A Day of Learning, Networking And Problem-Solving

Safe Online Regional Network Forum in Southeast Asia and Pacific

Representatives of 21 Safe Online grants across Southeast Asia and the Pacific had the opportunity to meet face-to-face in Bangkok, Thailand this week in an important moment of reflection and learning. Participants represented ongoing projects in eight countries (Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, The Philippines and Viet Nam) and organisations including 11 NGOs, UNICEF Country Offices, academic institutions and a private company.

The forum was an open space for Safe Online grantees to cross-pollinate between their project and to:

  • Share knowledge, new trends, best practices and approaches to end online CSEA.
  • Identify pressing and challenging issues along with strategic needs and opportunities.
  • Network to build working relationships between grantees and foster future collaboration.
Highlights of the day

The day was packed with a range of presentations and panel discussions involving grantees as well as enthusiastic group discussion sessions that covered a range of critical issues that occur in the complex work of addressing technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) across the region.

The first session invited those present to undertake a rapid mapping of trends, threat and solutions across their work and contexts. Groups explored CSEA in relation to offenders, deterrents, and help-seeking. As one participant observed, ‘The offenders are way faster than us.’ Taking the time to pause, convene, and reflect is therefore crucial for advocates and programmers addressing the challenges faced in our work.

The second session was an opportunity for grantees to showcase the current data ecosystem, and how data intersects with other components including technology tools to tackle CESA at all stages of project lifecycles. Highlighted examples demonstrated the importance of data security and protection – especially given the highly vulnerable nature of the data gathered from victims of CSEA.

After lunch attention turned to the narratives that we encounter, and use, in our work regarding CSEA. Sometimes we fall into these narratives without explicit consideration, yet carefully constructed narratives can be harnessed for powerful advocacy. Examples of taking existing narratives and challenging, adapting and using them to progress important conversations were shared. As one participant said in summary of this session:

“It was a humbling experience to realize that we have lots of narratives about victims but struggled to find common narratives to describe offenders. Maybe it’s time to shift the public focus on CSEA towards the offenders?”

In the final session of the day, a panel of grantees shared some innovative strategies and approaches – as well as some great examples – of unlocking evidence generation about technology facilitated CSEA. Unsurprisingly, methodologies that come from the context and fit what is right for the project have the greatest impact. One panel member shared a guiding principles for data they sought:

“If the piece of data hits you it should be memorable. It should stick with you. It should drive you towards some change or action.”

Images: ECPAT International

See more stories from our family of grantees
Woman writing in notebook

Policy Proposal 3

As part of Together to #ENDviolence, experts from across the End Violence community came together to prepare a prioritized set of policy proposals to end violence against children. The result is six game-changing policy proposals, backed by evidence and research on what works to protect children.

Read More »
Stay in the loop.

Our purpose in detail

We are here to ensure every child and young person grows in to the digital world feeling safe, and is protected from harm.

We support, champion, and invest in innovative partners from the public, private, and third sectors working towards the same objective.

We believe in equipping guardians and young people with the skills to understand and see danger themselves once accessing digital experiences without supervision.

We'd love to have a chat

We're thrilled you're interested in donating to Safe Online - pop in the details below and we will get back to you to set up a discussion.