Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Interior has launched a ‘cinema award’ to reward films which raise public awareness on the dangers of the online world.

In statement issued on Saturday, the ministry mentioned the films Trust (2010) and Disconnect (2012), that used purposeful cinematography to shed light on the dangers of the online world.

This was revealed at the UN World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva where executive director of the ministry’s Smart Government Programme Lt Col Faisal Mohammad Al Shammari spoke about online sexual abuse and the UAE’s efforts in combating it.

He highlighted the UAE’s child protection law describing it as a legislative leap in the field of child protection on a national as well as a regional scale.

“The world of online sexual exploitation of children is still an unexplored ‘grey area’ in some countries,” the official told international experts.

“Temptation, grooming and even the simple possession of child-exploitative material in the digital world is still an area not covered by many countries across the world,” he added.

Lt Col Al Shammari also shared with attendees the Hemayati smartphone application that enables parents to identify their children’s whereabouts while allowing youngsters equipped with the technology to send a distress signal in case they are in danger.

He also explained that there is a gap between the technologies being used to fight crime and those used by criminals, adding that violators are using highly developed tools and methods of communication that certain Third World countries are not equipped to handle. Lt Col Al Shammari also said that internet service providers, communication and technology companies are not participating as they should be in fighting these crimes.

Finally, he revealed that raising awareness among parents and caretakers is only the beginning and the need to focus on victims of these crimes is imperative in handling the issue of child abuse.