#APSB2015: (1/2) Biggest gathering of advocates of child protection held in Cebu

MP-KNN teamData and Research, Events, Netiquette, Society, The Changing Youth3 Comments

This is Part 1 of a two-part feature. Read Part 2 here.

Ako Para Sa Bata, the biggest gathering of individuals and organizations working to protect Filipino children, hosted almost 1,000 educators, medical practitioners, social workers, lawyers, and law enforcers at its annual conference on December 1 and 2, 2015, held for the first time in Cebu at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Organized by Child Protection Network (CPN), together with TAO Corporation, Office of Cybercrime of the Department of Justice, and UNICEF Philippines, this year’s APSB revolved around Cyber Safety of Children: Internet and Mobile Protection for Minors, and how the changing times and fast-paced technology pose challenges that are more complicated than ever.

Partners in combating cybercrimes against children

“Child protection knows no bounds,” said Julio Sy Jr., honorary conference chair of #APSB2015, in a written message to delegates. “Today, we are facing a threat that is far more complex and would therefore need tighter collaboration among us.”

During the opening ceremonies of the conference, CPN recognized hardworking advocates from all fronts of child protection, and honored this year’s Most Valuable Partner, the Committee for the Special Protection of Children (CSPC), chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and co-chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Dr. Bernadette Madrid, conference president of #APSB2015 and executive director of CPN Foundation, explained: “The interagency committee created by Executive Order No. 275 (s. 1995) and further strengthened by Executive Order No. 53 (s. 2011) was the first of the interagency committees. As the coordinating body of Republic Act 7610, which remains as the principal and comprehensive law for the protection of children against abuse and exploitation, CSPC has come up with the necessary policies, agency memos, and protocols to strengthen the child protection system in our country.”

The members of the interagency committee are: Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Bureau of Immigration (BI), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), DOJ National Prosecution Service, ECPAT Philippines, CPN and Phil Inter-Faith Network for Children.

In a written message, conference co-chair Dr. Marianne Naomi Navarro-Poca said the efforts must be sustained beyond the conference. “Riding on the commitment of the Child Protection Network Foundation, Inc. to protect children from online child abuse and exploitation in its partnership with the Convergence of Councils and Committees for Child Protection spearheaded by the Department of Justice, we have asked other agencies and organizations to commit to this same task by creating specific, doable, and time-bound activities.”

Youth participation at the center of cyberprotection

Alongside efforts on policy and implementation, CPN also deemed child and youth participation crucial in making all initiatives relevant to the beneficiaries themselves.

According to Dr. Madrid, this year’s conference was unique not just for its venue but also because “it is the first time that the youth has come up with their own manifesto ahead of the adults” at the youth conference Shift-CTRL-Del: Cyber Teens Responsible Leaders held in October 2015.

In fact, the conference’s keynote speech came from 20-year-old Jillian Adeline Vestil, a youth volunteer at #CTRLYouthCon in October 2015. Vestil shared how being born into the hyperconnected world as a digital native has its fair share of risks. She shared that at the youth conference, youth participants figured that some of their actions may already be considered bullying. They then committed to change their ways to become digital advocates, who will give “voice to those who don’t have the courage to seek help and speak out.”

And all these happen at a time when young people are trying to keep up with both physical and emotional development, and finding ways to belong. “How can we balance our need for communication, information, and entertainment with our need for acceptance?” she said.

“Resolve to talk to us,” Vestil suggested. Reflecting and making an effort to become a meaningful part of the cyberworld can help adults and youth alike to lessen the great communication divide between them.

This is Part 1 of a two-part feature. Read Part 2 here

Learn more about APSB2015 on its website and Facebook page. For details on the topics discussed in the conference, check out this program.  

Check out photos from the event on Facebook and live social media coverage on Twitter!

3 Comments on “#APSB2015: (1/2) Biggest gathering of advocates of child protection held in Cebu”

  1. Pingback: #APSB2015: Biggest gathering of advocates of child protection held in Cebu (Part 2) | Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network (MP-KNN)

  2. Pingback: #APSB2015: Online child abuse definitions, laws and reporting (Part 3) | Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network (MP-KNN)

  3. Pingback: #APSB2015: (2/2) Biggest gathering of advocates of child protection held in Cebu | Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network (MP-KNN)

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