childpovertyGlobal child helplines have agreed to work together to tackle the most serious issues affecting children after uniting in London.

The Child Helpline International (CHI) event took place in the UK for the very first time last week [30–31 Oct] and was attended by more than 200 delegates from helplines including Syria, Israel, Palestine, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Director of ChildLine, Peter Liver said: “ChildLine is very proud to be hosting the seventh International Consultation in London this year. It is a unique opportunity to understand the different pressures facing young people globally and to exchange knowledge and best practice in order to improve the support offered to children of all nationalities.”

The main theme of the summit was empowering young people through technology with keynote speakers including Mrs. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio from the United Nations and Simon Milner from Facebook.

The event also saw the launch of CHI’s Voices of Children report which represents the voices of the 28 million children and young people who contacted global child helplines during 2012 and 2013. The extensive data provides an insight into the range of issues faced by children in different countries - including statistics on abuse and violence which remain serious problems for children from certain regions.

Alongside this, CHI launched its “Free Our Voices” campaign at the summit – a three-year awareness raising project which aims to ensure every call made by a child to a helpline is answered. The campaign wants to make child helplines across the world free to call.

To pledge your voice visit www.freeourvoices.org/

Nenita la Rose, Executive Director of Child Helpline International added: “CHI is pleased to be holding our flagship event in the vibrant city of London, bringing together our child helpline members across the globe to discuss the issues currently facing the worlds youth. We also hope that by launching our new campaign, “Free Our Voices”, during the conference, we create the opportunity for more children and young people to access their rights and get support when they need it most.”

A shadow young people’s conference, sponsored by AVG, ran in parralel to the main CHI event and saw young people take part in activities and workshops around the use of technology to fight against global issues facing children today.