The Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior (MoI), represented by the MoI Child Protection Centre, celebrated the ‘2016 Safer Internet Day,’ held under the theme “Lets Create a Better Internet Together” on Tuesday. The event took place at Sara Primary School in Dubai in cooperation with ICDL Arabia.

Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Chairman of the Higher Committee for Child Protection and Chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), stressed the importance of legislating parental supervision of the cyber behaviors and actions of their children by training them how to protect their privacy. He emphasized the need for them to refrain from posting any information, data, and pictures that may be misused by others. He also stressed the importance of limiting the time when children are allowed to use the internet and modern communication means in order to prevent them from becoming internet addicted.

He added that the celebrations organized on this occasion enhance spreading the concepts of safe internet usage and child protection through early education. He stressed the importance of increasing awareness to effectively address privacy protection issues. “We must realize that while they are in contact with the cyberworld, our children and teenagers are subject to all kinds of challenges and dilemmas that require advice and guidance to find suitable solutions,” said Major General Al Nuaimi.

Furthermore, he highlighted the MoI’s efforts as a representative of the United Arab Emirates in the field of protecting children from exploitation via the Internet, at the international level through effective partnerships with police forces specialized in child protection and the private sector.

Moreover, he pointed out a number of specialized academic and training programs organized in cooperation with leading authorities in the digital world. These programs will be implemented throughout the year in collaboration with the concerned authorities in order to raise awareness of the risks of cybercrimes.

For her part, Major Dana Humaid Al-Marzouqi, Manager of the Executive Office of the VGT Chair, explained that the Higher Committee for Child Protection works within the framework of a joint force with public and private entities in order. This is to enhance familial supervision over children, acquaint them with the potential risks they may encounter on the Internet and raise awareness of the risks of cybercrimes, particularly those related to online sexual abuse of children.

She also noted that the event included a workshop for children on how to protect themselves from the dangers of the internet, in addition to a pavilion organized by the MoI Child Protection Centre to introduce its services, notably the 116111 hotline.

For his part, Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL ARABIA, lauded the efforts of the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the MoI and its great attention and dedicated to protecting children from the dangers of using the Internet. He also pointed out that the heavy reliance on the Internet in our daily lives has led to increasing cybercrimes; children and young people in particular face a higher risk of such attacks.

He said, “ICDL ARABIA has tried to increase awareness about internet safety and called upon the concerned authorities for the need to apply strict laws in this sector. By supporting the activities of the ‘2016 Safer Internet Day,’ we renew our concern in the safety of internet users. Through specialized workshops and programs organized on a regular basis, we strive to enable and provide all internet users in the region, especially children, with the best online practices to avoid all forms of threats and attacks over the Internet.”

The event was attended by a large number of students, the members of the faculty and administrative body at the school, and many parents. It included a practical training in computer labs for students in order to report e-crimes by entering the MoI Child Protection Center’s website. Awareness brochures were distributed among students to teach and educate them, their parents, and their teachers about internet safety and developing their knowledge in this area.
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