Sexual exploitation on the net

Sexual exploitation on the net

Surfing the Internet © Lukas Barth

From Tuesday to Friday, international experts are meeting in Rome to discuss child protection in the digital world. The congress serves above all the mutual exchange and networking between authorities, non-governmental organizations and churches.

The congress at the Pontifical Gregorian University, with about 140 speakers, is the first worldwide and largest conference of its kind to date, according to organizers. The goal is mutual information and networking between police, authorities, non-governmental organizations, companies, science and churches, said Jesuit and psychologist Hans Zollner at the presentation of the program Friday at the Vatican.

United in the fight against sexual exploitation

Children and adolescents make up a quarter of the 3.2 billion Internet users and are particularly at risk from sexual exploitation on the Net, according to Zollner, head of the Child Protection Center at the Gregoriana. To combat phenomena such as sextortion and cyberbullying and protect minors, he said, all actors must work together.

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the British Minister for Internet Security and founder of "WeProtect," Joanna Shields, the German State Secretary Cornelia Quennet-Thielen from the Ministry of Education, as well as representatives from Interpol, Unicef and the Internet companies Google, Facebook and Microsoft have been announced.

Result of the conference is to be presented to Pope Francis

Organizers of the congress, titled "Child Dignity in the Digital World," are the Child Protection Center together with the "WeProtect Global Alliance" movement. This alliance is supported by the US Department of Justice, the EU Commission and the British organization "WeProtect". A declaration is planned at the end of the congress, which will also be presented to Pope Francis in an audience.

Professor of child psychiatry Ernesto Caffo, scientific coordinator of the congress, stressed the importance of developing effective prevention measures in the family, in schools and on the net. He spoke of a "very dangerous environment". Caffo also said that many underage victims of assaults on the Internet come forward to the child protection telephone "Telefono Azzurro," which he founded.

The congress is sponsored by the Ministry of Education in Berlin, the Catholic relief organization "Die Sternsinger/Kindermissionswerk", the Swiss dioceses of St. Gallen and Basel, and the Gregorian Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.