Geneva, 9th February, 2016 (WAM) – In 2016, the annual Safer Internet Day is being held under the theme ‘Play your part for a better internet’. To mark the day, UNODC and the European network ‘Insafe’ are promoting a safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people around the world.
UNODC supports the Safer Internet Day as part of the global community seeking to keep children safe online and offline. A key tool in this regard is the Global Programme on Cybercrime which works in different regions across the world in partnership with Governments, law enforcement, the judiciary, academia, the private sector and other actors to stem cybercrime – especially that which harms children.
Speaking on this year’s Safer Internet Day, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, noted: “The online sexual abuse and exploitation of children presents a global challenge. I’m delighted that the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime is making a real difference to communities, to schools and to young people. We can, and must, work together to do more to reduce the online threat to the most important members of our society: our children.”
One of the regions where the Programme has been implemented is South East Asia, where the Office works to train and enhance cyber investigative capability. UNODC also works throughout East Africa to build long-term partnerships, networks and skills to actively prevent harm to children. Meanwhile in El Salvador, UNODC has helped to develop world-class capability which actively aids investigations against the most challenging online child abuse threats.
“But it’s much more than that, too,” notes Neil Walsh, Chief of the Global Programme. “We’re preventing children from being abused in the first place. We’re talking to children and teachers in their schools and parents in their communities. Ultimately, we help to keep people safe – which is what Safer Internet Day is about.”
In El Salvador, Nayelly Loya, UNODC Regional Programme Coordinator, said that the primary victims of cybercrime are children. She added that online child sexual exploitation and abuse occurs every day, and because of the global nature of the threat, it affects the whole community.
“Thanks to the support of UNODC’s donors, the Office is at the forefront of working to counter cybercrime. Through our Global Programme, our office in El Salvador started its work against this crime in 2014. Since then we have supported the development, strengthening and equipping of the Salvadoran National Civil Police Cybercrime Unit.”
In the Central American country, 280 investigators, digital forensic examiners, prosecutors and judges have received specialised bespoke courses on countering cybercrime. Moreover, Human Rights are at the core of this work, helping to prevent online – and offline – crime that directly affects the lives, integrity and the fundamental rights of children. Hundreds of students, teachers and parents have been sensitised to cybercrime risks through talks, workshops, school plays, websites and leaflets. In this way, UNODC has helped make local communities safer.
Mr. Fedotov concluded by saying that the Safer Internet Day provides excellent resources and focus for everyone, young and old, to learn more about staying safe online. “I wish the Day every success.”