WGS 2019: Toolkit for combating crimes against children
The toolkit will provide all the support needed to help reintegrate a victim back into a safe society.
The UAE team for the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities will be releasing a toolkit for global faith leaders to help them combat and prevent crimes through spreading the message of tolerance and support among vulnerable communities around the world.
During the final day of the World Government Summit 2019, Reem Alfalasi, member of the national team for the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities, and Secretary General - Supreme Council for Women and Children told Khaleej Times the toolkit will be released "very soon, within months".
Following the panel session 'Tolerance as an effective way of combatting crimes impacting the safety of our communities', she revealed that the toolkit will act as a "guidebook to support faith leaders" and guide them on how they can be available, positively, for people in communities at risk.
"The government of the UAE is working on raising awareness throughout the year of tolerance on the importance of interfaith discussions and involvement in supporting their community. This toolkit is a guide for the faith leaders to advise them on how to deal with the situation when a person, particularly a child, has been identified as the victim of a crime. It will outline who they can speak to, how to deal with the child, the family directly, and how to provide emotional support to them. It is basically a step by step toolkit for all the support needed to help reintegrate this victim back into a safe society."
Speaking during the session, Ernie Allen, Chair of the WeProtect Global Alliance (and former president of the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children) touched on how technology and tolerance can become the "crimefighter".
"In 2017 there was a world congress on Child Dignity in a Digital World. From that we produced the Declaration of Rome. One part of that was to bring together faith leaders. 85 per cent of people in the world belong to a faith, so the concept was about how we can integrate faith to keep children safe."
Today, global society is failing its children, he said. Technology's exponential advancement and integration into our everyday lives is changing what we do and who we are.
While it has its advantages, it brings with it risk and harm too, especially to young people.
Much of the content that is dehumanising is available literally at children's fingertips. And rising usage of social media means insidious acts, such as cyberbullying, harassment and sextortion, are becoming commonplace.
"As such, it is more difficult than ever to keep the community safe. The victimisation of kids and adults is under recognised and under reported. But today there is a strong loud voice calling for action to protect children, and that voice is coming from the UAE Interfaith Alliance."