The GSM Association has formed a partnership with Child Helpline International (CHI) to protect young people and safeguard their right to be heard.
The partners signed an agreement that establishes a roadmap for promoting child helplines across the globe, including measures to strengthen relationships between national mobile operators and their in-country helplines and foster collaboration on issues such as a safer Internet for children.
“Child Helpline International’s mission is to ensure that every call is answered, so every child in need of being heard can be heard. The GSMA is committed to playing its part in achieving this important goal,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA.
According to Bouverot, “the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was established in 1989, which is also the year that the World Wide Web was born. Increasingly, children around the world are using mobile phones to access the Internet, for social networking and apps, as well as to make calls and send texts. Our partnership with Child Helpline International will reinforce the ongoing efforts of mobile operators to protect and support young people’s safety in our connected society.”
Nenita La Rose, Executive Director, Child Helpline International says “every two seconds a child reaches out to a child helpline. Unfortunately 50 per cent of these calls for help remain unheard because child helplines often lack the resources to answer every call. As children and young people need access to communication technology to reach vital child helpline services, mobile operators are important stakeholders. I am delighted to formalise this crucial partnership with the GSMA by signing a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on our shared goal to answer every call from every child.”
According to GSMA, its members such as Airtel, Avea, Axiata, Bouygues, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Digicel, KDDI, KT, Millicom, NTT DOCOMO, Nuevatel, Ooredoo, Orange, SK Telecom, STC, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telekom Austria, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Telstra, VimpelCom, Vodafone and Zain have pledged to support child helplines in their markets.
Existing and potential commitments among the mobile operators include assisting in the establishment of a helpline if none exists nationally, increasing awareness of helplines and providing in-kind support or sponsorship. The commitments vary by operator and by market.