Al Nuaimi: It is our responsibility to ensure children's safety on the Internet
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Wednesday, April 15th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
The Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) unanimously voted and approved the UAE Ministry of Interior, represented by Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, to chair the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), an international alliance of 18 law enforcement agencies and private sector partners dedicated to combating online child sexual abuse. The VGT chair handover was announced at the Virtual Global Taskforce Board of Management and consultative team’s meeting, which commenced this week in Sydney, Australia. According to the decision, the United Arab Emirates will assume the duties of chair of the VGT Board of Management and Secretariat as of this upcoming November.
The appointment of Major General Dr. Al Nuaimi to chair the VGT for the next three years (2015-2018) is testament from member countries and law enforcement agencies to the efficient efforts, competence and civilized values of the UAE police. It also recognizes the humanitarian and professional efforts exerted by Major General Al Nuaimi and his extensive experience in this aspect, which personify the wise directives of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and his tireless commitment to emphasizing the importance of joint international action to ensure a decent safe and secure life to all children, who are the builders of the future in a crime and risk-free world.
The VGT law enforcement member agencies, including its only Arab member, the UAE, include the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (Canadian Mounted Police); the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (UK); the INTERPOL; the EUROPOL, the law enforcement agency of the European Union; the Australian Federal Police (AFP); Italian Postal and Communication Police Service; New Zealand Police; the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA); the Dutch National Police (DNP); the Cybercrime Coordination Unit Switzerland (CYCO) and the National Police of Colombia, among others.
Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, elected chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) said that as chair, the UAE is seeking to further expand strategic partnerships between member countries in various fields to protect children and combat online child exploitation and abuse. “It also strives to make the internet a safer place; establish advanced joint training programs; create an even stronger presence and greater global reach with enhanced capacity for research, training, education and intelligence sharing; and provide regulations and policies that effectively deter and prevent child abusers, and curtail new and existing methods that target children online,” he said.
Adding further, he noted that winning the bid to chair this prestigious alliance and host its conferences clearly demonstrates the prestigious international stature and honorable reputation of the UAE society, and the leadership’s commitment to establish the UAE as a center of excellence in the field of child protection and enhance children’s awareness regarding the dangers of modern technologies. He said: “It is our responsibility to make the Internet a safer place for children. To this end, we rely on Allah’s help and cooperation of all decent people around the world to help us achieve this noble humanitarian mission.”
Major General Al Nuaimi also noted that the VGT will continue to draw on its successes to further expand its membership, and drive forward leading activities and programs against child abuse. It will also continue mobilizing the world, the public opinion as well as awareness-raising religious and civil institutions, in a bid to reinforce concerted efforts in the field child protection against all forms of abuse. Moreover, he praised the achievements of the current chair and the different members of VGT and commended the collaborative efforts of member countries to protect children. “Since its inception in 2003, the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) has significantly changed the way in which countries work together to protect children. The dismantling of global pedophile networks, the coordination of covert internet investigations, the sharing and developing of intelligence are among the global activities of the VGT in recent years, as well as other procedures to highlight global child abuse cases and protect children against abuse,” he said.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Virtual Global Taskforce announced that Major General Al Nuaimi will assume the duties of chair from Ian M. Quinn, Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) for the Investigative Services Division and the Cyber Crimes Center (C3) within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Major General Al Nuaimi was voted unanimously, in recognition of the significant tireless efforts and extensive activities carried out by the UAE Ministry of Interior and its representative at the VGT, and aimed at strengthening international cooperation and coordination to protect children and prevent and respond to child sexual exploitation.
The Secretary General reiterated the keenness of the UAE police to support the VGT as it seeks to achieve its goals and aspirations. “To this end, the UAE hosted the VGT Board of Management meetings in Abu Dhabi, in addition to the VGT Conference in 2012. In April 2011, Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, awarded the Community Service Medal to 14 former VGT Board of management members, in recognition of their humanitarian and social services in police and security work. “This accolade was also designed to motivate efforts to forge efficient global partnerships and to achieve the VGT goals and aspirations, to make the internet a safer place and to identify, locate and help children at risk and hold perpetrators accountable,” he continued.
The UAE, represented by the Ministry of Interior, officially became a member of the VGT in May 2010, by inking accession documents to VGT. Under the agreement, the UAE will be legally bound to realize the VGT objectives seeking to make the Internet a safer place; identify, locate and help children at risk of sexual exploitation.
At the local level, the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior, chaired by Major General Al Nuaimi has implemented several initiatives and projects to boost child protection from every potential danger. He said: “The ministry endeavored to develop, implement and standardize the initiatives and actions aimed at providing safety, security and protection of all children, most notably by establishing the Child Protection Center, to protect children against any potential crime or phenomena that may encourage the exploitation of children. It also seeks to monitor any potential cyber exploitation or crimes against children, and any attempts of abuse committed by sex offenders to lure children and teenagers. The Centre also endeavors to monitor any wrongful behaviors or violations at cyber cafes or through public networks by documenting the identity of users and tracking their browsing history; and additionally seeks to spread awareness regarding the optimal use of the internet among families and individuals.”
The Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior also endeavored to enhance familial supervision on children, to acquaint them with the potential risks they may encounter online. To this end, it has launched and implemented a number of media campaigns academic and training programs to raise awareness of the risks of cyber crimes, particularly those related to child online sexual abuse, in collaboration with competent agencies. “The center will also closely track any suspicious financial transactions online, related to child work exploitation, to identify people involved in such crimes. An integrated database about these crimes will be set up accordingly,” he continued.
