The organizations described below have made noteworthy efforts to address online safety and cyberbullying in schools. ictQATAR works, through Q-CERT, with the Supreme Education Council (SEC) and private schools in Qatar to held security awareness workshops for educators in both Arabic and English. The workshops helped teachers develop ways to present security concerns to students in an age-appropriate manner and to learn how to work with families to protect children online. For example, in 2014, ictQATAR developed Digital Inclusion Strategy ”Bridging The Digital Divide” that aims to reach all sectors of the community through awareness, access, training and support regarding ICT.
In 2012, Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and ictQATAR held a two-day event “Promoting Online Safety and Cyber Ethics in the Middle East,” which focused on issues including social media and mobile use in the Gulf region. This conference occurred alongside the QITCOM Conference and Exhibition.
ictQATAR, SEC, the Council of Family Affairs and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) also collaborated to to create an Internet safety curriculum for schools which will enable both students and teachers to use the Internet safely in order to protect themselves and others. The Education Institute provides oversight and support services to the new Independent schools and is responsible for curriculum standards. In 2015, ictQATAR and SEC launched Haseen, a cybersecurity learning program geared towards youth.
Qatar also encourages international collaboration in the realm of cybersecurity and ICT. Education City, located on the western edge of Doha, is a campus funded as part of the Qatar Foundation and includes branch campuses of Six American universities, one British university and one French university.
In 2016, Vodafone Qatar through AmanTECH, a Pakistan-based organization that provides technical and professional skills training to students, hosted an event to educate parents about how to keep their children safe online and encourage them to have an open dialogue with their kids about internet safety.
Arab Open University (AOU)
A non-profit organization that commenced operation in 2002. It adopts the open education technique that combines traditional and distance education, by using technology means to streamline information to the student.
The organization is responsible for the delivery of the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) program in the GCC States, Egypt and Iraq. The ICDL program, the world’s largest digital literacy program, is administered by the ECDL Foundation, a not-for-profit body, charged with promoting the program globally through its regional and national awarding bodies.
Established in 2004, the organization is also known as the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology, is responsible for leading the nation’s strategic thinking and implementation of ICT initiatives in government, education and online security. ictQATAR also provides some basic Internet safety information as part of its ‘Keep Them Safe, Keep Them Curious’ campaign. The Ministry also has a website called Safe Space geared towards children, parents, and teachers who want to learn about online safety. Safe Space also provides an option to report instances of online victimization. ictQATAR has launched multiple recent ad campaigns that aim to help parents and kids be aware of how to be productive and safe internet citizens, including addressing issue such as cyberbullying.
International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Arab States
The specialized agency for ICT in the United Nations.
INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its mission is to enable police forces to collaborate globally to fight crime in the Internet age. Three areas of focus are crimes against children (with a focus on internet crimes and travelling sex offenders), cybercrime and human trafficking.
MENA Child Protection Initiative
The initiative was established in 2002 and aims to upgrade and improve the capacities of local authorities and municipalities to improve the wellbeing of children, and to enhance knowledge of effective policies and programs that address critical issues.
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development
Established in 1995, the foundation is dedicated to making the knowledge-based society a reality, with research and education on cyber security and development of technology skills as key focus points of its initiatives.
Qatar’s national information security team, created by the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) to safeguard the country’s IT and communications systems. Q-CERT has responsibility for addressing cyber risks, protecting sensitive information, and ensuring the safety of children on the Internet.
Supreme Education Council (SEC)
Established in 2002, the council is responsible for directing Qatar’s education policy, including the design of the curriculum and monitoring standards in schools. The Council has implemented programs such as Knowledge Net (K-Net) which aimed to educate teachers about how to integrate technology into classrooms, as well as parent online safety workshops starting in 2006.
Arab Social Media Report (2015)Arab Social Media Influencers Summit
The Arab social media report provides an overview on the social media reality in the Arab world through the monitoring of all social media trends in the Arab world and provides a detailed view on using social media channels in the different Arab countries.
