Satyarthi Pope

Child rights activist and Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi met with Pope Francis in Vatican City Nov. 16, seeking to establish an international law against online child abuse. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI — Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi met Pope Francis at the Vatican seeking support for a new legally binding international law against online child sexual abuse, a statement said.

For over a year, Satyarthi has been demanding a legally binding United Nation’s convention against online child sexual abuse, including pornography and trafficking, which is backed by a new global task force and could provide victims with holistic support.

Offering him full cooperation, the Pope appointed an officer from the Vatican to coordinate with Kailash Satyarthi's Children's Foundation to work in that direction, said a statement from Satyarthi's office.

"Father has extended his full cooperation and support to Kailash Satyarthi towards this endeavor and all other associated recommendations," the statement said. 

Satyarthi is meeting stakeholders of different religions, political affinities and nationalities, seeking support towards an international law and a response mechanism against digital and online forms of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Indian Government banned 857 pornographic websites in October following a demand from Satyarthi in Nagpur to end online child sexual abuse and child pornography.

Satyarthi has already written to all heads of states and the U.N. secretary-general seeking the new convention.

"Given that online crimes transcend across borders, extraterritorial jurisdiction for the proposed law is absolutely essential," said Satyarthi. 

Satyarthi also put forth the necessity for a dedicated international toll-free helpline to report cases related to online child sexual abuse to Interpol and other relevant agencies. 

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