|54 Session – Republic of Macedonia Recommendations made under the Convention on the Rights of the ChildPrepared by Child Helpline International and First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi –December 2009|
The child helpline is operated by First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi and is called SOS helpline for Children and Youth. It is available from 8:00am-8:00pm, from Monday to Friday. The national child helpline is toll free but can be reached land lines of one specific operator and is not accessible from mobile phones. There is a lack of long term financial support. This situation severely hinders the work of the child helpline. Especially training and supervision are a problem.
Child Helpline International and First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi make the following recommendations:
The government of Macedonia should allocate the European harmonised number 116 111 to the child helpline and ensure that this number is toll free for the child and the child helpline
· Ensure that the child helpline can be reached nationally from land lines and mobile phones through all telecom operators;
· The government should cooperate with the child helpline in ensuring that the child helpline is accessible 24hours per day.
· The cost of call should not be paid from resources previously allocated to the child helpline
· The government should raise awareness about the child helpline with target groups and those working with children.
The government should cooperate with SOS helpline for Children and Youth and recognise it as a vital tool for child protection
· The government should allocate appropriate financial and technological resources to support long-term activities of the helpline including for training and capacity building of counselors to meet international quality standards
· The government should recognise the child helpline as a source of information and data for policy and legislation on children’s issues
The government of Macedonia should ensure that the child helpline has an outreach component to work with marginalised children and those at risk of having their rights violated.
· Early intervention and prevention are essential to protect the rights of all children. Outreach, to work with those children most at risk, is pivotal in this process.
· Allocate appropriate resources to cover costs of outreach activities, build capacity and train counsellors.
If you wish to receive further information please contact Child Helpline International:
Advocacy Officer, Child Helpline International
Tel: + 31 (0)20 528 9625
Fax: + 31 (0)20 638 7655