Keeping our Children Safe with AI

Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet, we are still failing to truly safeguard our children. The ascent of technology has led to more crimes being committed both in the real world and online with children falling victims to the worst predators.

According to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, there has been a clear increase in the number of children being trafficked in recent years, with children now accounting for 30 per cent of all detected victims. UNICEF has indicated that, of the roughly 1.8 billion photos that are uploaded to the internet each day, around 720,000 are believed to be illegal images of children, while the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the US has stated that the number of reports of URLs containing Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) has dramatically increased from 3,000 in 1998 to 18.4 million in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a significant role in increasing the threat and risk of sexual exploitation of children, as both children and sex offenders found themselves confined in-doors and online for extended periods of time.

The potential of AI to support law enforcement and related authorities to prevent a wide range of forms of violence, exploitation and abuse is immense. Recently, for instance, facial recognition has been to identify missing children, while deep learning has help police to identify child abuse images on confiscated devices. Join us to explore how law enforcement and concerned authorities can use these and other applications of AI to safeguard our children and help us to identify the red-line between the need to ensure the safety of our children and the use of potentially invasive technologies by law enforcement. The Webinar will also launch a new UNICRI project supported by the Ministry of Interior of the United Arab Emirates to further explore these issues.

Speakers, Panelists and Moderators

    Head of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
    United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
    Irakli Beridze is the Head of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at UNICRI, United Nations​. More than 20 years of experience in leading multilateral negotiations, developing stakeholder engagement programmes with governments, UN agencies, international organisations, private industry and corporations, think tanks, civil society, foundations, academia, and other partners on an international level. Mr Beridze is advising governments and international organizations on numerous issues related to international security, scientific and technological developments, emerging technologies, innovation and disruptive potential of new technologies, particularly on the issue on crime prevention, criminal justice and security. He is supporting governments worldwide on the strategies, action plans, roadmaps and policy papers on AI. Since 2014, Initiated and managed one of the first United Nations Programmes on AI. Initiating and organizing number of high-level events at the United Nations General Assembly, and other international organizations. Finding synergies with traditional threats and risks as well as identifying solutions that AI can contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. He is a member of various international task forces, including the World Economic​ Forum’s Global Artificial Intelligence Council, the UN High-level panel for digital cooperation, the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence of the European Commission.  He is frequently lecturing and speaking on the subjects related to technological development, exponential technologies, artificial intelligence and robotics and international security. He has numerous publications in international journals and magazines and frequently quoted in media on the issues related to AI. Irakli Beridze is an International Gender Champion supporting the IGC Panel Parity Pledge. He is also recipient of recognition on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW in 2013.​
    Director, END OSEC Center, International Justice Mission
    International Justice Mission
    John Tanagho is the Director of International Justice Mission’s END OSEC Center. The END OSEC Center partners with governments, industries, NGOs, and other stakeholders to expose, neutralize, and deter online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) around the world. Leveraging practices proven effective in IJM’s program in the Philippines, the Center helps (1) improve detection and reporting of OSEC by technology and financial sector corporations, (2) strengthen international collaboration in law enforcement and prosecution, and (3) support effective justice system responses in source and demand-side countries, resulting in sustainable protection for children and accountability for perpetrators. Previously, John served for six years as the Director for IJM in Cebu, The Philippines. John successfully led a multi-disciplinary team in a groundbreaking project combating the trafficking of children to create child sexual exploitation materials, especially in live streaming. Nationally, IJM has supported the Philippine Government to rescue 669 victims, secure the arrest of 256 suspects, and the conviction of 94 OSEC traffickers, while developing effective solutions for survivor recovery. John holds a Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Before joining IJM, John worked as a lawyer for six years at a large law firm, managing complex civil litigation, internal investigations, and family law cases. Prior to becoming a lawyer, John worked as a social worker for two years specializing in child protective services and mental health.
    President of Bracket Foundation
    Bracket Foundation
    Yalda Aoukar is President of Bracket Foundation whose mission is to leverage the power of technology for social good. She is also Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Bracket Capital, a global investment management firm with offices in the US, Europe and the Middle East. In 2019, under Yalda’s leadership, Bracket Foundation pioneered an industry leading white paper addressing how Artificial Intelligence can be leveraged to combat Online Sexual Abuse of Children. The publication was presented during the United Nations General Assembly later that year, gathering industry experts in both the private and public sphere to discuss the findings of the paper and pave the way forward to more effective action. The paper’s findings have been featured on several platforms including BCG Foundation’s Centre for Public Impact. Yalda is a firm advocate for better coordination and accountability between law enforcement, policymakers, and big tech. In early 2020, Bracket Foundation and UNICRI signed a partnership to empower law enforcement agencies to use new technologies to detect, prevent, and prosecute crimes being conducted against children online. In addition to her role as an investor and her work at the Foundation, Yalda is a champion for women’s empowerment in technology and financial sectors, where women are traditionally underrepresented. She sits on the Board of the World Innovation Summit for Education Accelerator providing support and guidance to international edtech start-ups. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the American University of Beirut (2006) and a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (2008).
    Strategy & Innovation Advisor, Child Online Safety Lead at End Violence Partnership and the Fund
    Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
    Marija Manojlovic is Safe Online Lead at the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and a leadership team member, advising on strategy and innovation. Marija is leading End Violence’s growing Safe Online Investment Portfolio which makes strategic investments in technology, programs, tools and solutions to tackle online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA) across the world - this year reaching US$ 50 Million in investments with impact in over 50 countries. Her work is also focused on ensuring that protection and safety of children in the digital world are central to the global policy debates on sustainable development, digital cooperation, connectivity and frontier technologies. Prior to joining the Partnership, Marija has worked with UNICEF in East Africa and Central and Eastern Europe on issues that affect children through innovations in research, partnerships, and system reforms, testing new approaches with and for children and young people. Marija holds a MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy from Leiden University, the Netherlands.


06 Oct 2020


CEST, Geneva
15:00 - 16:00