International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Australia Ltd
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A holistic human rights approach to fighting child sexual exploitation in a financial institution

Thursday, 27 June at 12:30 pm 1:30 pm AEST


Hosted virtually by ICMEC Australia via Microsoft Teams.

Within financial institutions, the financial crime team usually plays a leading role in fighting child sexual exploitation. However, due to this crime type’s complexity and ever-evolving nature, a more holistic approach to child safeguarding and protection across financial organisations is needed. This approach creates greater meaningful change, not just within the company, but for the benefit of its customers and our broader society.

This month’s Brown Bag will showcase how Westpac Group has adopted a human rights lens above and beyond their financial crime work to proactively address child exploitation. Westpac’s efforts are led by a core mission to prevent exploitation from occurring in the first place. Their work focuses on strengthening human rights due diligence using a Safety by Design approach and raising awareness in collaboration with other partners and businesses.

Presented by Dr Kavitha Suthanthiraraj and Natasha Menezes from Westpac Group’s Human Rights and Social Programs team, the session will cover how Westpac used a human rights approach in designing the Safer Children, Safer Communities program, publishing their first Child Safeguarding Position Statement in 2021 (a first for an Australian bank), and how they continue to embed their child safeguarding commitments as part of their broader human rights program.

Please join us for this valuable session to hear Westpac Group share innovative strategies and tangible solutions to assist your organisation in its fight against CSE. 

About Westpac’s Safer Children, Safer Communities program

The Safer Children, Safer Communities program involves a series of actions and investments designed to make a meaningful impact on child safety and protection. The program is delivered in Australia and across the Asia Pacific. 

For more information on Westpac’s Safer Children, Safer Communities program, please visit their website.

Your Speakers

Dr Kavitha Suthanthiraraj, Head of ESG, Human Rights and Social Programs at Westpac, has over 20 years of experience in strategy, policy and sustainability roles across corporates, international non-profits, and academic institutions. Joining Westpac in June 2020, Kavitha established and led the Safer Children, Safer Communities work program, and currently heads up a portfolio of human rights and social programs, including modern slavery reporting. With a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, Kavitha has published articles and reports across a range of human rights issues and has worked on several policy and advocacy initiatives during her career.

Natasha Menezes, Executive Manager of Social Programs at Westpac, has over 10 years’ experience in sustainability, human rights, and policy areas across consulting, corporates, and the not-for-profit sector. In 2021, Natasha led the development of Westpac’s Child Safeguarding Position Statement and is currently focused on driving a cross-industry child safeguarding business coalition to share Westpac’s learnings with other Australian businesses. Her career spans a range of human-rights-focused work, climate change, sustainability strategy, modern slavery, and sustainability reporting.

Register for this event

This session will not be recorded, so please join us live to ensure you don’t miss out on this valuable webinar.

Registrations close Wednesday 26th June at 12pm (AEST)

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