Cyber Safety Report: Arabia (2015)ICDL Arabia
Research into the online behaviour of Arab youth and the risks they face
Understanding The Terminolog y Used To Describe Bullying Acts In Qatar (2014)Muthanna Samar; Mahitab Sherif; Jon Perkins; Hisham Morsi; Azhar Omar Al Rawas; Aiman El Asam
This study aims to investigate the perception of bullying amongst Qataris and Arabic speakers in Qatar
The Influence of Social Media on Youth (2014)ICDL Arabia
A servey conducted by IDCL Arabia, which involved collecting responses to vital questions from 883 ICDL Summer Camp male and female participants aged 14-18, analyzing their answers to get a sense of their general attitude and knowledge about social media and cyber safety.
Media Use in the Middle East (2013)E. Dennis, J. Martin, R. Wood
This report provides a view of how people in the Middle East use media and how they feel about their effect on their lives and societies.
Worldwide Online Bullying Survey. (2012)Microsoft
This survey explored children’s experience of online bullying in 25 countries across the globe.
Worldwide Online Bullying Survey (2012)Microsoft
This survey explored children’s experience of online bullying in 25 countries across the globe.
This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child. The age of majority in Qatar is eighteen and the age of consent for marriage is fourteen for females and eighteen for males.
- Article 268. States that anyone who takes a newborn child away of his parents, hides or exchanges him with another baby or falsely attributes him to parents other than his own parents will be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and/or a fine not exceeding 10,000 riyals.
- Article 269. States that whoever jeopardizes a person under sixteen or a person incapable of protecting himself due to his mental, psychological or health conditions will be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years and/or a fine not exceeding 10,000 riyals. The penalty will be increased to up to three years in prison and/or a fine up to 15,000 riyals if the person is left alone in a deserted place or if the actor is the child’s guardian.
- Article 279. States that whoever has sexual intercourse with a female without her consent (under coercion, duress, or by ruse) will be sentenced to death or life imprisonment. The sentence will be death if the actor is a guardian or authority figure over the victim.
- Article 280. States that a sentence of up to life imprisonment may be imposed for one who has intercourse with a female under the age of sixteen or a female of diminished capacity, without the use of threats, coercion or deception. The death sentence will be imposed where the offender is the parent, teacher, servant or one who has authority over the victim.
- Article 281. States that a person who knowingly engages in sexual intercourse with a female over the age of sixteen, without the use of deception, coercion or threats, is liable to up seven years’ imprisonment. The same penalty applies to the female involved, who has consented to the act. If the offender is the parent, teacher, servant or one who has authority over the victim, the sentence may be increased to between fifteen years’ and life imprisonment.
- Article 283. States that the penalty for having sexual intercourse with a male without their consent is up to fifteen years’ imprisonment. The death penalty is imposed where the offender is the parent, teacher, servant or one who has authority over the victim.
- Article 284. States that a penalty of life imprisonment will be imposed for one who has intercourse with a male under the age of sixteen or with diminished capacity, without the use of threats, coercion or deception. The death sentence will be imposed where the offender is the parent, teacher, servant or one who has authority over the victim.
- Article 285. States that a person who has sexual intercourse with a male over the age of seventeen, without the use of threat, coercion or deception, is liable to be imprisoned for up to seven years. The same penalty applies to the consenting male. If the offender is the parent, teacher, servant or one who has authority over the victim, the sentence may be increased to between fifteen years’ and life imprisonment.
- Article 286. States that anyone who uses threats, coercion or deception to rape any person shall be liable for imprisonment for up to fifteen years. If the offender is the parent, teacher, servant or one who has authority over the victim, the sentence may be increased to between fifteen years’ and life imprisonment.
- Article 287. States that any person who has sexual intercourse, without the use of threats, coercion or deception, against a person under the age of sixteen, of diminished capacity, or unaware of the act being committed will be imprisoned for up to fifteen years. If the offender is the parent, teacher, servant or one who has authority over the victim, the sentence may be increased to between fifteen years’ and life imprisonment.
- Article 288. States that any person who has sexual intercourse any other person over the age of sixteen, without the use of threats, coercion or deception, is liable to a sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment. The same penalty applies to the other party who has consented to such acts. If the offender is the parent, teacher, servant or one who has authority over the victim, the sentence may be increased to between fifteen years’ and life imprisonment.
- Article 289. This section states that in all sections described above, the offender is presumed to know the age of the victim.
- Article 290. States that a penalty of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 3,000 riyals is imposed on anyone who commits an indecent act in a public place, or in a place where they can be seen from a public place. Offensive signs, songs and words are specifically covered by this section.
