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Apps sought for safety of children in Oman
July 29, 2019 | 9:49 PM
by Times News Service
The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with UNICEF, is organising a ‘ hackathon’ that will showcase the work of developers who work in child welfare technology.
 
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Muscat: Tech developers and entrepreneurs in Oman are being asked to develop apps that will contribute to child safety in the country.

The move comes as Oman looks to end violence against children at home and in school as part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To promote this, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with UNICEF, is organising a ‘ hackathon’ that will showcase the work of developers who work in child welfare technology.

The Oman Tech Fund and Children First Oman, a charity organisation that looks after the welfare of both local and expat children who need assistance in Oman, will also contribute towards organising this event.



Lana Al Wreikat, UNICEF representative to Oman said, “UNICEF Oman is happy to be part of the Government of Oman’s commitment to the Global Partnership to End Violence’s ‘Safe To Learn’ Campaign. With the support of the Ministry of Education, Oman Tech Fund, Omantel and Children First Oman, we renew our pledge to end violence against all children in Oman”.

A spokesman for UNICEF Oman said, “As part of Oman’s commitment to end violence against children, the Ministry of Education, Oman Tech Fund, UNICEF Oman and Children First Oman announced their desire to host a ‘hackathon’ inspired event to attract Omani tech developers and young entrepreneurs working in child-related tech innovation.”



UNICEF added: “From the ideas presented, three of the best innovative solutions to end violence against children will be selected and fully funded for their subsequent implementation in Oman and in one developing country so that every child is protected from violence”.

Ending violence against children comes under goal number 16 of the SDGs and aims to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

One of the targets under this goal looks to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children.

“All too often, children are raised using methods that rely on physical force or verbal intimidation to punish unwanted behaviours and encourage desired ones,” said UNICEF.

“The use of violent discipline with children represents a violation of their rights. Physical discipline and psychological aggression tend to overlap and frequently occur together, exacerbating the short- and long-term harm they inflict.”

“The consequences of violent discipline range from immediate effects to long-term damage that children carry well into adulthood,” added the organisation. Violent discipline is the most widespread, and socially accepted, type of violence against children.”

UNICEF Oman continued, “With the aim to mobilise new resources and technology, the Ministry of Education, Oman Tech Fund, UNICEF Oman and Children First Oman are dedicated to ending violence in schools and communities around Oman so that all children are free to learn, thrive and pursue their dreams”.

“At Oman’s side event to the 2019 High Level Political Forum, the Government of Oman committed every effort be made to reach SDG goal 16 by 2030 because every child has the right to be protected,” added the organisation.



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