FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New portal providing national level data and resources will bolster worldwide efforts to protect children online - UNICEF and Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)
LONDON 10 May, 2016 – A new version of the Global Resource & Information Directory (GRID) launched today will provide governments, industry, law enforcement, educators and academics with a comprehensive digital resource to better protect children online including from sexual exploitation, said UNICEF and the Family Online Safety Institute.
The new version of GRID profiles country-specific pages that bring together national level research, education, legislation, and local organizations working to protect young people from online violence and exploitation.
“As children’s access to the Internet rapidly expands, protecting young people from online exploitation must be prioritized,” said UNICEF’s Associate Director Child Protection Cornelius Williams. “This new version of GRID updates national information on legislation, policies, services and research addressing online child sexual exploitation for a range of professionals. This is a much needed resource to help keep children safe in an increasingly connected world.”
Information and communication technologies including the Internet and mobile phones have brought benefits to millions of children by revolutionizing their access to information. But at the same time ICTs can be used as tools to perpetrate crimes against children, including exposing girls and boys to online sexual exploitation and abuse.
Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime Karen Bradley said, “Online sexual abuse of children is one of the most complex, alarming and challenging issues that we face as a society. This government is at the forefront of the global fight to keep children safe and we are proud to support this tool to share expertise from around the world. It is imperative there is a coordinated response to this heinous crime and we remain one step ahead of the perpetrators to protect children no matter where they live in the world.”
In addition to the country specific information GRID provides opportunities for professionals to share knowledge on new trends, legislation, policies and programmes to keep children safe online.
“From policymakers looking to enact online abuse legislation to NGOs and academics seeking information on the most recent trends, GRID serves as a central resource of research, data, and other best practices to keep children safe online around the globe,” said Stephen Balkam, founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute. “GRID’s global, multi-stakeholder approach is a crucial tool in the fight to end online child abuse worldwide.”
The update to GRID was made possible through UNICEF’s Global Programme to tackle online sexual exploitation in 17 countries across 6 regions around the world. The programme is supported by the UK Government through the #WeProtect initiative.
Originally established by the Family Online Safety Institute in 2010, GRID provides knowledge, insight and analysis into global online safety.
The Family Online Safety Institute is an international, non-profit organization that works to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes leaders in industry, government and the non-profit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions and policies in the field of online safety. Through research, resources, events and special projects, FOSI promotes a culture of responsibility online and encourages a sense of digital citizenship for all. FOSI's membership includes 30 of the leading Internet and telecommunications companies around the world.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.
For more information please contact:
Melanie Sharpe UNICEF New York +1-917-251-7670
Emily Mulder +1-202-664-9005