- Article 291. States that anyone who intentionally offends a female through words, signs or gestures is liable to up to one year’s imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 5,000 riyals. The same penalty applies to anyone who invades a female’s privacy but no definition or example is supplied in the translation.
- Article 292. States that anyone who manufactures, imports, exports, possesses, acquires or transports for the purposes of exploitation, distribution or sale, a book, publication, or any other written material, pictures, photographs, films, or any other items which offend against public decency or public morals is liable to imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to 5,000 riyals or both. The same penalty applies to anyone who advertises material, makes it available to the public, sells or leases it or offers it for sale or lease, even privately, and on anyone who distributes or receives such material for distribution by any means whatever. Where a child under the age of sixteen has been exploited for the purposes of producing such material, the penalty increases to up to two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 12,000 riyals.
- Article 293. States that anyone who uses wire, wireless or electronic means to disturb or inconvenience another person, is liable for up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 3,000 riyals.
- Article 295. States that it is a crime to open or run, or contribute to the opening or running, of a brothel, including owning or leasing a house or store that one knows is going to be used as a brothel. This crime is punishable by 1-3 years imprisonment.
- Article 296. States that it is a crime to punishable by 1-3 years to : Groom a female to commit adultery; Instigate a female in any way to commit adultery or to frequent a brothel in order to commit debauchery whether inside or outside the country; lead a male by in any way to commit sodomy or dissipation; induce in any way a male or a female in any way to commit illegal or immoral actions; or bring or accept a male or a female for the purpose of sexual exploitation
- Article 297. Outlines aggravating factors for the previous Article, including committing the acts in Article 297 under compulsion, duress or ruse, where the victim is under sixteen of age (where the offender is assumed to know the real age of the victim), or where the offender is a guardian or authority figure, which are punished by imprisonment of up to fifteen years.
Article 318. Outlines them crimes considered kidnapping, punishable by up to 10 years, with the aggravating factor that if the victim is a woman, a minor, or of diminished capacity, the sentence will be increased to up to 15 years.
Article 321-222. Outlines the crimes of human trafficking, specifying that it is an aggravating factor if the victim is under 16 years of age.
- Article 331. States that it is a crime to spread news, photographs or comments related to a person’s private life, or that of his family, even if the information is true. This crime is punishable by imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of 5,000 riyals.
- Articles 380-387. Criminalizes a variety of computer-related acts.
2005 - The Qatar government established its national Computer Emergency Response Team (Q-CERT), which aims to protect and educate individuals, businesses, and organizations regarding cyber security risks. Most recently, Q-CERT launched Qatar’s 2030 vision, which strategizes how best to incorporate human development, social development, and economic development into its continued efforts to provide cybersecurity, ICT education and accessibility.
2008 - Q-CERT published a National Security Strategy, with specific mention of educating law enforcement about cybersecurity and partnering with other organizations to educate the public to encourage a “culture of cybersecurity.”
Also in 2008, Qatar withdrew its objection regarding the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography that parts of the Protocol were in conflict with Islamic Shariah law, thereby fully acceding to the Protocol. (Qatar has also ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.)
2010 - The Qatar government launched Safe Space, a website that provides a platform to report cases of child online victimization, as well as quizzes and information about risks for children on the Internet,.
In commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, an International Conference for the family was convened in 2004 under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness the Emir of Qatar and President of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. The event saw the publication of the Doha Declaration, designed to reaffirm the view that the family is a natural and fundamental group unit of society, as declared in article 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To support this, the Qatar Foundation established the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development (DIIFSD). At its 5th Anniversary conference in 2010, a representative of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) spoke, reflecting the Institute’s ongoing commitment to family online safety.
2012 - In honor of Safer Internet Day, ictQATAR announced the formation of a Nation Council for Internet Safety (NCIS) comprised of representatives from government, law enforcement, industry, academia, NGOs, parents and young people who provide Internet safety research, support to individuals and organizations, and Internet safety solutions.
2015 - ictQATAR’s SafeSpace website won the Best eGovernment Website award at the fourth GCC eGovernment Award, Conference and Exhibition, a biennial conference that draws attention to the issue of internet safety by honoring leading eServices and ICT solutions across the Gulf region.