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Guatemala joins and celebrates Safer Internet Day

Guatemala, February 12, 2021. On February 9, Guatemala celebrated Safer Internet Day (SID), an event that brings together millions of people around the world to promote positive changes and raise awareness about Internet safety.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Central America and the Caribbean (UNODC ROPAN), through its office in Guatemala and the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime, in coordination with the Secretariat against Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Trafficking in Persons (SVET) and the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC), carried out a series of online awareness actions with the aim of promoting and raising awareness of the proper use of the Internet and the prevention of cybercrime against children and adolescents in Guatemala.

SVET led the webinar "Together for a better Internet: Children and adolescents protected through cybersecurity", in which more than 400 children, adolescents and adults participated with the aim of raising awareness about cybersecurity as a mechanism to prevent the crimes of exploitation and human trafficking.

Sandy Recinos, Executive Secretary of SVET, made a call under this year's slogan "Together for a better internet" and invited the Guatemalan population to promote a safe and positive use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). He also thanked UNODC for the support received: "We are deeply grateful to UNODC, who, in its field of competence, has tirelessly supported the fight against crimes committed through information and communication technologies" and reiterated the commitment of the Government of President Alejandro Giamattei in the prevention and continued strengthening the routes of investigation, reporting and protection for children and adolescents in the country. 

The webinar included a series of presentations by representatives of international organizations such as "Risks and threats in social networks", by Pilar Ramirez, Director of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC); "The application of cybersecurity in mobile devices", by Alejo Campos, Regional Director of Crime Stoppers for the Caribbean, Bermuda and Latin America; and "Recommendations for the good use of the Internet", by Jordi Martin, Cybercrime Prevention Specialist of the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime.

As part of this commemoration, on February 11, MINEDUC organized the webinar "Education and Safe Internet in Guatemala: The importance of education to address Internet risks", which was attended by more than 300 teachers and educational assistants from the Republic of Guatemala.

Jordi Martín gave a presentation on "The importance of education to confront risks on the Internet" and Hugo Hernández, Specialist in Cybercrime Prevention, presented a series of recreational activities in virtual environments for the prevention of cybercrime and good use of the Internet; in addition, Pilar Ramírez, Director of ICMEC, gave a presentation on "The violation of children and adolescents in ICTs and the profiles of online victims and aggressors". This effort gives continuity to the work carried out jointly between UNODC and the Ministry of Education for capacity building of teaching staff for the prevention of cybercrime and addressing the phenomenon in the classroom since 2018.

This series of events was carried out with the support of the Government of Canada in the framework of the project "Strengthening the capacities of justice and security sector institutions in Central America for the prevention, identification and criminal prosecution of cybercrime, transnational organized crime and related cases through digital evidence: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize", under the umbrella of the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime.