Project Ligtas Bata (PLB) is a web-based international campaign to combat the commercial and online sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines. We hope to provide a virtual space where communities can learn, help, and fight the sexual exploitation of Filipino children.
LEARN: PLB has partnered with the National Center of Missing & Exploited Children to translate educational resources to Tagalog to help reach Filipino communities. PLB has also partnered with TayoTrails, a Filipino American RV Tour Company that travels with students around the country, highlighting Filipino American historical sites. TayoTrails will help disperse these educational resources in Filipino communities around the country.
HELP: PLB joined the International Justice Mission Partner with a Field Office Program to fundraise directly for the IJM Manila Field Office. These funds will support the rescuing of victims, prosecuting criminals, restoring survivors, and strengthen justice system in the Philippines. IJM creates individualized care plans for survivors and working closely with a range of aftercare partners. IJM social workers help place survivors in aftercare homes where they can return to school, take vocational classes, and receive ongoing therapy.
FIGHT: PLB is a legacy project of FYLPRO, the Filipino Young Leaders Program. FYLPRO is a network of high-performing, next-generation leaders who advance the Philippines and the Filipino people through their advocacy and expertise in various industries. Legacy Projects are social impact projects focused on the Philippines and Filipino communities abroad that are either social enterprises, philanthropic causes, or civic engagement initiatives. In collaboration with this network, we will fight the sexual exploitation of Filipino children from every sector.
Project Safe Childhood is the Department of Justice initiative launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation.
Project Safe Childhood is implemented through partnerships with numerous stakeholders, including: U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs) and the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys; the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Internet Crimes Against Children(ICAC) task forces; federal law enforcement partners, including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS),Homeland Security Investigations(HSI),U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS); advocacy organizations such as the National Institute of Justice; and state, local, tribal and military law enforcement officials.
As part of Project Safe Childhood, the department has collaborated with international law enforcement partners and operations targeting the production, distribution, receipt and possession of child images around the world. Project Safe Childhood relies upon the ongoing efforts and relationships between law enforcement agencies, nonprofit entities (including schools), advocacy organizations and many others to protect and defend children against sexual exploitation and abuse. In order for Project Safe Childhood to continue to fulfill its mission, all partners continue to work collaboratively to keep pace with those who seek to harm any child.
This website will give children, parents, neighbors, prosecutors, nonprofits, small businesses, government agencies and elected official soon place to meet,train,teach and learn. It will promote coordination, cooperation and collaboration of all sectors. The impact will be empowerment and a freedom from the child exploitation industry.
Government: This tab will assist with lobbying for better legislation in the Philippines. We can make petitions,research and analysis available to demonstrate the need to toughen sex crimes laws and raise the age of consent to 16 rather than the existing 12.
Local Legal: This tab will list all the pending cases and address the backlog of cases in courts. Similar to a Sex Offender Registry, this will hold both defendant and the courts accountable. A Case Search function will education both prosecutors and civilians on current offenders.
International Legal: This tab will be information sharing, virtual training, and investigative collaboration. The current DOJ and CEOS Training and ABA IJET Program demonstrate the effectiveness of international cross training and refresher courses. I would like to set up e-training opportunities for operational improvements in both child exploitation prosecution but also legal efficiency.
Economic: This tab will be for businesses. A quarter of the population still lives below the international poverty line of US $1.25/day. Poverty within families is one of the factors contributing to vulnerabilities of children to commercial sexual exploitation. We have had instances of parents selling sexual services of their own children in return for money. In Manila alone, 1.5 million street children enter a life of child prostitution, pornography and trafficking for sexual purposes. We need to provide alternate revenue streams in targeted areas and victims
through partnership with social entrepreneurship. Providing legitimate job opportunities and training for victims and families of victims.
Nonprofit– expand the availability and quality of protection and assistance for victims through Non-Governmental Organizations, strengthening preventive efforts and expanding their reach to provide victim services.
Education: Information is power. Most efforts at prevention of human trafficking target adult workers, with children and the youth – who are among the most vulnerable – receive little to no education regarding trafficking. We will use modules to train and teach our children cyber safety, provide a tip line, and extend resources for assistance. A continued global public information campaign on social media, phone app, and a progressive and interactive website. Public awareness is essential to drive the above objectives. The sea reviles and realities that most people do not want to acknowledge and exist in the world. We need to create and promote awareness to increase the pressure to stop the dark web.
When thinking about a social impact project, We thought that there could be no better population to serve than the innocent and defenseless Filipino children. In the words of Robert F. Kennedy,
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossings each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
We are proposing an ongoing web-based, multidimensional, international campaign to combat the commercial and online sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines. Our vision is to create an international web-based platform for government, civilians, entrepreneurs and nonprofits. While doing research for this project, We noticed all resources were outdated, We were pulled to various sites by various agencies, and all the nonprofit effort was scattered. There is strength in numbers, however it would be effective to centralize the efforts and move in the same direction.