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Westpac releases Safer Children, Safer Communities 2020 Progress Report

Rosie was rescued from online sexual exploitation in an International Justice Mission (IJM)-supported operation in the Philippines. Westpac Group is providing $18 million to IJM over three years to help rescue and protect children like Rosie in the Asia Pacific region.

11 February 2021

The Safer Children, Safer Communities 2020 Progress Report documents the outcomes of the work program in 2020, achieved collectively with our community partners, towards making a meaningful impact on child safety and protection in Australia and across the Asia Pacific Region.

“We recognised that we needed to work with experts who had a deep understanding of the issues involved and could help guide our role in making a difference,” said Siobhan Toohill, Group Head of Sustainability at Westpac Group. What resulted was a theory of change to provide a vision for long-term change both within the company and in the community.

In 2020, Westpac committed $33.2 million in funding across Australia and the Asia Pacific region. In the Philippines, this consisted of $6 million over six years to Save the Children Australia and $18 million over three years to IJM. In Australia, we committed $9.2 million over three years to 27 organisations in our first Impact Grants round.

Below are some of the program outcomes achieved in 2020:

  • Developed the Safer Children, Safer Communities work program to make meaningful impact on child safety and protection.
  • Established a Roundtable of experts in human rights, child safety, online safety and law enforcement to guide our approach.
  • 89 victims and children at risk rescued and 23 rescue operations conducted by IJM and their partners since July 2020.
  • 2,453 children and 604 parents and caregivers participated in community workshops conducted by Save the Children Australia’s Philippines team.
  • Recruited over 200 additional Westpac employees to strengthen our financial crime management program.

About the Safer Children, Safer Communities work program

As part of our AUSTRAC Response Plan last year and our commitment to respecting and advancing human rights, we established the Safer Children, Safer Communities program – a series of actions and investments that we intend to deliver over a three-year period (2020 – 2023) to help protect and create safer communities for children across Australia and Asia Pacific.

Through the work program, we are working with industry experts and partners, with a focus on helping prevent the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

More information: