Launch of Child Helpline International’s fifth report on violence against children - Paris

Paris (France) 25 January 2012

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children attended the launch of Child Helpline International’s fifth report on violence against children in Paris, France.

In her statement, Ms Santos Pais emphasized that although widespread, violence against children is often hidden or socially condoned as an acceptable practice or form of discipline. It is seldom reported: official statistics hardly capture its magnitude and incidence. Violence is often perpetrated by people children know and trust. And it is surrounded by a culture of silence and social indifference, where there is no hope for victims and where perpetrators go unpunished. Very often, children have nowhere to go to seek to seek help or make complaints about violence or they are unaware of available mechanisms and how to obtain advice and assistance.

Child Helpline International (CHI ) is the global network of child helplines in 133 countries (as of December 2011), which together receive over 14 million contacts a year from children and young people in need of care and protection. CHI supports the creation and strengthening of national toll-free child helplines worldwide, and uses child helpline data and knowledge to highlight gaps in child protection systems and advocate for the rights of children.child helpline data from across the globe represents vital insight and a powerful tool to implement strategies to address and prevent abuse from taking place.

Child helplines play a crucial role by listening to these children and providing services that ensure their well-being and protection from abuse. Child helplines refer children to other services if needed.

Worldwide, nearly four in ten contacts with child helplines concerned physical violence, one quarter concerned bullying, and sexual abuse accounted for one in five cases.

According to the report, girls were disproportionately affected by all of these forms of violence. Most of the children who contact a child helpline about abuse and violence have never spoken with any other adult about it.

The Special Representative ended by giving her “full support the Report’s recommendation that child helplines be recognized as core components of comprehensive, robust and integrated national child protection systems, and that they are given the resources required to enable them to provide maximum support to children.”

Link to report and more info: