Child Abuse in the Middle East

Child abuse and neglect is a serious issue in the Middle East.

Child abuse and neglect is a serious issue in the Middle East.

“Child molesters are increasingly targeting children in the Middle East because of the lack of laws protecting them” reports  They are referencing a news item that appeared in the Gulf Daily News a couple of days ago.

Here are some of the interesting factoids from the article:

– More than 60 per cent of youngsters in the Gulf have been contacted by a paedophile through chat rooms or via e-mail, according to a regional study.

– Mohammed Al Matter, a newspaper journalist from Saudi Newspaper  Al Watan conducted the above-mentioned study.  The study revealed that 83 per cent of children under 18 had received an e-mail containing inappropriate content.

– The study also found that 62 per cent of children had been approached through e-mails or chat forums by strangers who had tried to encourage them to form relationships with them.

– According to Dr. Soroor Qarooni of Be Free, ‘The number of children exposed to pornography and bullying is very high.’  She said many countries in the West imposed tough penalties on paedophiles, but in Bahrain and other Middle East countries there were no specific laws and that attracted more child molesters to come to this part of the world.

The Be Free Centre will hold the first conference in the Arab region to discuss effective strategies to stop online child abuse, trafficking and pornography in May 2009.  They will also give out an award, the Be Free Centre’s International Award for the Best Practice in the Prevention of Child Abuse, supported by non other than Zen-Do Bahrain.

I’m very proud to have the opportunity to sponsor Be Free’s very first award.  God willing this conference will raise awareness, and more importantly, combat ignorance when it comes to preventing child molestation and abuse.

Hope to see you at the conference!

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