The organization of WYD Lisbon 2023 and APAV – Portuguese Association for Victim Support are working together to define procedures for prevention, protection and response to incidents that may involve young participants in World Youth Day Lisbon 2023.
Following the major investigation being carried out by the Catholic Church, about the sexual abuse that may have allegedly happened, in the last 50 years, Archbishop Américo Aguiar, President of the World Youth Day (WYD) Foundation Lisbon 2023, stressed that the joint work also aims at preventing cases of sexual abuse, highlighting and praising the Catholic Church’s commitment in this field. “For us it is a wealth, it is very important, very positive, to be living a process of total transparency, of zero tolerance, because it could not be any other way,” he stressed.
APAV, which will mediate the support to young participants of WYD Lisbon 2023 who are victims of possible incidents, in a work “as transversal as possible”, has already presented a guide with the best practices in international events. Some of the measures are already being put into practice.
Measures in force
One of the recommendations of this guide is the presentation of the criminal record, by all the volunteers and collaborators of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC).
In addition to this measure, it has also been decided that young people staying with host families will always do so in the company of at least one other pilgrim. If they are minors, they will be accompanied by an adult.
All these measures are aimed at “reducing the possibility of incidents”, said D. Américo Aguiar.