“The Smile of the Child” shares good practices at the 7th Regional Consultation of Child Helplines in the Middle East and North Africa
Sharjah, 15 December 2017
“The Smile of the Child”, Greek member of
Child Helpline International contributed to the 7th Regional Consultation of Child Helplines in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region), held on 13 and 14 December in the United Arab Emirates.
Piji Protopsaltis, Coordinator of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of “The Smile of the Child” presented the work of the Greek CHI member on the prevention and tackling of incidents of violence and abuse against children. More specifically, “The Smile of the Child” shared its good practices on the protection of children at risk through the operation of the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056, the European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111, the European Hotline for Missing Children 116000 and the activation of the Amber Alert Hellas for children in immediate danger.
In addition, “The Smile of the Child” shared its hands-on experience on the protection of thousands of refugee and migrant children and their families stranded in Greece as well as its actions to fill-in the gaps of protection and ensure quality services and holistic support to these extremely vulnerable groups. In this regard, “The Smile of the Child” explores the possibility of cooperation with NGO SAWA, CHI member from Palestine, as well as other organizations given the ever increasing needs of protection and care to refugee and migrant children in Europe.
During the meeting interesting data on the situation in the MENA region was presented with 7 of 9 countries having seen an increase in violence against children aged from 2 to 4 years-old, while in 8 out of 10 countries adults say that physical violence against children is necessary. In addition, in 13 of 16 countries 1 of 4 adolescents (between 13-15 years-old) reported incidents of violence in school, while in Egypt, Palestine and Algeria 50% reported incidents of violence. In 8 countries corporal punishment is not prohibited.