A report, which was recently issued by the Committee, highlighted the most prominent achievements in this context. In April 2010, the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior announced that a Higher Committee will be set up ‘to upgrade the level of child awareness and protect children against potential risks resulting from the use of the internet, to maintain their rights in general and to face any challenges that may affect them.’ The higher committee comprises several sub-committees, working together to establish the UAE as a distinguished center of excellence in the field of child protection through awareness, legislations and other control methods. Harsh punishments are also imposed on sexual exploitation of children, possession and distribution of child pornography material. A list containing the names of child sex offenders will be kept and proper legislations shall be enacted in the UAE to process them, as part of a special child protection center established for this purpose at the MoI. Following the decision issued in 2010, by which the Higher Committee for Child Protection was established, and with the accession of the UAE to the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), the Ministry of Interior reiterated its commitment to ensure children’s safety in the UAE and worldwide, stressing that ‘this engagement in the global campaign against child abuse will contribute to further commitment to protection of children’s rights.’
In May 2010, HH Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, issued a ministerial decision, which gave legal standing to the Permanent Higher Committee for Child Protection at the MoI. The committee was chaired by Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, as the UAE Representative at the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), authorized to sign memos to promote partnerships with public and private entities within the UAE and abroad in all child protection-related issues.
According to the decision, the committee comprised representatives of all concerned bodies in the MoI, along with 14 members representing public strategic partners, notably the Ministry of Justice, the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). In June 2010, Chairman of the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior issued an administrative decision to form five subcommittees affiliated to the committee.
In October 2011, Major General Al Nuaimi inaugurated a workshop on “Legislation and Child Protection” at the Forensic Evidence Department’s hall at Abu Dhabi Police. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center, in collaboration with the “Protection Project” at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and the International Center of Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). The ministry also took part in the exhibition organized in conjunction with the national campaign to raise awareness of children's rights, at the premises of the General Women's Union in Abu Dhabi.
The work paper submitted by the Higher Committee for Child Protection, titled “Initiatives & Achievements” at the first session of the national campaign to raise awareness of children's rights, tackled the Ministry of Interior’s efforts in child protection. The paper referred to the ministerial decree regarding the establishment of the Higher Committee for Child Protection, which comprises members from various ministries and government agencies. The committee aims to achieve an integrated child protection approach, which involves ensuring child safety at home, on the road, at school, while using the internet and modern technologies.
In November 2011, the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior took part in the preparation of the Virtual Global Taskforce-supported resolution with respect to strengthening laws to combat online child sexual exploitation, which was widely accepted by Interpol Member States. According to the resolution, Countries wishing to enhance their online child protection laws need to seize the opportunity, following the acceptance of a legislative global engagement strategy presented at the INTERPOL’s 80th General Assembly that was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, and was attended by more than 600 delegates from 142 member countries.
The Ministry of Interior also organized a joint exercise to take a tough stand against people involved in circulation of child pornography files through peer-to-peer networks (P2P). The exercise coincided with the 41st UAE National Day celebrations, marking another achievement in the field of child protection, to monitor child offenders and hold them appropriately to account, wherever they may be.
On July 2012, Major General Al Nuaimi, inaugurated a national workshop on child protection organized by the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior in Abu Dhabi. The workshop brought together officials from all the police general headquarters in the UAE. “Children issues are a top priority within the strategy of the Ministry of Interior, which supports local and international efforts to ensure their protection against all forms of abuse,” he said.
In November 2012, Major General Nasser Lakhrebani Naimi, announced that the Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center has concluded a draft law on child protection in the UAE. The project aims to provide a comprehensive database of all issues related to children, set up a list of sex offenders, and establish a monitoring system to track individuals who pose a risk to children.
Moreover, in line with its keenness to interact with different society segments, the Ministry of Interior launched in September 2013 an initiative titled: “Identifying and responding to child abuse cases”. The initiative, which was a corporate model for strategic partnership; targeted teachers and 250 nursery supervisors across the country to teach them how to identify and report violence and cases of mistreatment that nursery school-aged children may experience.
The Higher Committee for Child Protection’s initiatives and achievements are ongoing, in line with its commitment to further efforts and step up partnerships with governmental sectors and institutions and all parties involved in child protection.
Boxed Text 1:
Major General Al Nuaimi said that the UAE is determined to become an unrivaled cultural beacon of child protection, and to raise the awareness of the risks of new technologies that children may face through various means, including the internet. This comes in response to the wise directives of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, who called in May 2010, for developing a strategic partnership between the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Interior and the international alliance, Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), in areas of common interest. The UAE officially became the first and only Arab country in the region to partner with VGT, and inked the accession document to join VGT and pledged to work tirelessly to achieve VGT’s objectives of making the Internet a safer place for children at risk of abuse, and bringing offenders to justice.
Boxed Text 2:
The UAE, since its inception by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan and his brethrens, founders of the Union, has dedicated a great attention to childhood. For this end, all efforts were exerted to support this important segment, which represents a vital component of society. Thus, promoting education; women empowerment policies; enhancing public safety, health and education, were a significant part of this support dedicated to children, being the pillars of the future and the hope of this nation.
For more information about:
The Ministry of Interior, please click HERE
Abu Dhabi Police, please click HERE
Follow us and check our Social Media feeds on: YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
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.
The UAE Minister of Interior's General Secretariat, Tactical Affairs and Security Media Department
Abu Dhabi Police GHQ - Security Media
Chris Cron +971-(0)-50-987-1317