In 2012, the Smart Learning Programme initiative was launched by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, but the programme was initiated to schools in 2014. The [Smart Learning Programme] is a modern way of teaching kids through the integration of technology to the educational system. The goal is to reform education in the UAE to become one of the best education systems in the world utilizing and integrating technology. The programme is funded through the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Fund and is under the oversight of the Ministry of Education as well as the Prime Minister’s office. An International Conference on Internet, E-Learning and Educational Technology (ICIEET) took place in 2012 where researchers from around the world to exchange research results and address open issues in all aspects of E-Learning, Internet, and Educational Technology.
In 2014, Mohammad Bin Rashid’s Smart Learning Programme was recognized by the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and received an award for ‘Capacity Building’. The WSIS awarded UAE for its role in promoting the use of ICT in federal schools and in building a communication and information infrastructure in the UAE.
Ongoing - As a part of the general objectives for the UAE Educational Development System the Ministry of Education lists its vision for “incorporating the education of information technology, eradication of computer illiteracy, preserving social values and ethics, and promoting traditional values among the youth”. There is a 2nd International Conference on Internet , E-Learning and Educational Technology (ICIEET 2016) planned to be held in Dubai from May 11 - 12, 2016 to provide an open forum for researchers, engineers, academicians as well as industrial professionals to exchange new ideas and applications and build relationships for the future in the aspects of E-Learning, Internet and Educational Technology.
By 2017, the Smart Learning Programme will be installed in all K-12 government school classes.
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.
Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT)
An initiative of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), established in 2008 to facilitate the detection, prevention and response of cyber incidents on the Internet. It supports a cyber safe environment for the residents of the UAE.
Emirates Safer Internet Society (E-Safe)
A non-profit organization that strives towards empowering a society to use the internet responsibly and to protect children from online risks by educating and raising awareness, building capacity, assuming an observatory and advisory role, and collaborating with multi-stakeholders to contribute to the nation’s prosperity.
Family Development Foundation
Replacing the Abu Dhabi Society for the Advancement of Women on May 10, 2006, the Family Development Foundation seeks to develop the role of the family, woman, and child in the United Arab Emirates and increase well-being. Their programs focus on leadership for children and parents, marriage, finance, religion, mental and physical health, counseling and relationship building, and services for the elderly and youth. Also important to FDF is the advancement of women in economic and social development, affirming the principle of gender justice and equality, countering poverty, and providing support for issues surrounding motherhood.
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.
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.
Ministry of Education
The ministry is responsible for the planning and executing a successful educational system that achieves the highest levels of performance among its students
A project initiated by aeCERT, Salim is the Emirati Cyber Security Advisor. The aim of the site is to educate the general public culture by giving simple and easy-to-use tips and advice, thereby educating a technology-savvy generation about information security. The site offers information about social networking sites, e-mail security, information protection, password security and much more.
Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT)
This international partnership was formed in 2003 by law enforcement agencies, NGOs and industry leaders. It aims to protect children from online sexual abuse, with the objectives of making the Internet safer, locating and helping at-risk children and holding perpetrators to account.
Women in Technology (WIT) for the Middle East and North Africa
Funded by the United States State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, WIT was implemented in collaboration with local partners in nine countries/regions: Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen. The aims of WIT are to empower women and increase their participation in the workforce by providing partner organizations with curricula, training, professional development, and Information Technology.
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
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.
As a Muslim country, one of the fundamental principles of the Constitution provides that Islamic Sharia Law is the main source for legislation in the United Arab Emirates. The Federal Penal Code (FPC, Law No. 3 of 1987) leaves these Sharia provisions on crimes intact. The final decision whether a defendant will be charged before a Sharia court, with a statutory crime under the FPC before a Federal Court, or before a local court under an Emirate statute lies with the public prosecutor.
- Article 354, FPC. Rape. This Article states that anyone who uses coercion to have sexual intercourse with a female, or sodomy with a male, will be sentenced to the death penalty. The Article also states that coercion shall be considered existent if the victim is below the age of fourteen.
- Article 355, FPC. Attempted Rape. States that the attempt to coerce a person to have sexual intercourse is punishable with life imprisonment.
- Article 356, FPC. Indecent Assault. This Article states that the offense of voluntary debasement will be penalized by detention for a minimum of one year. Where the victim is aged below fourteen or where the crime is committed by coercion, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment.
- Article 357, FPC. Death as a Result of Rape. States that a rapist will be sentenced to death if the offense caused the death of the victim.
- Article 358, FPC. Indecent Acts. This Article states that anyone who openly commits an indecent and disgraceful act will be punished by detention for a minimum of six months. Where the act, even if it is not openly, is committed with a minor under the age of fifteen, an increased penalty of detention for a minimum of one year will apply.
- Article 359, FPC. Disgracing the Modesty of a Female in a Public Place. Defines the offense of attempting to disgrace a female by words or deeds in a public street or frequented place. The offender will be liable to detention for a minimum of one year, or a maximum fine of AED 10,000, or both. The Article also states that the same penalty will apply to any man who disguises himself in a woman’s clothing and enters a place reserved for women only. If a man in such a case commits a crime, it shall be considered an aggravating circumstance.
- Article 360, FPC. Incitement to Debauchery. States that anyone who is found on a public road or frequented place enticing passers-by, by words or signs, to debauchery will be liable to detention for a minimum term of six months.
