On International Children’s Day, the Ministry of Interior represented by the Child Protection Center, the Council for Digital Wellbeing and the global technology firm Meta launched a community awareness campaign to educate the public about the harm caused by sharing images or videos of child sexual abuse, and how to report such content. The move is also aimed at protecting the dignity of children online and to raise awareness about the negative effects of sharing photos and videos of children subjected to sexual exploitation and how to report such content under the slogan Report it, Don’t share it.
The Child Protection Center at the Ministry of Interior, in cooperation with a number of partners, held several activities at Expo in partnership with a number of government and private entities to raise awareness about children’s rights, ways to protect them, ways to report cases of child abuse and stepping up online protection of children against exploitation and blackmailing.
The rollout of this campaign and events coincides with the International Children's Day marked by all world countries on November 20 every year. The event was announced at Fazaa pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in the presence of representatives of all partners, community events and personalities.
Major General Dr. Jassim Al Marzouqi, Commander in Chief of the Civil Defense at the Ministry of Interior said the UAE is celebrating the World Children’s Day to emphasize its absolute commitment to empower and protect children, raise tomorrow’s generation and prepare it to continue the sustainable development journey that all countries of the world are on.
The MoI Center for Child Protection organized events in the Fazaa pavilion and other locations in Expo, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Dubai Police, TRA, National Ambulance, Fazaa the MoI Social Security Fund, the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, and the Khalifa empowerment program Aqdar.
Events at the Sports Fitness and Wellbeing Hub in Expo included a lecture by the Emirati Children’s Parliament, a puppet show, the Safety Ambassadors Program, interactive competitions for children, training on first aid to children delivered by the National Ambulance, various arts competitions, lectures on reporting channels and children protection means, a segment for the students of the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination and a myriad of cultural events.
Report it. Don’t share it
The campaign, which launches on World Children’s Day (November 20), is informed by research conducted earlier this year by Meta and the world’s leading experts on child exploitation, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Professor Ethel Quayle, a leading clinical psychologist who specializes in sex offenders.
To date, much of the research on why people engage with child sexual abuse materials has involved evaluations of people’s psychological make up. However, Meta’s research looks at behavioral signals from a fixed point in time and from a snapshot of users’ life on Meta’s platforms.
Researchers evaluated 150 accounts that Meta reported to NCMEC for uploading child exploitation content between July and August of 2020 and January 2021, and found that more than 75% did not exhibit malicious intent (i.e. did not intend to harm a child). Instead, these accounts appeared to share for other reasons, such as outrage or inappropriate humor.
Meta reports each individual instance of child exploitation content to NCMEC, including content the company has identified and removed using technology, before it has been seen by anyone on Meta platforms. The study also found that the majority of reports Meta sent to NCMEC were for the same or visually similar content. Ninety percent of the images or videos of child sexual abuse analysed in the study were found to be copies, rather than unique or new content.
In addition, just six pieces of visually distinct media were responsible for more than half of all child-exploitative content that the company reported to NCMEC in the same period.
Based on this analysis, the company developed this campaign together with child safety partners to help reduce instances of child exploitation content being shared on Meta platforms.
While this data indicates that the number of pieces of content does not equal the number of victims, one victim is one too many. Preventing and eradicating online child sexual exploitation and abuse requires a cross-industry approach, and Meta is committed to doing our part to protect children on and off our apps. We are taking a research-informed approach to develop effective solutions that disrupt the sharing of child exploitation material, said David Miles, Meta Head of Safety Policy, EMEA.
No matter the reason, sharing images or videos of child sexual abuse online has a devastating impact on the child depicted in that content. We are working with Meta to get a better understanding of how we can effectively disrupt sharing and prevent re-victimizing children, and educate people on what they can do to report this crime, said Abdulrahman Altamimi, Director of the Child Protection Center at the Ministry of Interior, United Arab Emirates.
It is known that the Ministry of Interior represented by the Child protection Centre is working continuously to protect children from abuse, online and offline. And is increasing its efforts to fight sexual exploitation of children on the internet by partnering with international alliances, stakeholders, and industry leaders such as Meta to improve practices, technologies and response while dealing with matters of safeguarding children online.
Report It. Don’t Share It.
You can help a child by reporting child exploitation content. If a child is at risk, call and report it to Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Centre Hotline 116111 , send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit a report via the website http://www.moi-cpc.ae, or through Hemayati App. If you see images on Facebook or Instagram of a child being abused, report the photo or video to Meta and law enforcement. Do not share, download, or comment on the content. In the UAE, it is a crime to possess, distribute or produce child sexual abuse material (images, videos, text etc) regardless of the intent. Members of public won’t be asked to provide a copy of the content in any report submitted to Meta.