Egypt Partakes in Online Regional Dialogue on 2020 ITU COP Guidelines, Opportunities for Implementation in Arab Region
Egypt, represented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), participated in the Online Regional Dialogue on the 2020 ITU Child Online Protection (COP) Guidelines and Opportunities for Implementation in the Arab Region, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), on November 23.
The event was held within the framework of the ITU Arab Regional Initiative for Arab Region "Confidence and security in the use of telecommunications/ICTs."
During the Dialogue, the dimensions of Digital Egypt vision were discussed, based on several pillars, including building the Egyptian citizen, developing the ICT infrastructure, supporting innovation, and promoting cybersecurity and digital literacy in a safe and effective manner to meet the requirements of sustainable development.
Digital Egypt vision takes into account the dimension of social responsibility and digital citizenship, and its role in providing a safe Internet environment for users in Egypt, especially children and youth. Since 2007, MCIT has been leading the national efforts to help children and youth safely browse the web, and identify the threats they face and the skills needed to regulate online behaviors, through developing Egyptians' digital skills.
Accordingly, the National Committee for Child Online Safety was formed, including representatives of ministries, IT companies, telecommunication service providers, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Committee has been responsible for coordinating efforts to raise awareness of the risks of using the Internet, especially social media, as well as to reduce violence and cybercrime rates, increase the use of protection programs, promote protection solutions and fortify the society.
The Committee took serious measures to create a safe Internet environment for children, through opening channels for discussion and communication with various supportive entities. Measures included integrating child online protection material into some educational curricula, organizing awareness seminars, and issuing the first child online protection handbook "Together for a safer Internet".
Moreover, the new future vision for online safety was discussed, especially in light of the rapid global changes towards using ICT, which requires adopting new mechanisms to face the growing challenges that follow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the resulting measures of social distancing that led to social media platforms becoming an inevitable alternative, resulting in an increase in cybercrime rates.
MCIT also coordinates with many partners and stakeholders to develop innovative tools to promote a safer Internet environment for children and youth, through creating a digital platform to provide specialized content on online safety, including protection measures against cyberthreats, and reporting mechanisms.
As for partnerships, MCIT cooperates with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to support child online protection at various levels. This is in addition to working with the National Council for Women to develop mechanisms to address the growing online violence against girls and teenagers.
MCIT, in addition, collaborates with the Ministry of Education to raise awareness on facing cyber risks and restoring confidence in the Internet environment, to create a safe and reliable digital environment for the Egyptian society.