Connecting to Protect

A Global Response to Address the Mental Health and Safety Consequences to Children and Young People Accessing Online Pornography

October 13-15, 2021

THE 2021 INAUGURAL GLOBAL VIRTUAL SUMMIT: Stronger Together – protecting children from online pornography by inviting a public health response, is a world-first initiative to address this issue globally. The Summit will facilitate the provision of expert-led educational and collaborative sessions on strategic responses to protect children and young people from online pornography. We aim to:

  • Connect, educate, and mobilize key stakeholders globally, to prevent and address the negative impacts caused to children and young people accessing legal pornography online 

  • Identify and educate key individuals globally to champion a strategic response to help align all countries initiatives globally

  • Establish membership in the Connecting to Protect Global Coalition 

  • Establish a Connecting to Protect Global Resource & Research Hub 


This Public Health Response is Supported by the University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work.




Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) pronounces the obligation of States to protect children. 


“States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child. Protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programs to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.”

In respect of protecting children from the negative impacts of exposure to pornography on the internet, most States have failed. We intend to change that.



In many great countries in all parts of the world, children and young people currently have unrestricted access to online pornography. Research shows this has the potential to be hugely damaging in a number of different ways. We are already facing a public health crisis, and it is one that is likely to worsen unless we act now. Our global steering committee of experts and stakeholders in this field found that, often, successful campaigns to address global public health issues begin with a summit, a gathering of like-minded individuals who share a common goal. Individuals who are actively engaged in their own countries but who also recognize the importance of international action and value the opportunity to learn from other professionals addressing the same challenges in different legal and cultural contexts.


A global multi-sectoral public health response is emerging as we work together across the disciplines of medicine, neuroscience, sociology, psychology, social work, education, technology, and legal settings, recognizing and applying the experiences of front-line professionals to protect children from harmful content on the internet, including legal pornography online. Through a public health response, we can find new ways to safeguard the physical social and mental wellbeing of our children and communities globally. Additionally, a public health response supports science to have an impact on children, young people and family health, and stimulates change in the domains of digital, education, therapeutic and treatment initiatives, public policy, and legislation.



Our inaugural Global Virtual Summit will be held October 13-15, 2021. Sign up here to be notified of the summit registration details and our latest news.


Tania Loftsgard

Associate Director of Development at the University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work. 


Phone: 1.403.220.3622