ABU DHABI, 9th November, 2016 (WAM) – The Emirates Safer Internet Society, E-SAFE, and Austability have entered a strategic partnership here today to set up a Centre of Excellence that will ensure online safety for children and contribute to the UAE’s national vision of emerging as the safest and most secure country for children.

E-SAFE is a UAE-based non-profit organisation that empowers the society to use the Internet responsibly and helps protect children from online risks while Austability is an Australian company with a culturally sensitive approach, which works for development of women and child protection.

The partnership was signed by Dr. Abdullah Al Mehyas, Chairman of the E-SAFE Society, and Esam Al Haj, Managing Director of Austability Consultancies.

The centre will conduct research, form policies and serve as a platform to implement pilot projects in the realm of online safety for children, thus forming a repository of expert knowledge across the GCC. With this aim in view, the partners will do regional and community mapping of the risks faced by children online. The project will also involve key stakeholders such as the government, industries, individual philanthropists and the development sector.

A number of products and services will be rolled out by the centre targeting children, parents, educators, families and the community at large. It will also come up with a capacity upgrade programme for psychosocial professionals so that they will be fully equipped to assist all children. An advocacy programme called Be the Change to support online safety awareness in the UAE and at a global level will be promoted by the partnership that will focus on deradicalisation of children who are vulnerable to online menace.

A Digital Citizenship Programme will further encourage educators and educational institutions to adopt digital citizenship policies and online protection frameworks, and to promote positive online edutainment content curated for children across the GCC.

The partnership looks forward to implementing these action programmes at the earliest. It will also run sustained and incremental campaigns, designed to support the UAE’s Vision 2021 towards promoting happiness and a cohesive, child-friendly society.