About the Conference

INTRODUCTION

The tools of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) tools have been wiely recognized as a key driver in the 21st Century. Such tools open up unlimited opportunities for creativity and innovation. Children and Youth are often the early adaptors, as well as beneficiaries, of such empowering tools.

SITUATION ANALYSIS

With the phenomenal expansion in use of ICT tools across Egypt, as embodied in the steady growth rates of computer penetration and internet access, and the take-up of mobile phones especially among the young, ICTs are effectively changing society and empowering children and youth with new means for self assertion and achievement. It is, therefore, imperative that online safety issues are reviewed carefully to secure the well being of young users. Incidents of overuse and misuse have started to show up in a number of societies. In recognition of such risks, we are organizing an awareness raising conference in Egypt.

It is a fact of today’s online environment that young people may be involuntarily exposed to various online dangers. Such materials are either repulsive or damaging. The proliferation of Internet sites depicting violence, brutality and crime desensitizes youth to their horrors. This necessitates immediate action to raise awareness among youth about the potential dangers associated with the use of the Internet.

This conference would help share the lessons – and mistakes – that have been learnt in other parts of the world in identifying the risks, developing policy recommendations and best practice models, as well as how best to extend media literacy and education among children, parents and within schools.

The conference also provides the opportunity for non-governmental organizations, parents, and young people to converse with international contributors as they present their ideas and vision. The conference seeks to trigger a national and regional dialogue on Internet safety, and could be considered as an input to Egypt’s preparation for hosting the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in 2009.

OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE

The principal objective of the conference is to identify the key issues and shared responsibility we all have in ensuring that our children and young people can use computers, Internet, ICT tools, and new mobile services safely and responsibly. The event would seek to bring together a range of stakeholders to hear about the lessons learnt from organizations working in different parts of the world addressing the online safety issues. The conference will host an array of representatives from the Egyptian civil society and government working in education, media and law enforcement to discuss their role and vision in raising awareness throughout the Egyptian society on how to benefit from the latest ICT tools, while being safe online.

Our main objectives are:

  1. To identify the key issues and shared responsibility we all have in ensuring that children and young people can use computers, Internet, ICT tools, and new mobile services safely and responsibly.
  2. To showcase best practices from around the world in ensuring safe use of the Internet.
  3. To raise awareness among Egyptian civil society about the safe use of the Internet.
  4. To trigger a national and regional dialogue on how best to secure the safe use of the Internet.

PROGRAMME

The National Conference on Internet safety will take place over two days with three complimentary tracks:

Recognizing the Risks: “Identifying Sources of Potential Hazards”

Presenters would help the audience identify the major sources and means of delivery of potential harmful content, tools, and services that might be involuntarily accessed by children and youth. Presenters will outline the risks under the 3 Cs of Commercialism, Content, and Contact. The conference would then look into the relation between the national and international scenes as far as e-safety is concerned, and probe into ideas and guidelines on how to promote e-safety across the community.

Showcasing of Good Practices: “Setting the Scene and Sharing the Experience”

International and national speakers will showcase their success stories and best practices in their efforts to protect children and young people online. Different experiences in dealing with various forms of cyber crimes will be shared and elaborated to minimize the impact of harmful content and cyber bullying on young people.

Through an interactive set up, the audience whether young people, teachers or parents, will share the incidents of misuse they might have faced and how they dealt with them.

Responding and Acting: “Assuming Responsibility and Planning for Action”

Having listened to international and national speakers, in addition to young people, teachers and parents’ representatives and reviewed the range of solutions to support users, this part of the conference will outline a number of recommendations. Representatives from the government, industry and law enforcement will be actively engaged.

  • This part of the conference allows all stakeholders to debate amongst themselves their views on responsibilities and what could be done in terms of safety on the Internet. clarify

ABOUT THE ORGANIZER:

The Conference is organized by the Cyber Peace Initiative of the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement. The Initiative is an International public private social partnership launched on the 1st of September 2007 at the International Youth Forum of Sharm el Sheikh.

Our mission is to Empower youth of any nation, through ICT, to become catalysts of change: to create safe and better futures for themselves and others, to address the root causes of conflict, to disseminate the culture of peace, and to create international dialogues for a harmonious world.

The Founding partners of the Initiative are: The Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement, The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Egypt), The International Telecommunication Union, The UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development, Microsoft, Cisco. New partners include Intel.

Associate Partners to the Initiative include Childnet International . Childnet International has been a major contributor to the conceptualization and organization of the conference. Childnet is a Non-Governmental Organization which works with children and young people in its mission to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.

CONTACTS

For queries concerning the conference, please contact:

Conference coordinator: Ashraf Moussa

web site:
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