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Asia-Pacific

Protecting the protectors: IJM helps frontline police during COVID-19

In April, IJM purchased and delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to personnel on the front lines keeping children safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The equipment delivered to the Philippines Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC) included 300 washable face masks, 100 clear eye protection pieces, and 750 medical gloves. This will work to keep our PICACC partners safe and COVID-19 free as they continue in their mission to keep the Philippines secure during this challenging and unique time in human history, and as they continue to champion the freedom of exploited children.

The PPE was purchased from local suppliers, who worked with IJM Philippines to deliver the items in a safe, limited-contact manner. Because the shipment was going to law enforcement personnel, the suppliers waived normal delivery fees.

One of the highest risks for law enforcement all over the world due to the virus is lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the exposure concerns that brings. Out of gratitude and appreciation for their tireless work and selfless service, IJM wanted to make sure that these law enforcement partners were as protected as possible.

International Justice Mission (IJM) has a long-standing partnership with the Philippine National Police Women’s and Children’s Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) and the National Bureau of Investigations Anti-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD), through PICACC, as we seek to bring rescue to children who have been victimised by cybersex trafficking, and to detect and find the traffickers that benefit from their abuse and exploitation.

Gideon Cauton, IJM Philippines National Director of Investigations and Law Enforcement Development says:

“As the men and women of the PICACC continue to keep the Philippines safe and secure, and to protect children being harmed by cybersex trafficking, we feel an important obligation to protect those who protect us all. IJM remains committed to our partners, to protect them from COVID-19, and to end cybersex trafficking of children.”

Cybersex trafficking is considered one of the most damaging forms of child abuse in the world. At this time, when the world’s attention is turned to fighting COVID-19, IJM and others combatting this crime type believe that children are at an elevated risk of being exploited and trafficked online, because traffickers, and the sexually-motivated offenders who purchase the content, are able to take advantage of the reduced detection resources being aimed at them globally. PICACC continues to ensure during this time that these traffickers cannot hide, and to give these children hope that they will be found and brought to safety.

In the coming weeks, meals ready to eat (MREs) and alcohol disinfectant will be provided to the PICACC as well.

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