May 17 marks International Child Helpline Day which celebrates child helplines all over the world that aim to support, protect and provide comfort for this most precious and vulnerable group.
Children’s helplines give a platform for raising the children’s voices and ensuring their rights, which are sometimes overlooked and even violated. During the challenging times of the pandemic, when families and children face the additional vulnerabilities and strains that the lockdown has created or intensified, Helplines worldwide have taken an even more significant role (receiving globally 25 per cent more contacts in 2020 compared to 2019).
This year, “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center (HFC) joins organisations worldwide to advocate for the support of Child Helpline Services everywhere, for the benefit of all children. With the opportunity of the International Child Helpline Day, Hope For Children is inviting all local authorities and formal entities to spread information and raise awareness on the helplines running in Cyprus with the aim to give access to services to any child residing in Cyprus, even in the most remote living areas.
Hope For Children, as a Humanitarian Organisation that provides a variety of services to support children and defend their rights, operates the following Helplines:
Hope For Children Helpline 1466: Available to all children and families in Cyprus free of charge, the helpline is operating 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and provides psychological, social and legal support, advice and guidance on issues related to child protection.
European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116 111: The helpline works from Monday to Friday from 12:00 to 20:00 and every Saturday from 9:30 until 14:00. In Cyprus, the European Helpline is implemented by HFC and the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (SPAVO). The lines provide the opportunity to youth to talk about their concerns and worries.
European Hotline for Missing Children 116 000: Operates on a 24-hours basis, 365 days a year. The helpline 116000 aims to prevent and handle cases of missing children and facilitate the access to support services for the relatives of missing children. HFC and SPAVO run this helpline in Cyprus in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Public Order and Cyprus Police.
HFC is also part of the Child Helpline International (CHI), which is a collective impact organization with 166 members from 139 countries and territories around the world. CHI coordinates information, knowledge and data used to help and support child protection systems globally, regionally and nationally, and to help their members advocate for the rights of children and amplify their voices. The Organization is also a member of the Missing Children Europe Federation.
For more information regarding Child Helplines you can call 22103234 or access the webpage: www.uncrcpc.org.cy