UAE granted two seats on child safety taskforce
Abu Dhabi: The UAE has been granted two seats on the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), an international initiative that seeks to prevent online child abuse and transnational sexual exploitation of children, it was announced on Tuesday.
The seats were granted in recognition of the UAE’s efforts to promote child safety through numerous conference and initiatives, officials at the VGT said in the capital. The membership is valid for the next three years.
Speaking at the conclusion of the We Protect: Global Online Children Sexual Abuse Summit, Ernie Allen, chairman of the VGT, said the UAE has done a tremendous job at enhancing online child safety.
“We hope the organisation of the conference will be a launchpad for more such projects, and that a national plan to address such threats will soon be developed,” he added.
The conference was launched by Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, on Monday yesterday and a hotline to report child abuse was announced. It can be accessed by dialling 116 111, visiting the ministry website or using the Hemayati smartphone app.
On the sidelines of the conference, Abu Dhabi Police launched children’s patrols in efforts to enhance the protection of children in the country.
Allen said that 8,000 cases of online child abuse had been filed with the VGT so far.
“We are now working to save potential victims and apprehend perpetrators. The VGT is also coordinating with international organisations like Unicef, and online heavyweights like Google, Microsoft and Facebook to protect children,” he added.