Thursday, June 19, 2008

Who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters...THE UN!

Imagine being a child traveling in a foreign country and walking down the street with your family. All of a sudden there is an explosion and you get separated from your parents. You learned in school what to do in an emergency: Call 911! Suddenly you realize that 911 doesn’t work, you can’t find you parents, and there is nobody to help you.

So what can you do as a trapped, lost, or injured child in a foreign country? Thankfully, the UN has your back! The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has asked countries throughout the world to link to a global child helpline. The UN has proposed the helpline number to be 116 111, which is already being used in European countries such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Sweden. Child Helpline International’s (CHI) data shows that more than 10.5 million calls are made to child helplines every year for counseling and emergency intervention. In today’s globalized world, a universal child helpline will greatly benefit the well-being of children everywhere. Next time you are a child in an emergency, all you have to do is call 116 111 and help will be on the way!

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