ECA Launches Child Online Protection Guide to help curb online risks to young people
The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) has launched the first of its kind, ‘Child Online Protection guide’, in the UAE, as part of Takween Summer Program 2020. The guide focuses on providing a holistic approach to all potential threats and risks of harm that children at an early age, and beyond, may encounter online on social media platforms, electronic games and other digital platforms. The guide is available for parents and caregivers to download here.
With high rates of internet usage in the UAE and 99% of the UAE population being active on social media, the guide is intended to support parents in the development of good digital habits while provide local and international resources to ensure they can fulfill their responsibility in keeping their children safe online.
The ‘Child Online Protection Guide’ aims to help parents understand the ways in which they can support their children by supporting safe, structured and healthy online activity from an early age. It also aims to help parents understand the potential risks resulting from children’s use of the internet and electronic games, such as cyberbullying and child abuse on the internet. The guide provides them with information on how to properly deal with problems and report them. In addition, the guide introduces the most important resources that the internet can provide to children of determination in order to meet their educational, social and entertainment needs.
ECA reaffirmed that the internet can be a wonderful tool for young children, particularly during this current period, where it can help facilitate distance learning. However, an increase in the amount of time spent online by children also brings online risks such as cyber bullying, inappropriate content, and online predators. This guide has been created to empower parents and provide them with the knowledge and tools to protect their children online so that they can benefit from the internet without being exposed to its dangers. It also aims to develop their skills such as access to educational content, logical thinking, problem solving, research and language.
Furthermore, the guide aims to shed light on the benefits and potential risks of children’s online activity according to their age group, reporting abuse and misuse cases, social media, electronic games, developing healthy digital habits, deploying technology to protect children, and parental control tools as well as assessments of the most prominent electronic games, risks of live broadcast services and platforms, and ways to avoid them and deal with them safely.
The Authority calls on parents and the workforce in the early childhood development sector to familiarize themselves with the guide by visiting the parents’ platform, which was recently launched within the Takween program, via www.eca.gov.ae in order for all to benefit from ECA initiatives and activities, and enhance their experiences and skills to protect their children and provide optimal child development, enrich the family and educational environment with diverse learning resources and knowledge to establish a safe and healthy environment and ensure optimal use of the summer vacation.