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PLDT, Smart launch new UNICEF assessment tool
PLDT and Smart are set to pilot UNICEF’s enhanced assessment tool, advancing children’s welfare in the conduct of its business operations.
BusinessWorld/File

PLDT, Smart launch new UNICEF assessment tool

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - May 9, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT Inc. and its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. have deepened their collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), becoming pioneers in Southeast Asia to adopt the agency’s updated tool.

PLDT and Smart are set to pilot UNICEF’s enhanced assessment tool, advancing children’s welfare in the conduct of its business operations.

The Mobile Operators Child Rights Impact Self-Assessment (MO-CRIA) tool enables mobile operators to fully understand the challenges, opportunities and child rights related to their industry and their operations, and how to mitigate potential negative impact.

It is designed to strengthen corporate practices, policies and processes, with the goal of making it possible for children globally to safely explore and enjoy the best of what the information and communication technology industry has to offer.

Prior to piloting the new MO-CRIA, PLDT and Smart have been engaging UNICEF in advancing children’s welfare.

As the country’s largest and fully integrated telco firm, PLDT and Smart said they stand well-positioned to work with UNICEF and offer real-world experiences using the updated assessment tool.

“Children comprise 35 percent of the world’s population, so their rights are integrally part of comprehensive approaches to sustainability in responsible and purposeful business. If you don’t ask the right questions, one doesn’t ever really find out the right answers. If one doesn’t investigate their impact on children, one will never know what that impact actually is. And that is a vulnerable place for any business to be in the contemporary world,” said Andrew Mawson, chief of child rights and business at UNICEF.

PLDT became the first Philippine company to integrate child rights into its business following a signing of a memorandum of understanding with UNICEF in January 2018.

As part of their ongoing fight against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, PLDT and Smart have also formalized recently their membership into the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).

The IWF membership now gives PLDT and Smart broader surveillance powers, as they secure access to thousands of sites identified by IWF as harmful to children.

PLDT SMART UNICEF
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