“The Smile of the Child” next to every child victim of violence and abuse

19 November 2019

18th of November: European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse


19th of November: World Day against Child Abuse


 “The Smile of the Child” next to every child victim of violence and abuse


Tuesday 19 November 2019


On the occasion of the 18th of November, European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse and the 19th of November, World Day against Child Abuse, “The Smile of the Child” participates to the global effort against any form of abuse and violence against children.

“The Smile of the Child” unites forces against the abuse of children, combining the knowledge of the most distinguished scientists from Greece and abroad with the precious experience of professionals working on the frontline. Sadly, child sexual abuse remains mostly a secret. Children fear to speak out about what is happening to them, suffering from horrible consequences, whereas adults prefer to keep their mouth closed.

For this reason, “The Smile of the Child” launched under the aegis of H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos the nationwide campaign “It Remains a Secret” and formulated in cooperation with all the relevant institutional actors across Greece 15 concrete proposals on the prevention and tackling of child sexual abuse.

In recognizing the importance of multi-disciplinary synergy and approach and by utilizing the international practice through the operation of Child Advocacy Centers in the USA “The Smile of the Child” developed in 2014 in cooperation with the US NCAC, with which it recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, the first such Day Center, named “The House of the Child”. This facility was set at the disposal of the Ministry of Justice and the competent authorities.

For this purpose and with the goal to provide education among competent institutional actors and the professionals working on the frontline “The Smile of the Child” has organized interactive workshops and educational seminars across the country with key experts from abroad who have analyzed complex aspects of these phenomena and thematic areas related to child sexual abuse. 

From the 2nd to the 6th of December “The Smile of the Child” will organize educational seminars with the title “Child-Friendly Justice” with the kind support of the US Embassy and the participation of Chris Newlin, Executive Director of the US National Child Advocacy Center (NCAC).

The goal is to provide proper education among the competent prosecutorial servants, the law enforcement authorities as well as other relevant professionals active in the field as well as the exchange of good practices and the development of concrete proposals that will take into consideration the international practices and will aim at creating a friendly protection system for all children in Greece.

According to the statistics of the 1st semester of 2019 and through the actions of the Organization in the field of prevention, intervention and therapy of children victims:

  • The National Helpline for Children SOS 1056 received 321 reports of serious cases of abuse related to 623 children. 234 of these children were between 0-6 years-old. For 315 children these reports concerned neglect/abandonment, whereas in 108 cases the mother was the victimizer.
  • The European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111 received 3.186 calls.
  • The European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111 offered counseling services on issues related to children to 2.436 individuals.
  • Interactive preventative interventions were carried out for 24.449 children in the framework of 510 visits across Greece with the participation of students, parents, and guardians as well as the general public.
  • 88 direct interventions were carried out for 131 children at risk. In 34% of these cases, the immediate removal from their family environment was required.
  • 55 requests for the shelter of 84 children at risk were received and 278 children are currently being raised in the 11 Homes of the Organization nationwide
  • 280 children received 22.141 hours of diagnostic and therapeutic services from the multi-disciplinary team of “The House of the Child” Day Center.

On the international level, "The Smile of the Child" joins forces with actors, agencies and institutions against the phenomenon of child abuse through awareness-raising and informational campaigns and activities. "The Smile of the Child" participated to the global campaign of “19 Days of Activism Prevention Abuse and Violence against Children/Youth”. The campaign is organized by the Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF) and brings together Organizations from various continents and countries across the globe.

In addition, "The Smile of the Child" takes part in the initiatives of the Council of Europe on the occasion of the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. The 2019 edition of the campaign focuses on “Empowering children to stop sexual violence”.

Read the proposals of the campaign ‘It remains a Secret’ here.

For more information about the press release, please contact our press@hamogelo.gr or +210 33 06 140.