Parents can now report missing children through the social media platform...
11 December 2018| Last updated on 14 January 2020
A sign of relief for parents in the UAE this week
As a popular social media platform, Facebook, has launched a new alert to ease the minds of parents in the country.
Facebook has added a new alert system that will help find missing children in the UAE through the application.
Launched earlier in the week, the Neda System, which means alert in Arabic, is a never before done approach to helping parents reunite with their missing children in the region.
Developed by the Ministry of Interior with Facebook, the Neda System will help in assistance of location missing or lost children in the country.
This first-ever system will also help the country’s social responsibility towards children and residents in the UAE as well as strengthen the communities and country’s efforts to keep the security and safety.
How does it work?
When a child goes missing and cannot be located, parents must first issue a missing child report to the police, who then issue an alert to the Ministry’s children’s centre.
After which that alert is sent to all Facebook users in the area where the child went missing or was last seen through the Neda System.
Residents in the area will receive a message, in the form of a Facebook notification, which will include a picture of the missing child with details and descriptions – including details of the child, last known location, what happened etc…
This will help residents keep an eye out for the missing child is spotted.
However, if the missing child has not been found after a certain period of time, the Facebook alert will then be sent to all Facebook users in the UAE – in efforts to locate the child in other areas.
"The launch of the first stage of Neda is part of the ministry’s strategic initiatives that aim to promote child protection and utilise modern technologies,” Lt Gen Saif Al Shafar, the under-secretary of the Ministry of Interior said to The National.
“We will work on managing calls from police general commands in the country, and after taking the required measures, we will circulate their reports in the form of a call through Facebook in the areas where children have gone missing,” he added.
UAE Child Protection Laws
With the help of popular social media platforms, the Ministry and the Police in the UAE hope that the alert will help find missing children faster and bring them safely back to their homes.
In 2016, the Child Protection Laws of the UAE were implemented to imprison anyone convicted of exploiting a child for at least 10 years and a fine of up to 1 million DHS.
This isn’t the first shift towards application in efforts to increase security and safety amongst children in the UAE.
Children in schools around the country can now report bullies and bullying situations anonymously via an app through their schools.
Parents and school officials will then be able to speak with the student until he/she is comfortable to reveal their identity and find a solution.