The first 19 graduates a Diploma of Advanced Studies, “Safeguarding Minors”, from the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Centre for Child Protection (CCP) received their
qualifications in June. The one term programme educates international students as prevention experts to counteract sexual abuse of minors.

According to a Vatican Radio report in June, president of the CCP, Fr Hans Zollner, SJ, said: “Our graduates originate from 15 countries and four continents. Among many of these countries child protection is underestimated. Especially in these countries we need well-educated prevention experts within Church and society to improve the protection of minors.”

The diploma course for safeguarding minors includes six modules, which are delivered using an interdisciplinary and interactive methods. Professors of the CCP and the Pontifical Gregorian University as well as visiting scholars do the teaching. In these modules, students coming from both ecclesial and secular realms learn to recognise evidence of sexual abuse, to set up prevention measures, and to care for
victims of abuse. The programme was coordinated and taught by Professor Karlijn Demasure, executive director of the CCP, and Dr Katharina Fuchs.

The diploma course in advanced studies started in February 2016 and will be offered once a year. Every graduation class will consist of 18-20 students.

In addition to training programmes for the prevention of sexual abuse, the CCP conducts interdisciplinary research and doctoral programmes and organises  international conferences on safeguarding of minors.