News in Brief 17 November 2015 (PM)

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One third of Internet users are children – they need to be empowered to use the Internet safely and smartly. Photo: UN Viet Nam/Aidan Dockery

Tech firms and governments unite to fight online child sexual abuse

Leading technology companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google, have joined with governments and international organizations to protect children from sexual exploitation on the Internet.

This follows a two-day summit in Abu Dhabi hosted by the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom which ended on Tuesday.

Countries have agreed to improve linkages between their criminal justice systems, law enforcement agencies, social service providers and education sectors, to better protect children online.

That's according to the UN children's fund, UNICEF, which adds that the tech firms have pledged to develop new technology, tools and expertise to support this overall goal.

UNICEF reports that the global police organization INTERPOL and its partners identify an average of five child victims of online sexual abuse every day, while the number of webpages containing child sexual abuse material grew by nearly 150 per cent between 2012 and 2014.

The majority of these pages, 80 per cent, depicted girls and children aged 10 years old or younger, according to the UN agency.

Businesses also casualty of Yemen conflict

Ongoing conflict in Yemen is taking a toll on business, a study by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has found.

The UN agency conducted an assessment in six governorates in August which revealed that 26 per cent of businesses had closed since March 2015, almost all of them due to physical damage.

The situation has particularly affected women-owned business with almost half of these enterprises shuttered.

UNDP points out that women represented less than one-third of the work force prior to the conflict.

Yemen also imports about nine-tenths of its food, but only 15 per cent of the pre-crisis volume is getting into the country, according to the report.

This has also had an impact on business activity, with three-quarters of businesses struggling to source enough of their regular stocks and supplies.

UNESCO condemns murder of Pakistani journalist

The murder of a journalist in Pakistan earlier this month has been condemned by the head of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

Zaman Mehsud was killed on 3 November in the Tank district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Mr Mehsud worked with the Urdu language Daily Ummat and the SANA news agency, and ran a news blog.

He also was president and secretary general of a local chapter of the Tribal Union of Journalists and served as a monitor for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

UNESCO chief Irina Bokova anticipated a full investigation into his killing, adding that the international community should not let "violence muzzle the media and deprive the public of news and information."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’57″

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