Child Helpline International (CHI) is a global network of child helplines and currently works with 79 existing child helplines in 69 countries. CHI is also assisting 14 countries to start up child helplines. These helplines reach out to children and young people through various means of communication, including telephone, text messaging, emails and confidential internet chat rooms, as well as radio programmes, post cards and letters. CHI attaches great importance to the adaptation of technology and works towards cross-sectoral partnerships to increase access to information and services for marginalised children. It thus recognises and actively supports the role of ICTs in bridging divides that exist in society.
The strategic focus followed by CHI is to facilitate more children and young people across the globe to access helplines and subsequently to document their voices, to learn from them to advocate for gaps in services and develop minimum quality standards amongst helplines. At its inception in September 2003, CHI was a network of 54 countries. Since then, the network has grown to include 79 child helplines from 69 countries. In 2004/5 CHI partnered with the government, NGOs and other key stakeholders in Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Mongolia, Nigeria, Panama and Vietnam to start helplines. CHI also worked towards the expansion of helplines presently working on a district level, Philippines and Thailand have since become national, reaching out to many more children in need of care and protection. This expansion of child helplines over the last 2 years effectively translates to more than 70,000 extra calls being answered thereby helping more children and young people.
The experience with child helplines, especially in less economically-developed countries, shows that telephone technology taken to communities of marginalised children and young people (the future generation) results in the expansion and building of the telecoms sector. CHI is currently assisting 14 countries to start up child helplines. These 14 countries are Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Barbados, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Serbia/ Montenegro, Iran, Lebanon and Palestine.
WSIS action lines related to this activity: Theme 1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
Theme 2. Information and communication infrastructure
Theme 3. Access to information and knowledge
Theme 5. Building confidence and security in use of ICTs
Theme 7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life
Theme 11. International and regional cooperation
Theme 12. Achieving WSIS targets (PoA, Section B)
Theme 15. Towards WSIS Phase 2 (Tunis) (PoA, Section F)
Related MDGs: MDG 8. Develop a global partnership for development
A multi-stakeholder partnership including Governments, NGOs, donors and other stakeholders.