PLDT, Smart recognized for whole-of-nation online child safety approach at Terre des Hommes Netherlands Summit in Bangkok

PLDT, Smart recognized for whole-of-nation online child safety approach at Terre des Hommes Netherlands Summit in Bangkok
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PLDT and Smart Communications were recognized for their whole-of-nation approach to online child protection at Project SCROL (Safety for Children and their Rights OnLine) Summit organized by Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH NL) in Bangkok, Thailand.

"We are proud of the achievements brought by the partnership between TdH NL and PLDT and Smart in the Philippines. The best practices of collaboration with the private sector to end Online Child Sexual Exploitation presented during the event are a true inspiration for our implementing teams across Cambodia, Nepal and Kenya,” said Zoe de Melo, programme manager OCSE of TdH NL.

Invited as Philippine partner representatives, PLDT and Smart Stakeholder Management Head Stephanie Orlino, and PLDT and Smart Visayas Relations Head Marylou Gocotano shared the PLDT Group’s child protection policy in one of the summit’s learning exchange sessions.

“We are honored to share PLDT and Smart’s experience and best practices in protecting children’s rights online at this summit. Our multi-pronged approach goes beyond technology to include community engagements like Project SCROL with TdH NL and Bidlisiw Foundation in Cebu,” said Orlino.

PLDT and Smart are the exclusive telco partners of TdH NL in Asia and Bidlisiw Foundation Inc. - Philippines for Project SCROL. Launched in 2023, the initiative aims to protect all children, regardless of their gender, class, religion, ethnicity and abilities, from OCSE and ensure that they are in a safe family and community environment".

The inaugural SCROL Summit focused on mid-term evaluation of the three-year program that’s also implemented in Cambodia, Nepal, and Kenya. Gathering key representatives from these areas, the conference facilitated discussions on the different interventions to safeguard children’s rights in the digital environment.

PLDT and Smart’s presentation highlighted private sector engagement in preventing and responding to Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE), and employing innovative and purpose-built systems to identify illicit child content and block their location from being accessed by customers. Efforts to raise awareness on online child safeguarding and basic cybersecurity practices were also discussed before TdH NL country representatives.

In the first two months of 2024, PLDT and Smart’s Child Protection Platform has prevented at least a quarter of a million attempts to open online OCSE materials. Since it went online, the system has blacklisted nearly a million URLs and contents linked to child abuse.

PLDT and Smart’s initiatives to create a safe digital environment for children and their collaboration with like-minded organizations underscore the Group’s long-term commitment to help the country attain UNSDG No. 16 which promotes just, peaceful and inclusive societies including the end to abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children. (PR)


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