.- An international congress in Rome this autumn will bring together experts to focus on the problem of online sexual abuse of minors and how to better safeguard children on the internet.
The Oct. 3-6 meeting is hosted by the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Center for Child Protection and will conclude in an audience with Pope Francis during which he will be presented a “Declaration on Child Dignity in the Digital World.”
According to a May 31 statement, there are 3.2 billion internet users worldwide, children making up over one quarter of these – about 800 million users. These children and adolescents “are vulnerable to entirely new forms of harm and abuse such as trolling, cyberbullying, sextortion, and grooming for sexual exploitation.”
The international congress “will focus on the latest scientific research and technical understanding in this field, bringing together global experts and decision makers to discuss the risks and challenges of the digital age and its impact on the dignity of children.”
The invitation-only meeting intends to bring in more than 140 academic experts, leaders in business and civil society, high-level politicians, and religious representatives recognized around the globe.
The four days will include keynotes, plenary sessions, workshops, and a discussion forum focusing on the fields of cyber protection, cyber education, and cyber responsibility.
Afterward, the conference will issue a “Call for Papers” with the hope to stimulate innovative research and solutions to the problem of child protection online.
The congress is organized in partnership with WePROTECT Global Alliance, a movement dedicated to changing the handling of online child sexual exploitation around the world, and Telefono Azzurro, a non-profit whose purpose is the protection of minors from abuse and violence.
Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ, president of the CCP and a member of the Pontifical Commission…