International commitment

While the actions of ‘The Smile of the Child’ target children in Greece, its cooperation with international actors and partners has gradually grown into a mission of paramount importance. The Organization has learned and borrowed international examples and best practices from key international actors in the main areas of its focus. By now, however, "The Smile of the Child" is also in a position to showcase its own significant 21-year experience and transfer its know-how to third countries.

Over the past two decades, ‘The Smile of the Child’ has been cooperating and exchanging experience with governmental and non-governmental organizations, agencies and children's rights networks from Europe and around the world.

Among its international partnerships, the most noteworthy include its cooperation with the United Nations, where ‘The Smile of the Child’ enjoys special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is associated with the Department of Public Information (DPI NGO). It shares the values of the Council of Europe, with which there exists a rather intense concrete cooperation, currently being consolidated by ‘The Smile of the Child’ being in the process to become member of the Council’s International NGO Conference.

Moreover, the Organization is member of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), based in Washington, DC, with ‘The Smile's’ President serving as member of the Board of Directors. ‘Smile’ is also a prominent member of Missing Children Europe (MCE), based in Brussels, as well as Amsterdam based Child Helpline International (CHI), the European Brussels based network Eurochild, the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), and the European Federation of Street Children (EFSC).

‘The Smile’ also initiated the creation of and leads two important initiatives: the European Anti-bullying Network (EAN), a network now counting 21 organizations from EU member States, chaired by ‘The Smile's’ President; and the Southeastern European Center for Missing and Exploited Children (SEEC), which the Organization operates from its Athens headquarters.

In 2014 the European Parliament awarded the Organization with the ‘European Citizens Prize’.

Enhancing its international cooperation and connecting Greek society to a number of initiatives of the EU in the field of child care and child protection, ‘The Smile of the Child’ frequently participates as leading actor and partner in concrete EU Programs, i.a. within the frameworks of Interreg, DAPHNE III Prorgamme, Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, Justice Programme, EuropeAid, AMIF, Erasmus+.

Moreover, ‘Smile’ has developed into a valued and trusted implementing partner for schemes of bilateral cooperation involving foreign authorities, foundations and institutions at national, regional and local level. As such, ‘Smile’ puts into action projects that aim at the care and protection of children in the midst of challenging circumstances of social-economic and migratory nature.