ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates-Thursday, November 24th 2016 [ ME NewsWire ]
The MoI’s Child Protection Center (CPC) organized on Wednesday, an innovation laboratory under the theme “Protection of Children from Internet Risks”. The lab, which was organized in cooperation with the MoI’s Innovation Center, was held at St. Regis Al Saadiyat Hotel in Abu Dhabi, as a part of the activities to mark the UAE Innovation Week and the Universal Children's Day.
A number of consultants and education, law, sociology, psychology experts took part in the workshop, along with a number of parents. Also attending were representatives from the Family Development Foundation, the Juvenile Welfare, telecommunications companies, cyber security authorities, United Arab Emirates University, educational institutions, and officers from various Police General Headquarters and a number of innovative children in the field of Internet.
A brainstorming session was held during the workshop, during which participants explored the challenges facing children online through four main topics, notably online bullying; acquiring negative behaviors; online exchange of information and online extortion. They also stressed the risks of the internet on children in terms of acquiring negative behaviors or negative vocabulary as a result of viewing unrestricted content; such as aggressive language, obscene chats and violent pictures.
Participants also talked about the risks of online extortion, in terms of intimidating victims by threatening to publish their private pictures, footage or confidential information in exchange for money or exploiting victims to carry out illegal actions.
The MoI’s Child Protection Center gave a presentation stressing the Ministry’s keenness to reach a mutual understanding between government agencies, the community and the private sector, about the dangers that children might face online. This allows all entities to identify these risks, their scope, and enhance children’s awareness about the internet and acquaint them with the proper way to handle potential dangers online.
The MoI’s Child Protection Center praised the valuable role played by federal and local agencies within their area of jurisdiction to ensure children’s safety in the UAE. This includes health programs, psychological growth support, educational development, cultural growth and national identity as well as protection, prevention, social care, education and reform.
The presentation highlighted the most prevalent risks faced by children and adolescents, notably believing that the internet is completely safe, accepting friends request on social media from strangers who ask them to send pictures and personal information, sharing their passwords with family members or friends and harassment or bullying.
In the segment related to enhancing schools awareness, the MoI’s Child Protection Center pointed out that statistics have indicated that some students do not trust their teachers’ ability to help them; other students received educational courses on internet safety, while others consult with a specialist when faced with a problem online. In the segment related to enhancing parents’ awareness, the center indicated that many parents are not aware of their children’s accounts on social media nor do they monitor their children’s internet use, and some do not discuss online safety with their children.
As a part of the presentation, The CPC highlighted the key achievements of the Ministry of Interior in the field of child protection. These achievements include participating in the preparation of the Child Rights Act (Wadeema Law) and the National Charter for Digital Games; adopting a hotline for child protection (116 111);, preparing the standard guidelines for children’s investigation rooms; launching the Hemayati application; organizing residential councils; holding training courses in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and the Health Authority for social workers in 365 public and private schools and kindergarten supervisors and staff and school nurses at the countrywide level.
The Center also reviewed the ministry's achievements on the international level, such as obtaining the chair to the Virtual Global Taskforce (V.G.T) to handle cases of online child abuse and gaining a permanent seat on the International Advisory Council of the WePROTECT initiative for child protection.
Major Mohammed Al-Harmoudi, Director of MoI’s Innovation Center, stressed the importance of the UAE Innovation Week and the government’s keenness to encourage innovation. He also pointed out that the UAE aspires to become one of the most innovative governments in the world by 2021 and has launched several initiatives to promote innovation in the public sector, notably the national strategy for innovation. He pointed out that ideas that can achieve public benefit will be developed, tested and implemented in the form of a new product or service or an update of existing processes, policy proposals, or breaking off an unsuccessful practice. He noted that the Innovation Laboratory aims to find creative solutions to multiple challenges through the exchange of ideas, insights and perspectives.
Moreover, he noted that the government innovation framework according to Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation aims to provide government employees with the guidelines regarding the concept of innovation, and how to drive innovation forward to help achieve the government's 2021 vision.
He added, “The Government Innovation Laboratory includes a collection of sessions and workshops based on an elaborate methodology that uses innovative ways and means to brainstorm innovative ideas and find realistic solutions to the challenges facing government agencies. This is done by gathering specialized teams representing the concerned agencies to discuss topics, to help individuals and institutions to create, adopt and adapt new ideas, based on their specific needs and start implementing the innovative actions.”
Security Media Department video highlights internet risks
The Security Media Department, at the Directorate General of Security Support at the Ministry of Interior, presented a video documentary compiling interviews of parents and children about the programs that they use and how well they know them. The video revealed that parents lack proper knowledge and awareness of the risks of the Internet.
Participation of innovative children
A number of distinguished children from the Hamdan bin Zayed School in Abu Dhabi participated in the Innovation Laboratory. Children Shamma Sultan Al Qamzi and Shamma Sultan Al Hammadi uploaded a story on the Apple store in three languages (Arabic, English and Chinese), which demonstrated their talent and positive use of the Internet. Children Khalifa Rashid, Saif Saeed and Khalid Najeeb warned their peers through a creative story titled "Online Piracy" against the dangers and risks of online piracy. It tells the story of a student, who could not find support for his talent, and instead stole a bank account. Ahmad Hamad gave a virtual presentation about an e-design program, which highlights the art of making shapes and models using the 3D printing technology; while child Ahmed Sadeq presented his "Scratch" program, about games programming and animation design, praising the school’s role in discovering and supporting his talent.
For more information about:
The Ministry of Interior, please click HERE
Abu Dhabi Police, please click HERE
The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect