Rome, Italy, Sep 30, 2017 / 09:42 am
A global congress to be held in Rome next week will focus on how to protect children in the digital age, bringing together various experts from around the world to develop concrete ways to combat the issue of online child sex abuse.
Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ told journalists Sept. 29 that this is an issue that is dangerous for “many, many young people in the world today.”
Head of the Center for Child Protection and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Zollner said he has spoken to many parents who do not know what to do about their children’s access to the internet: “Everyone is talking and they do not know what to do.”
With this congress, “we can propose something we believe could be useful.”
But this is just the beginning, he told CNA. “We will start now, but this is again, one step in a very long journey that needs persistence and perseverance and we try to give our contribution to that.”
The world congress, on the topic of "Child Dignity in the Digital World,” is being held in Rome Oct. 3-6. It has been organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Center for Child Protection (CCP).
The week-long congress will include scientists, academic experts, leaders of civil society, high-level politicians, and religious representatives from around the world. It will conclude with a papal audience, where participants will present a final document – a declaration on future action – to Pope Francis.
In the congress “we will try to sort out some action points that will then be incorporated in the declaration that will be adopted by the participants of the congress at the end of Thursday's meetings,” Zollner said.