Now that the successful Child Dignity World Congress in Rome has concluded, and the effort has gained the support of Pope Francis, CBIS continues its own work with companies on preventing child sexual abuse online.

We have been engaging with information technology (IT) and telecommunications companies on this critical issue since 2016. Our extensive research, and first-hand interviews with global experts, have revealed the enormity of the problem and the terrible price so many of the world’s children are paying. For example, during the Congress, several experts noted:

  • 50% of youths today experience more than one sexual solicitation each year.
  • 1 in 4 children report experiencing cyberbullying.
  • 14% of 10-12 year olds experience unwanted exposure to sexual material.
  • Many platforms harbor risks to children including social media, live streaming, cloud services, mobile devices & cameras, virtual currency and the dark net, such as private friend-to-friend networks.
  • In 2015 alone, Canadian Police seized a volume of pornographic material equal to 4 times the total data stored in the U.S. Library of Congress.
  • As we have gathered information on corporate policies and best practices to combat this growing trend, we have also made presentations to fellow shareholders, to help educate them on the issue and how it intersects with public companies. We are asking the major IT and telecommunications companies to disclose the policies they have in place that assist in the prevention of child exploitation online, including board oversight of the issue, internal initiatives and investments, and how companies work with external parties to combat these abuses and identify perpetrators and block illicit content.

    Watch for further updates on CBIS’ efforts to fight child sexual exploitation online. For more information on the Church’s efforts:

    Pope Francis commits the church to protect children from abuse in the digital worldAmerica Magazine

    Pope Urges Global Response to Protect Children from Pornography, Online AbuseNational Catholic Register