Children Helpline Numbers – A social necessity

How you speak to your children becomes their inner voice - anonymous

With primary objective of enabling children and young people who are in imminent danger to contact someone and obtain help, the concept of Children Helpline numbers has gained the status of a pre-requisite necessity of our society in recent times.

The other big idea is to encourage children participation and provide them an opportunity to express their concerns and talk about the issues directly affecting them. Child Helpline Numbers mainly focuses on reaching out to the most marginalized and neglected children and building trust and a relationship to ensure that children perceive the helpline as their own and call in for assistance without any hitch.

Giving Voice to the children

While a child’s reason for calling may vary between countries, continents, cities and regions, one factor remains the same, the child is asking to be heard. They may be calling to seek rescue from abuse, bullying, suicidal tendencies, unwanted and underage pregnancies or about family. The call itself ensures the caller’s first step towards child participation.

           This act alone is never enough to ensure that children’s voices and opinions are being heard for real and consequently acted upon but the information is crucial for encouragement of children’s rights and in turn helping them to protect themselves from violence, abuse and other forms of exploitation.

Facilitating right environment

Several children-friendly mechanisms should be created at every level to attain children’s participation. Especially the adult’s attitude needs to be altered so that children must feel that their opinions are seriously being taken by the listener and they are being seen as associates and peers by adults and not someone to look down upon.

Adults at the helpline should be trained and prepared to create the necessary spaces for children to express their views without restraint. Many help lines throughout the world are making efforts to foster children’s participation at every stratum of society .The role of children and young people as youth counselors, young trainers, young community/school volunteers, young ambassadors are motivating children to help other children in getting their voices heard.

Helpline of 3 to 4 digits

The designation of a toll-free, easy-to-remember 3 or 4 digit number is imperative to safeguard the lives of children. Destitute and trafficked children move around from one place to another. So a common 3 or 4 Child Helpline number will help the children to memorize one number that they can dial in for help and identify with the service more easily.

The ultimate purpose is to enable children and young people who are in imminent danger to contact someone and obtain help, 24*7 that also free of cost. Accessible from both landline and mobile phones, this number should be a universal earmarked only for children, similar to other emergency services numbers currently offered in many countries.

The following is the list of issues regarding which children and young people can access help anytime:

  • Child abuse
  • Self injury
  • Mental health
  • Homelessness
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Family crisis
  • Suicide-related issues
  • Rural and remote issues
  • Eating and weight issues
  • Bullying
  • Children from Non-English speaking background.
  • This main focus this article is to stress upon the ability of children to arrive at sound judgments and opinions (based on their own life experiences) and encourage their participation in partnership with adults or youths who have the knowledge bring a plan or project to life.