Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Friday, October 10th 2014 [ME NewsWire]
The Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center organized awareness-raising sessions on child protection from technological risks and threats. These sessions were held in cooperation with the Family Development Foundation in Abu Dhabi, and attended by parents of students from Al Bateen Private School and Al Dhabyania Private School, who took part in the debates on these issues.
A team from the Center acquainted students’ parents with the potential risks and threats that may target their children when they access the Internet, and encouraged them to use advanced parental control tools that allow them to control, restrict and monitor their children’s online access on the various devices they use. The team also indicated that students are often the target of bullying, harassment and exploitation when they access the Internet, via smartphones and tablet, gaming platforms and PCs.
The centre urged students’ parents to download the “Hemayati” application for smartphones, which offers safety guidelines that promotes child protection services in the UAE. The application provides parents with the ability to keep track of their children’s whereabouts at all times and communicate with them via instant messaging.
The one-week awareness-raising sessions were intended for young schoolgirls from grade 4 to grade six at Al Bateen and Al Dhabyania Private Schools. The Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center’s team interacted with the schoolgirls, and inquired about their Internet habits, particularly the games they play, the photo sharing process, social media and mobile phones.
Students screened a video presentation showcasing the risks that they may face while playing online games; via different possible scenarios related to bullying and exploitation. They also watched a video about the “Hemayati” application, and were encouraged by the Child Protection Center’s team to tell their families about the application.
As part of the sessions, students engaged in a debate with the center’s team, and provided examples on some positive and negative experiences they faced while using instant messaging applications and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Child Protection Center’s team noted that harassment, bullying, spreading false rumors, stealing photos or taking pictures of others without their consent are illegal behaviors. They warned students against strangers that lurk for them on the Internet and who are not always who they pretend to be and search for victims while hiding behind the anonymity of a computer screen.
The centre’s team advised students to not disclose personal information to strangers, such as the name of their school or their mobile phones. They also warned them against sharing personal photos; stressing the importance of telling their families in case they are subjected to threat or harm via the Internet or in real life.
In conclusion, the Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center’s team urged the students to save the “Aman” service phone number (AMAN 800/800 2626) and to call it if they feel threatened on the Internet or otherwise.
It is worth mentioning that the “Hemayati” application can be activated by parents only. It helps parents to determine the whereabouts of children in case they go missing. It is specifically designed to enhance the protection of children; and is not meant to impose any kind of control over them. Installing the application on the family members’ phones must be done by mutual consent, and by their own discretion. Parents need to communicate with children, to convince them of the importance and benefits of this service that ensures their safety. To download and install the app, please visit the following link:
You may also look for the app on “Apple Store” by typing “HEMAYATI.”
You may also look for the app on “Google play” by typing “HEMAYATI.”
For more information about:
The Ministry of Interior, please click HERE
Abu Dhabi Police, please click HERE
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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