UAE | General

Virtual Global Taskforce to host biannual child protection conference

Speakers will discuss issues relating to online crime, paedophilia and latest technology

  • By Nada Al Taher, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 18:00 August 26, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: Virtual Global Taskforce
  • Online child safeguards and victim narratives will be highlights of the conference organised by Virtual Global Taskforce.

Abu Dhabi: The Virtual Global Taskforce is hosting its fifth biannual international conference this December in the capital, Gulf News has learned.

A statement released by the taskforce, which battles online child abuse, confirmed the summit will take place in Abu Dhabi and will centre around the theme of cross-country cooperation to combat child abuse.

Titled, International Collaboration: An enabler for prevention, the conference will discuss methods of combatting online child sexual abuse. The conference takes place between December 11-13.

“No single agency can deal with this crime in isolation. This international conference provides an opportunity for all of us to learn, understand, and develop collaborative response strategies that highlight child protection,” said VGT Chairman Neil Gaughan.

The Virtual Global Taskforce, which was set up in 2003, seeks to build an effective, international partnership of law enforcement agencies, non-government organisations and industry to help protect children from online child abuse

The conference will see experts fly in from Australia, the UK, the USA, New Zealand and the VGT’s four other members including its only Arab member, the UAE.

Reflecting the UAE’s strong stance on child protection is President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s recently issued law which protects children of unknown parentage and provides them with foster families, which went into effect during June of this year.

“It is necessary for more members of society to become aware of child-related issues given the UAE’s efforts to provide comfortable lives for its young,” said Major Faisal Mohammad Ali Al Shamri, member of the Child Protection High Committee.

“Individuals should become able to deal with the challenges relating to privacy and reputation protection, as well as their health issues.

“Children dealing with the digital world can become exposed to all types of threats and real dilemmas which require advice, guidance and finding appropriate solutions for facing them,” he added.

Some of the topics set to be addressed at the end-of-year conference include blocking websites versus shutting them down, online victimisation and victim narratives as enablers for prevention, behavioural analysis in child sex offence investigations as well as the risks associated with child sexual exploitation investigations.

Meanwhile, new technology-enabled crime methodologies, issues and challenges will be available for delegates to learn about.

For those interested in attending the conference, an early bird discount of $300 (Dh1,101) is now being offered for those who register before September 15. Log on to www.vgtconference2012.ae/vgt/en/registration.aspx for more information.

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Do you feel that your children are protected enough from online abuse? What more can be done to keep children safe online? How do you keep your children safe?

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