18 March, 2016 - Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall today visited Montenegro to see how UNICEF is using a new digital application to help children stay safe on the internet and protect themselves from online sexual exploitation.

The app was developed through UNICEF’s work with #WeProtect – a global initiative  created by the UK government to tackle online child sexual abuse and exploitation that includes UNICEF’s programme to address the issue in 17 countries.   

The Duchess of Cornwall met with teams to see an exclusive preview of the new app and to discuss how it will protect children online. On her visit The Duchess of Cornwall also met with a classroom of children to find out how UNICEF is supporting them develop essential skills and competencies so they can thrive in school and their future careers. The programme, developed and conducted in partnership with the Jubilee Center and University of Birmingham, aims to help children grow into well-rounded human beings with strong social and emotional skills as well as a formal education.

The Duchess of Cornwall also met children in foster care and their foster families as part of UNICEF Montenegro’s Every child needs a family campaign.  The initiative aims to encourage more people to become foster parents so that vulnerable children are not placed in institutions.

Actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, a long term supporter of the Unicef work in Montenegro, was also at the event to meet The Duchess of Cornwall.

Unicef UK Executive Director David Bull, said: “We are delighted that The Duchess of Cornwall spent time with UNICEF in Montenegro to understand how we are protecting children from danger. Online sexual exploitation of children is a huge and deeply disturbing issue that needs urgent attention and we are working with #WeProtect to keep more children safe online.”   

The Duchess of Cornwall visited UNICEF’s programmes as part of a visit to the Western Balkans alongside The Prince of Wales from 14- 19 March 2016.  

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Notes for editors:

For further information please contact: Unicef UK Press Office +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or media@unicef.org.uk

For more information about The Duchess of Cornwall please visit www.princeofwales.gov.uk

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk

About #WePROTECT

#WePROTECT is a global multi-stakeholder response to combating online child abuse and exploitation. Created by the UK government under the leadership of Baroness Joanna Shields and officially launched in December 2014 by Prime Minister David Cameron. Participants are signatories to a global statement of action. 63 countries and international organisations, leading technology companies and civil society organisations committed in a global alliance to stop this horrific crime through coordinated national action among Governments, civil society, ICT industry and INGOs and UN agencies.

The 17 countries in the #WeProtect funding UNICEF Global Programme are: Albania, Algeria, Brazil, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Montenegro, Namibia, Paraguay, Philippines, Serbia, Uganda and Vietnam.