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Safer Children, Safer Communities

Our commitment

We are committed to helping to reduce the human impact of financial crime, protect children, create safer communities, and contribute to long-term change within Westpac Group, across business and in society.

The Safer Children, Safer Communities work program involves a series of actions and investments that we intend to deliver in Australia and across the APAC over a three year period (2020 – 2023) to make a meaningful impact on child safety and protection. The program emerged from the third pillar of Westpac’s Response Plan to the AUSTRAC November 2019 Statement of Claim.

Safer Children, Safer Communities work program (PDF 123KB)

Our ambitions

  1. Catalyse change in the company to create deeper awareness and accountability and be an advocate in Australia for safeguarding children.
  2. Raise awareness of the issue of online sexual exploitation of children, and the role of business and the community in acknowledging and taking responsibility for safeguarding and protecting children.
  3. Accelerate unity of action on OSEC, through the development and adoption of collaborative technologies and capabilities to better detect, monitor, report and prevent harm to children associated with financial crime.
  4. Help safeguard children in Australia, and in those APAC countries where children are at highest risk, by supporting and scaling the efforts of organisations to empower, protect and support children, survivors, their families, and carers, and improve their access to restorative justice.

Our governance

We have established the Safer Children, Safer Communities Roundtable of experts in human rights, child safety, online safety, and law enforcement to guide our approach.

We also work closely with representatives of civil society groups, national child protection organisations and experts in modern slavery, trafficking and human rights working on the frontline of preventing child exploitation and abuse in Australia to provide us with insights on how our programs can help make a difference. 

Our partners

International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC)

We partnered with ICMEC – an international not-for-profit organisation – providing a three-year $25 million data-sharing and innovation grant, to be managed by ICMEC. Our partnership builds on scoping and discovery work conducted in FY20 and aims to drive cross-industry data and knowledge sharing to better detect, monitor, report and prevent the use of Australian payments platforms being used to process payments that relate to Child Sexual Exploitation.

Head to page 38 to learn more about this partnership (PDF 2MB)

International Justice Mission (IJM)

We have partnered with IJM – an anti-slavery organisation - providing $18 million in funding over three years to expand the IJM Philippines national program – their flagship casework and community protection program; establish an ENDOSEC Centre – a centre of excellence providing subject matter expertise, consulting, and access to experts and an OSEC Hub that serves as an umbrella body to advance anti-OSEC efforts in APAC and globally.

Head to page 19 to see what we have achieved through the IJM partnership in 2020 (PDF 5MB)

Save the Children Australia

Through our partnership with Save the Children Australia, we will be providing $6 million in funding over six years to support the delivery of the ‘Protect Children – Philippines’ project to strengthen the skills and knowledge of local child protection service providers, increase access to child protection services, build the resilience of children and families as well as tackle community level attitudes to better protect children from OSEC.

Head to page 21 to see what we have achieved through the SCA partnership in 2020 (PDF 5MB)

Our grant recipients

The Safer Children, Safer Communities Grants have been designed to scale the efforts of Australian organisations to empower, protect and support children and their families. In 2020, we awarded $9.2 million over three years to 27 organisations. We are currently assessing our 2021 applicants. 

Find out more

Our role in safeguarding children and young people

Our Child Safeguarding Position Statement sets out the principles that guide our approach as we work to embed a child safe culture within our organisation and seek to reduce the likelihood of harm to children and young people across our operations.

Westpac Group Child Safeguarding Position Statement (PDF 12MB)

Our progress

Our Progress Reports detail the efforts of our grant recipients, strategic partners, employees, and our stakeholders to keep children and young people safe in Australia and across the Asia Pacific Region. 

Safer Children, Safer Communities 2021 Progress Report (PDF 26MB)

Safer Children, Safer Communities 2020 Progress Report (PDF 5MB)