CHI Newsletter -
August 2008 News from CHI
●From CHI (Child Helpline Internationa)
CHI International Consultation 2008
We are delighted to announce our fourth International Consultation will take place from 17-19 November in Jordan under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, and hosted by the Jordan River Foundation. In 2008 we will also celebrate our fifth anniversary and look forward to marking the occasion at the International Consultation with members old and new from all over the world. In collaboration with the Jordan River Foundation our International Consultation will be centered around the World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse - 19 November 2008.
Violence Against Children follow-up report
This year, CHI will present a follow-up report on the VAC study of professor Paulo Pinheiro. Child helplines have an invaluable role in ending violence against children and implementing the recommendations that were formulated by prof. Pinheiro in the VAC report. CHI drafted a VAC questionnaire, with the goal to gain more insight into the activities of child helplines to implement the recommendations. The questionnaire was sent to child helplines in June. The response has been great: 35 child helplines completed the questionnaire. This will enable CHI to draft a report that is based on the experiences and opinion of the child helplines. The report will be drafted in the coming period and be presented in the autumn. More information on the VAC report can be found at: www.violencestudy.org
●News from child helplines
Albania: number 116 111 gets assigned to national child helpline
The harmonised European number 116 has been assigned to the new national child helpline in Albania. The national child helpline in Albania is a joint initiative of UNICEF and Children's Human Rights Centre of Albania (CRCA )/Defence for Children International Albania (DCI). The helpline will be responsible to provide combined services in all three assigned numbers: 11600, 116111 ad 116123, to all children in Albania, no matter what their nationality. This is great news for the national child helpline and for all children in Albania. UNICEF and CRCA/DCI Albania expect the national child helpline to be formally established by September 2008 and be able to begin to offer a qualified and professional free of charge service by early January 2009. CRCA/DCI Albania has been running the Tirana child helpline, a pilot project since 2005, with the support from European Commission and Embassy of Netherlands in Albania and thus is a member of Child Helpline International. However the telephone number was available only for Tirana's children and was not free of charge. The new service promises to be available to more than 1 million children 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, while also being free of charge and available from any landline or mobile.
India: Childine aims for a centralised call centre
CHILDLINE India is a 24 hour free phone emergency outreach service for children in need of care and protection. CHILDLINE is present in 83 cities and has been in existence for the past 10 years during which they have received over 10 million calls. CHILDLINE in India works on a distributed call center model where calls are received at the local CHILDLINE offices. Their vision for the year 2025 is to cover every one of the 600,000 villages in India. One of the central components of this model is a centralised call center. Therefore on 29-31 July CHILDLINE India, with the support of CHI, visited Childline Egypt to receive training. The Egyptian child helpline already has a centralised call center model for their national level child helpline. It provided CHILDLINE with a lot of insights into the functioning and organisation of such a call centre, including how to interconnect technically with national ministries.
Iraq: brainstorm on establishment of a child helpline
Supported by UNICEF Iraq Office, a brainstorming meeting and visit was held in Amman on 3-5 August, gathering ten participants from Northern Iraq. Representatives were from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and affiliated departments, the telecommunication sector and UNICEF. Participants have travelled from the three governorates of Erbil, Duhok, and Suleimaniya to meet in Amman. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the perceptions of child helplines and build on the steps already taken towards building a child helpline with the Kurdistan Regional Government. The meeting resulted in a set of action points to take the project forward in Northern Iraq. The three day meeting included a visit to the Jordanian Family Support Line, run by the Jordan River Foundation, which assisted the participants in understanding the operations of a child helpline on the ground.
Malawi: YONECO child helpline receives the Susie Smith Memorial Prize
The Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO), Malawi, a member of CHI, was awarded the Susie Smith Memorial Prize on 14 August by the former President of Zambia, Dr Kenneth Kaunda. YONECO, a Zambia-based youth organisation was presented with the award following a research undertaken by the organisation to establish whether there was a link between HIV/Aids and mental health problems among youth affected and infected by HIV/Aids in Malawi. The main findings of the study were that young people do experience mental health problems as a result of psychological, socio-economic and physical effects of HIV and Aids. View the published article
Mali and Morocco: training on the establishment of a child helpline
Supported by CHI, a delegation of five representatives from Mali visited the Moroccan helpline, the National Observatory of the Rights of Child (ONDE) (http://www.ondemaroc.org/francais/index.php) for an exposure study visit from 28 - 29 July. The Mali team received information on detailed aspects of a child helpline and on its network that forms part of the helplines’ referral system. Visits were made to the call centre of the helpline and the helpline’s shelter for maltreated children, the children’s hospital in Rabat, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, and the Embassy of Mali in Rabat. The visit helped the Malian team in understanding the realities of running a child helpline as well as the challenges ahead for them in the run up to the establishment of the Malian child helpline.
