International day of SOS lines for children

International day of SOS lines for children is celebrated every year in May. Main purpose of this event is to disseminate the idea of assisting children through helplines and promote the existing ones. It was initiated by worldwide network of SOS lines - Child Helpline International. This year the day was celebrated under the leading theme: "Connect with children!".

National celebrations often serve as an opportunity to reach children and youth with information about the help and support they can get by calling the helpline.

In Poland, the helplines involved in commemorating the day were 116 111, - 0 800 100 100, and Children's Rights Ombudsmen's Helpline for Children - 0 800 12 12 12.

116 111 is a helpline run from 2008 by the Nobody's Children Foundation with support of the Ministry of Interior and Administration and Polkomtel SA. It is the first free child helpline available throughout Poland. The consultants are prepared to support every child in all kinds of personal problems and also intervene in cases when child's life or health is in danger. So far there have been 43 000 calls to the helpline reported. - 0 800 100 100 has been operating from 2007. It is run by the Nobody's Children Foundation in cooperation with the Orange Foundation. The main target group are children and youth who face threats while using he Internet or mobile phones. Psychologists working at receive more than 20 400 reports a year, concerning mainly cyberviolence, dangerous content in the Internet, Internet addiction, grooming, stealing of personal data.

Childrens' Rights Ombudsmen's Helpline for Children - 0 800 12 12 12 is working from 2008. It is available free of charge to all children facing difficulties at home or at school. The helpline is also called by adults who what to report incidents of child rights abuses.

In Macedonia the main free helpline is SOS telephone for children and youth - 0 800 12222. Being one of the activities conducted by the First Children's Embassy MEGJASHI it has been working continuously for 16 years.

During the period of 1993 - 2008 SOS registered 17 407 calls. In the 2008 there were 360 calls and appropriate action was undertaken in 199 cases. The calls in 2008 referred mainly to problems of abuse and violence against children, family relations, legal matters, school problems, prostitution and juvenile delinquency. Significant increase in the number of reports of violence has been observed. The service is provided by students and professionals - psychologists, social workers, lawyers - on volunteer basis. In certain cases the First Children's Embassy MEGJASHI cooperates with the Ombudsman, the Police, Courts, Centers for social work, schools and other relevant institutions.

There are many reasons why children call helplines. Often this is the only way for them to seek help and express the problems that bother them. The helplines serve as important tools always within reach of children and ready to provide them care and protection.


Submitted by admin on Thu, 2009-08-27 11:33.