Today on May 5, 2021 Telefono Azzurro will promote a debate between institutions, media and national and international experts to respond to a phenomenon that is in dangerous growth: the sexual abuse of minors, both on and offline, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The event will be streamed live from the Website and Facebook page of Telefono Azzurro, from the websites of ANSA, Avvenire and Vatican News.

The Internet and new digital technologies have increased the risk for minors to become victims of sexual solicitation and subsequent abuse. In addition, with the pandemic, there has been a worldwide increase in cases of violence, both online and offline, with grave social repercussions. Victims of sexual violence in childhood or during adolescence, in fact, are more likely to develop emotional and behavioral disorders and even to attempt suicidal acts. This is demonstrated by the data of the Listening and Counseling Center 1.96.96 of Telefono Azzurro which recorded an average of about 6 cases per month of sexual abuse offline and 5 online (2020 data): these requests for help came primarily from Lombardy (20% offline and 26% online). The findings of the Emergency Childhood Service 114 also show an increase in cases of sexual abuse of minors, with an average of about 8 cases handled per month.

Professor Ernesto CAFFO

“Undoubtedly, new technologies are improving the quality of life for millions of children and adolescents around the world, providing an increased opportunity for their education and personal growth. At the same time, however, digital technologies also carry risks and negative effects that must be carefully considered,” said Prof. Ernesto Caffo, President and Founder of Telefono Azzurro. “The biggest challenge for us adults is to ensure that young people have safe access to these technologies: in fact, the web is also frequented by perpetrators and children. The most vulnerable of these children can easily become prey to different types of abuse, such as sextortion, revenge porn and online grooming. Governments, the non-profit sector, institutions, academia and civil society should join efforts and commit to protecting the dignity of children and adolescents worldwide,” Caffo concluded.

In the afternoon, the agreement reached between the Parliament and the European Council on the temporary derogation to the ePrivacy Directive will be discussed.

The event will be attended by: Elena Bonetti, Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family; Patrizio Bianchi, Minister of Education; Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna; Ernesto Caffo, President Telefono Azzurro; Pietro Sebastiani, Ambassador of Italy to the Holy See; Ivan Scalfarotto, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior; Anna Macina, Undersecretary for Justice; Valentina Vezzali, Undersecretary for Sport; Carla Garlatti, Guarantor Authority for Childhood and Adolescence; Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State; and Adrien Taquet, Secrétaire d’État auprès du ministre des Solidarités et de la Santé, chargé de l’Enfance et des Familles.


May 05 2021


10:00 am - 5:30 pm

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