation and child labor trafficking in the Philippines.

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The US-Philippines Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership was executed on Tuesday by Justice Secretary and Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) Chairman Vitaliano Aguirre II, and US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Michael Klecheski.

The agreement is a four-year plan aimed at bolstering current efforts to prosecute and convict child traffickers; provide comprehensive, trauma-informed care for child victims of these crimes; and prevent these crimes from occurring in the future.

The signing of the partnership facilitates the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons award of up to P149 million in foreign assistance funds to address online child sexual exploitation, as well as an additional P25 million to increase awareness and improve the response to child labor trafficking.

The partnership reflects a shared concern about the harmful and lasting impact of online sexual exploitation of Filipino children – especially when undetected – and a mutual interest in partnering to improve efforts to prevent children from becoming exploited in domestic servitude or other forms of child labor trafficking.

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