- The UAE Ministry of Interior launches new Child Protection Strategy to tackle the surge of online child abuse at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 43rd Session of the Universal Periodic Review.
- UAE intends to promote a holistic approach for child protection, which empowers children, upholds values and creates a safe and cohesive environment online.
GENEVA, May 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 43rd Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) of the United Arab Emirates, in partnership with the Permanent Mission of the UAE, launched a new innovative programme, MOI’s Child Protection Strategy 2023-26, which responds to the global crisis of child safety on online platforms.
The launch event at Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland gathered a diverse group of relevant high-level stakeholders from the UAE, WePROTECT Global Alliance, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the FBI, among others.
Unveiling the Child Protection Strategy, Lt. Colonel Abdulrahman Al Tamimi, Deputy Director General of the International Affairs Bureau at the MOI said:
“Against the backdrop of increased online child sexual abuse and exploitation, the safety of children is the UAE’s utmost priority. Our latest strategy centres around building a comprehensive system for child protection which will be facilitated by effective partnerships with all relevant stakeholders. Additionally, by adopting AI and machine learning to assist efforts in tackling infringement of children’s rights in the virtual world, we in the UAE are determined to continue leading these efforts by example”, Lt. Col. Humaid said.
According to Lt. Col. Al Tamimi, the Ministry aims to enhance the capabilities of professionals in the field and support their mental health, improve cooperation nationally and internationally to combat the spread of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) and raise awareness of children’s rights, including their dignified right to grow in a moral and safe community.
Major Khaled AlKaabi Director, Child Protection Center, UAE MOI, also stressed the importance of enhancing the efficiency of child protection services.
“The online world is only becoming more contentious with child sexual abuse and exploitation on the rise, and it is our duty to enhance child protection services to prevent harm. The UAE Child Protection Strategy is designed to ensure children’s rights receive the precedence they deserve in a holistic manner”, said Lt. Col. Al Tamimi.
Speaking at the launch event, Irakli Beridze, Head of the Centre for AI and Robotics at UNICRI, highlighted the use of AI as the most progressive way to safeguard children online and endorsed UAE’s strategy.
“Through a cohesive collaboration between law enforcement agencies, technological solutions and machine learning – the versatility to monitor children’s activity online is far more concise. The UAE’s Child Protection Strategy is a practical action plan which essentially facilitates the prevention, detection and most importantly, prosecution of the perpetrators behind online child abuse”, said Beridze.
The newly unveiled Child Protection Strategy builds on the UAE MOI’s global leadership advocacy, capacity-building, operations and policy-making relevant for improving the protection of children online. UAE MOI is a Member of the Virtual Global Task Force, Permanent Board Member of WePROTECT Global Alliance, and co-founder of AI for Safer Children Initiative.
For more background on the overarching AI for Safer Children programme, see the website – https://unicri.it/topics/AI-for-Safer-Children
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