Mexico: child trafficking workshop
CHI organised a workshop on child trafficking that took place in 5-7 August, in Mexico City, and was hosted by Casa Alianza, CHI's Mexican member child helpline. The child helpline members from Uruguay, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Jamaica, the United States and Mexico participated in the workshop. During the workshop the helplines were presented with the theory behind child trafficking and also were given time to present the situation in their own countries. Further more, they exchanged knowledge on the subject and came up with an action plan to implement strategies within their own child helplines. The importance of the workshop lay in the child helplines being able to recognise the problem, knowing how to respond to it and thus being able to provide help to children that were, or may be, victims of child trafficking. Read the full conference report
Palestine: training on the establishment of a child helpline
CHI has supported four team members from the Palestinian child helpline, which is operating under the SAWA organisation in Ramallah, to visit Childline Mpumalanga in South Africa. The visit took place on 8-10 July. This visit included covered information about the handling the calls, documentation and referrals, while also meeting specific training needs on the documentation of contacts, management structure and management methods of staff and volunteers and awareness campaigns.
Romania: ‘Asociatia Telefonul Copilului’ was assigned 116 111
From 1 October, 2008 the 116 111 number will be operational in Romania by Asociatia Telefonul Copilului. In order to allow their organisation the necessary time to promote the new number, Romtelecom has agreed to keep the operation of the Romanian child helpline's current number 0800 8200200 for 1 year, while redirecting the calls to 116 111. To date the Romanian child helpline, which is available to both children and parents since 2001, has registered almost 1,5 million calls.
Tunisia: brainstorm on the establishment of a child helpline
At the invitation of the Tunisian Association for Child Rights, a brainstorming meeting was held in Tunis on 12 August. The brainstorm meeting gathered around twenty-five representatives from different bodies operating in Tunis in the field of child protection. Representation covered the fields of child protection, judiciary, telecommunications, health, education, in addition to other related fields. The main objective of the session was to present the perspective and concept of child helplines globally, and the existing (related) initiatives that would support a national child helpline in Tunisia. The meeting has resulted in the commitment to take the project of a child helpline in Tunisia forward by the Tunisian Association for Child Rights and its partners.
FICE Congress 2008
The International Federation of Educational Communities (FICE) Congress entitled ‘Better Future for Children’ took place in Helsinki on 10 -13 June. The Congress was organised by FICE-International and the Central Union for Child Welfare. CHI, together with its Finnish member organisation ‘The Mannerheim League for child welfare’ (MLCW), facilitated the session entitled Community-Based Work And Services – The Role Of Helplines. CHI’s presentation was focussed on the general role of child helplines and its major services. Moreover, the European harmonised number for child helplines (116 111) was introduced. MLCW introduced the Finnish child helpline service, its history, growth and achievements. In an interactive part MLCW shared interesting data on a significant rise in incoming calls.
International Conference on Child Labour and Child Exploitation
Advocacy Task Force Chair Grant Taylor, from 0800 WHATSUP in New Zealand, presented a paper on behalf of CHI at the International Conference on Child Labour and Child Exploitation in Cairns, Australia on 4 August. Grant’s presentation was on CHI, the principles that guide all child helplines within the CHI network, and CHI’s international data on child labour and child exploitation. In addition, he presented CHILDLINE India’s research into children working in the Gujarati mines, and a case study from Nineline on a Mexican girl exploited as an illegal foreign worker in the USA. The conference programme can be downloaded here.
The International Policy Conference on the African Child
CHI attended this conference on 11 - 13 May in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. CHI advocated for the importance of child helplines and the need for structural support. Background information: The International Policy Conference on the African Child is a major biennial event and the leading international forum in Africa on child rights and policy issues that is organised by the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), the leading independent pan-African policy and advocacy centre working on children’s rights. The international board of trustees includes child rights organisations such as UNICEF, Plan International, Save the Children, The African Union as well as the Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Chair of the African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
CHI is pleased to announce the launch of Connecting to Children (5th addition, 2006 data). Please see the publication here or see our website If you wish to receive a hard copy, please send your request to the CHI secretariat.
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