Be-Free Program of Bahrain Women Association- for Human Development presented its project “Smart+” for the protection of children and teenagers from the potential dangers of the Internet, as part of the program called “Successful Practices” organized by Ministry of Labour and Social Development.
Be-Free presented the project that was launched in 2008, which seeks to protect children and teenagers over the internet in an integrated way, including technical, legal, and procedural for relevant institutes that create safer online environments for children. Also, raising awareness among different society segments, and building the needed skills by children, teenagers, and parents to stay safe.
Moreover, the program shed light on the achievements of the project during the past nine years. Some of the achievements include publishing the booklet “Be Smart with Smart Devices” in Arabic and English about the necessary concepts and safety skills while using the smart devices and applications, the 2009 International Conference “Effective Strategies to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Trafficking on the Internet” which was under the auspices and the presence of the Special Rapporteur to the United Nations concerned with child trafficking and prostitution. The conference was the first event dedicated to the subject of child protection on the Internet in the region.
The project has also developed a comprehensive training manual containing interactive activities that contributes to effective training of children on protection skills and safe surfing, conducted a series of interactive workshops for children and adolescents, and developed a booklet about cyberbullying, in collaboration with Bahrain Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA).
This project received two awards, the 2015 Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa Award for Voluntary Work, and Chaillot Award organized by the European Commission for the Arab Gulf Countries, 2009.
Be-Free presented the practices that lead to the success of this project and its wide spread, among them are focusing on an everyday issue that has an impact on the community, and building the project on hard facts based on a study that took place among children and adolescents to measure the overall impact on this issue on them and the community. On the other hand, this is an ongoing project which needs constant update and development to be on par with the latest in technology.
The presentation got the attention of various organizations and associations, the best way to benefit from the project was also discussed. At the end of the presentation, the booklets “Say No… to Cyberbullying”, and the booklet “I am a Strong, Smart and Safe youngster over the Internet” was distributed to the attendees, along with other booklets.