News : Child Helpline Goes 24/7
Suva, Fiji, April 9, 2016 -- The National Child Help Line for the prevention of child abuse and neglect has now expanded to provide 24-hour services.
It is now operational for seven days with professional counsellors who provide advice and counselling in English, Rotuman, iTaukei and Hindustani. It was first implemented last year through the Ministry of Social Welfare's partnership with Medical Services Pacific and telecommunication companies Digicel, Vodafone and Telecom Fiji Ltd.
Minister for Social Welfare, Rosy Akbar said the services would continue to play a key role in shaping, strengthening and filling the gaps of existing national child protection systems.
"The service ensures that all children have their fundamental right to be heard and to be protected as per the rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that was ratified by the Fijian Government in 1993," Ms Akbar said.
"It also acts as the gateway for children to access additional support in the health and social sectors."
The minister also explained that the service was a government initiative under her ministry's child protection multi-year work plan agreed with UNICEF to provide improved services for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
It is expected that children will access the helpline for information gathering, psycho-social and mental support, abuse and violence reporting, peer relationship support; family relationship issue and for homelessness, runaways or for other basic needs. The toll free number is 1325.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, April 11, 2016