Childrens’ right to dignity and protection
Every child is precious. Every child has a right to dignity and protection. Yet millions of children are exposed to harm and unspeakable abuse each day, and the digital world is a relatively new and unregulated platform being used to perpetuate these awful crimes.
In this digital world, there are a number of challenges that require a global and collaborative solution. Online child abuse is an increasingly prominent concern. With 800 million* children and adolescents at risk of exposure to criminal behavior online, it is one that needs to be addressed immediately.
Dangers such as online grooming, sexting, pedo-pornography and harassment lurk in the shadows, and with the relative ease of online anonymity, a unified response is required to combat this epidemic.
Perpetuated by individuals, relatives of the victims or organized crime, and frequently not confined to the digital world, this is a complex and widespread issue that requires an urgent and unified response.
Because of the cultural realities that make this subject taboo, there is often inadequate support for victims and their families. Due to the borderless nature of this problem, it poses a challenge to lawmakers, while the worldwide lack of digital literacy is also a problem that prevents the cycle of abuse from ending.
The only way it can be effectively combated is for Faith, Government and Academia to tackle the issue together.
* The number of children and adolescents currently online. Cited by various sources including the Pontifical Gregorian University
Unifying people across countries, culture and religion
Certain causes are universal. They are able to unify people across countries, cultures and religions. And because faith and religion transcend national borders and socio-economic barriers, they are able to provide a moral compass based on our shared values.
85% of people in the world identify with some religious faith*. With such extensive influence, Faith leaders have a huge bearing on their communities in times of crisis. Indeed, at all times.
They have moral power, enabling them to influence behavior on a grand scale through their words and actions.
They also have social power, with their mosques, temples and churches offering a place of respite, reflection and a channel through which to make a difference.
Faith leaders offer spiritual and emotional support to all. When equipped with the correct knowledge and resources, they can play a very positive and influential role in the handling of modern day issues.
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