- Article 361, FPC. Tempting the Public to Immorality. This Article states that it is an offense to publicly make an appeal or utter, sing, yell or say anything that is immoral or prompts others, by any means, to debauchery. The offense is punishable by detention for a maximum of six months, or by a fine of up to AED 5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.
- Article 362, FPC. Breach of Public Morality. States that anyone who manufactures, imports, exports, possesses, acquires or transports for the purpose of exploiting, distributes or displays to others, writings, drawings, pictures, films, symbols or other obscene matters violating public morals will be liable to detention for a maximum of six months, or a fine of up to AED 5,000, or both.
- Article 363, FPC. Incitement to Debauchery or Prostitution. This Article states that it is an offense to entice, induce or tempt, by any means, another person to commit debauchery or prostitution, or to assist them to this end. The offense is punishable by detention for a minimum of one year and a fine. The Article also states that if the victim is under the age of eighteen, an increased penalty of detention for a minimum of two years and a fine will apply.
- Article 364, FPC. Incitement to Debauchery or Prostitution by Threat. Constitutes a penalty of imprisonment for a maximum of ten years for the offense of enticing another person to debauchery or prostitution by means of coercion, threat or deception. An increased penalty of imprisonment for a minimum of ten years applies if the victim is a minor under the age of eighteen. The Article also states that the same penalties will apply to anyone who detains a person against their will by means of coercion, threat or deception with the intention of enticing him/her to commit one or more acts of debauchery or prostitution.
- Article 365, FPC. Place of Prostitution or Debauchery. States that anyone who establishes or manages a place of debauchery or prostitution, or who facilitates or assists its practicing, will be liable to imprisonment.
- Article 370, FPC. Knowledge of Age. States that the offender is presumed to know the age of the victim in the articles included in this section.
- Article 372, FPC. Libel. This Article constitutes that a penalty of detention for a maximum of two years, or a maximum fine of AED 20,000 will apply to anyone who attributes to another a fact that makes him object of punishment of content, through means of publication.
- Article 373, FPC. Insult. States that anyone who, by any public means, casts another with any statement that affects his honor or dignity without attributing a specific fact will be liable to detention for a maximum of one years, or a maximum fine of AED 10,000.
- Article 375, FPC. Proof of the Truth. This Article states that no crime has been committed if the libel is proven to be true.
- Article 378, FPC. Disclosure of Secrets. Defines the offense of publishing news, pictures or comments, through any means of publicity, pertaining to the secrets of the people’s private or familial lives even if such publications are real and true. The offense is punishable by detention for a maximum of one year, or a fine of up to AED 10,000, or both.
- Article 9, Federal Law No. 2 of 2006 on the Prevention of Information Technology Crimes. This Article states that anyone who uses the Internet or an information technology device to threaten or blackmail another person will be liable to imprisonment for up to two years and a fine up to AED 50,000, or either. If the threat is used to induce the commission or a felony or cause defamation, an increased penalty of imprisonment for up to ten years will apply.
- Article 12, Federal Law No. 2 of 2006 on the Prevention of Information Technology Crimes. States that anyone who produces, arranges, sends or stores with intent of using, circulating or offering, through the Internet or an information technology device, information that is contrary to public morals or operates a venue for such purpose shall be liable to imprisonment and a fine or either. The article also states that where the victim is a minor, the penalty will be imprisonment for at least six months and a minimum fine of AED 30,000.
- Article 13, Federal Law No. 2 of 2006 on the Prevention of Information Technology Crimes. This Article defines the offense of inciting, luring or assisting a male or female person into committing an act of prostitution or fornication by means of the Internet of an information technology device. The penalty for this offense is imprisonment and a fine. If the victim is a minor, the penalty will be imprisonment for at least five years and a fine.
- Article 16, Federal Law No. 2 of 2006 on the Prevention of Information Technology Crimes. States that anyone who violates family principles and values or publishes news or pictures in violation of the privacy of an individual’s private or family life, even if true, through the Internet or an information technology device, will be liable to imprisonment for at least one year and a minimum fine of AED 50,000, or either.
- Article 17, Federal Law No. 2 of 2006 on the Prevention of Information Technology Crimes. This Article states that it is an offense to set up a website or publish information on the Internet or an information technology device for the purpose of conducting or facilitating human trafficking. The offender will be liable to temporary detention.
- Article 20, Federal Law No. 2 of 2006 on the Prevention of Information Technology Crimes. States that anyone who sets up a website or publishes information on the Internet or an information technology device for a group engaged in facilitating and promoting programs and ideas contrary to public order and morals shall be liable to imprisonment for up to five years.
In 2015, UAE at it’s capital hosted the International Child Protection Summit- WePROTECT. Tech companies and governments discussed how to protect victims and prevent misuse of the internet to exploit children. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed said, “ the country is committed to the protection of children from online predators and to ensure justice for children who are victims of such abuse, in their own countries as well as globally”.
UAE also assumed the chairmanship of the Virtual Global Taskforce. This taskforce is a group of law enforcement agencies from around the world operating together to reduce online child pornography.
2016 - In coordination with ICDL Arabia, Sharjah supreme family council launched Child Cyber Safety Campaign to raise awareness among Sharjah-based parents and children on the different forms of abuse and how parents can protect children from cyber-threats, online harassment and bullying. A series of cyber-safety awareness workshops will be conducted to create a generation that is better informed of the dangers online while. Informative handbooks “Tips on Cyber-Safety” will be distributed to participating organisations and educational facilities, and promoted on social media.