The UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Project Childhood Prevention Pillar are hoping many more educators, social workers and community workers in South East Asia will become better equipped to protect children in their care from sexual abuse and exploitation, as they deliver the third regional programme of safeguarding children training in Thailand.
Following the success from the last training, which took place in 2011 and as part of the wider child protection work that has been on-going in the area, CEOP will be delivering updated training and educational resources to those who work to protect children and young people during a three-day training event, being held at the Shrewsbury International School Bangkok 24 – 26 September 2013. The training, which is funded by the FCO through the British Embassy and by Project Childhood Prevention Pillar (an AusAID initiative implemented by World Vision) and supported by Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, will cover a range of issues, including child protection, children’s rights and travelling child sexual offenders.
Part of the educational resources that will be delivered include The Tales of Mai and Tam – a film that tells the story of brother and sister Mai and Tam and explores some of the issues around child trafficking, as well as sexual abuse committed by someone outside of the family. The film aims to empower children and their carers to be able to better protect themselves from child sexual offenders who may groom children, as well as those who seek to exploit them for child trafficking.
The on-going engagement and training builds on CEOP’s partnership work to date in the region, with Advisory Panels - made up with key specialists from law enforcement, education, children’s charities and NGO’s - working together to better safeguard children. As part of the International Child Protection Network (ICPN), specialist safeguarding training has so far reached over 1800 professionals and is designed for professionals to share understanding and best practice, to help minimise the risks posed to children by adults with a sexual interest in them.
Peter Davies, Chief Executive of the CEOP Centre explains more:
The success of previous safeguarding training events in the region has shown there is a real thirst for professionals to not only share knowledge and best practice, but to educate children and young people about the risks they may face, both in the real world and when using emerging technology.
The partnership between CEOP and the FCO has continued to grow and I am grateful for their support in both funding this vital work and enhancing the ICPN. Expanding the current networks of trained professionals shows a united front against those with a sexual interest in children and I look forward to continuing this most valuable of work.
Paul Bute, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Bangkok said:
The British Embassy takes child protection very seriously and is delighted to be part of this regional programme and this workshop today. Our aim is not only to raise awareness of child protection, but also to provide delegates with the skills and resources to inspire children to stay safe both on and offline.
Mr Chalermrat Chaiprasert, Project Childhood Prevention Pillar - National Child Protection Coordinator, World Vision Foundation of Thailand said:
Digital technology and media provides incredible opportunities for our children and their futures. It is our responsibility, as parents and educators, to empower our children to stay safe online.
Stephen Holroyd, Principal, Shrewsbury International School said:
Shrewsbury is delighted to be hosting this event – as there is no more important subject than the protection of children. We have been working closely with CEOP for a number of years and value enormously its work in reaching out to parents and teachers from all backgrounds in Thailand.
Transnational Child Sexual Offender, Not ‘Sex Tourist’
Transnational child sexual offenders seek to offend against the world’s most vulnerable children in the hope that they will evade detection and prosecution. The phrase ‘sex tourism’ sanitises the reality of what is taking place. The ‘sex’ is forced, therefore it is rape. The word ‘tourism’ implies sun, sea and sand when frequently children are sought in the most deprived areas of the world.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre works in both online and offline environments to protect children from sexual exploitation. Full information on all areas of work, as well as online safety messages and access to online reporting, can be found at www.ceop.police.uk.
For more information about the International Child Protection Network, please visit www.ceop.police.uk/icpn
CEOP, which in October 2013 becomes a command within the new National Crime Agency (NCA), will support the development and delivery of child protection and safeguarding training for all officers. The NCA will have a legal duty to safeguard and promote child welfare, meaning that the entire Agency’s operational activity, its decision-making processes and its threat assessments will be informed by an awareness of children’s welfare, among other considerations.
CEOP Press Office
Tel: 0044 (0)870 000 3434
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
The CEOP Centre is the UK’s dedicated police led organisation for protecting children from exploitation with outreach channels to all areas of both domestic and international policing. It is a member of the Virtual Global Taskforce which also includes the Australian Federal Police, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Italian National Postal and Communication Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Interpol. Further information is available at www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com
Project Childhood is a $7.5 million Australian Aid Agency for Development (AusAID) initiative to combat the sexual exploitation of children in tourism in the Mekong sub-region. Project Childhood builds on Australia’s long-term support for programs that better protect children and prevent their abuse.
Project Childhood brings together the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INTERPOL, and World Vision to address the serious issue of sexual exploitation of children in tourism. The project works in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. It takes a dual prevention and protection approach.
World Vision works with Governments, the tourism industry, and communities to prevent children from becoming victims of sexual exploitation by raising awareness, building community resilience and building child safe tourism. Through the use of public campaigns, training and child helplines; governments, communities, and the tourism industry are better aware of the vulnerabilities of at-risk children to sexual exploitation in tourism and are equipped with tools to protect them.
UNODC, in partnership with INTERPOL, is working with law enforcement agencies to protect children through strengthening law enforcement responses. Through the increased knowledge of law enforcement and stronger regional and international cooperation, governments are better equipped to identify and counter child sexual exploitation in tourism.