From the World Congress Strategic Plan
On 6 October 2017, the attendees of the World Congress: Child Dignity in the Digital World presented the Declaration of Rome to Pope Francis. The Declaration concludes, “In this era of the internet the world faces unprecedented challenges if it is to preserve the rights and dignity of children and protect them from abuse and exploitation. These challenges require new
thinking and approaches, heightened global awareness and inspired leadership.”
Pope Francis accepted the Declaration and said, “in the Declaration you presented me, you have pointed out a variety of different ways to promote concrete cooperation among all concerned parties working to combat the great challenge of defending the dignity of minors in the digital world. I firmly and enthusiastically support the commitments that you have undertaken.”
The challenge now is to implement those commitments. The task is enormous. We must maintain momentum, provide data to inform and shape policy, and generate the resources necessary for this comprehensive effort. The Centre for Child Protection (CCP) of the Pontifical Gregorian University in partnership with the WePROTECT Global Alliance and SOS Il Telefono Azzurro Onlus will use the Declaration of Rome as a platform on which to build a coalition of the willing.
That coalition will turn the general goals of the Declaration into global action. During the World Congress attendees participated in ten parallel workshops in a search for new and innovative approaches and solutions. This Strategic Plan presents those solutions.
The Mission: To grow a global coalition of representatives from religions, governments, international organisations, the technology industry, academia and the research community, civil society and elsewhere, working together toward a common objective: defending the dignity of minors and vulnerable adults in the digital world.
The Vision: To create a digital world where children and vulnerable adults are respected and free to exercise their digital rights and are safe from exploitation and abuse.
The Strategy: To achieve 13 goals recognizing the urgent need for an inter-sectoral strategic collaboration which calls upon technology, political and religious leaders, health and social care professionals and others to share responsibility for achieving them.
Goal 1: To raise awareness of digital risks especially with respect to primary prevention and safeguarding, and undertake new social research.
Goal 2: To mobilise faith leaders to support the implementation of the Declaration.
Goal 3: To revise applicable laws to be more effective in preventing abuse.
Goal 4: To redefine the responsibilities and actions required by technology companies.
Goal 5: To improve provision of child rescue and treatment services.
Goal 6: To improve identification and interventions for children and young people at risk.
Goal 7: To improve the capabilities and collaborative efforts of international law enforcement organisations.
Goal 8: To train clinicians to better serve the needs of victims.
Goal 9: To expand treatment resources for people harmed by abuse.
Goal 10: To research the health impacts on young people of viewing pornographic images.
Goal 11: To set safety standards, agree to a code of conduct, and mandate filtering and age verification to protect children from inappropriate online content.
Goal 12: To improve education of children and young people.
Goal 13: To ensure all citizens are alert to the risks of abuse and know how to report it.