International Child Helpline Day Date in the current year: May 17, 2024

International Child Helpline Day International Child Helpline Day is observed annually on May 17. It was created to celebrate the important work of child helplines around the globe and raise public awareness of child helplines so that children in need of help know where they can get it.

A child helpline provides help, support and counseling services to children and/or young people through various means of communication (phone, webchat, email, messengers, etc.). It can function as governmental body, civil society organization, or social enterprise. The work of child helplines around the world is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that states that children have the right to be heard, as well as the rights to privacy and protection from harm. Child helplines firmly believe that every child in the world has a voice, and no child should be left unheard.

In many countries, child helplines are the most accessible and trusted gateway for a child or young person to find support, as well as their first point of contact with child protection services. The efforts of people working for child helplines ensure that millions of children and young people who contact child helplines are listened to and get the assistance they need, be it words of encouragement or alerting child protection services of their situation.

Every year, child helplines around the globe deal with more than 15 million calls, texts, chats, emails and letters from children and young people. Children can talk with counselors working for child helplines for many reasons: simply because no adults in their lives are willing to listen to them and they need someone to talk to, to discuss their worries and concerns, hopes and dreams, or to make someone aware of the poverty, neglect, abuse, violence, or exploitation they may be experiencing.

International Child Helpline Day was launched by Child Helpline International, a membership-based organization uniting 159 child helplines from 135 countries and territories, from Albania to Zimbabwe (as of May 2023). Indian social entrepreneur Jeroo Billimoria came up with the idea of creating a global network of child helplines in the early 1990s while working with street children and founded Child Helpline International with the help of 49 child helplines from around the world in 2003. Before that, child helplines from different countries had no access to one another and did their work in isolation, unable to exchange their experiences and help each other grow and become more efficient.

The main goal of International Child Helpline Day is to highlight the important work child helplines around the globe are doing and raise public awareness of child helplines so that children and youth can access them in their times of need. You can join the celebration by donating to or volunteering for a child helpline in your country, ensuring that the children in your life know about child helplines and are not afraid to contact them for advice or support, and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #InternationalChildHelplineDay.

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International Child Helpline Day, international observances, awareness days, Child Helpline International, Jeroo Billimoria