New helpline for child protection to be launched

Update: September, 22/2017 - 16:45
The new emergency telephone number for child protection, 111, is expected to be put in use in December to receive calls and timely address children’s safety across the country. - Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – The new emergency telephone number for child protection, 111, is expected to become operational in December.

This number has been approved as the national child protection hotline by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

“This number has the advantage of being convenient in communication, especially for child sex abuse, exploitation and trafficking, and is easy to remember for dialing," Nguyễn Công Hiệu, deputy director of the Centre for Consultation and Communication Services of the Childcare and Protection Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), said.

People who call the hotline will not have to pay phone call and consultancy fees.

There will be three consulting centres in the cities of Hà Nội and Đà Nẵng, and An Giang Province when the hotline comes into operation.

The Hà Nội call centre connects and handles consultations for 28 provinces and cities in the north, while Đà Nẵng handles calls from 16 provinces in the central and the Central Highlands, and An Giang serves 19 provinces and cities in the southeast.

The MoLISA has assigned the Childcare and Protection Department to co-ordinate with relevant agencies to manage and operate this hotline service.

Since 2004, Việt Nam has used free-of-charge telephone hotline number 18001567 to advise and support children, receiving over 2.5 million calls from across the country.

To make it easy to remember and respond in case of an emergency, the round-the-clock 111 hotline has been set up, alongside other emergency numbers, such as 113, 114 and 115.

The current 18001567 line will still be maintained, running parallel with the new one, 111.

"In the short term, we cannot give up the old numbers, but we will stop their transmission to focus on 111," Hiệu told the Pháp luật (Law) newspaper in HCM City.

Hiệu added that the function of 111 is similar to the number 18001567, which is to receive and respond to people needing legal advice on children, and denounce acts of abuse, violence, trafficking and exploitation.

In case of emergency, the information is classified and reported immediately to the local police and authorities for emergency preventive measures.

For cases related to risks, answering operators will prepare documents and transfer them to the local agencies for support.

However, Hiệu said not many people know about the line 18001567 due to the long number and lack of communication activities.

For better operation and to receive more information and support, it is necessary to improve the staff’s ability to provide information and services, he said.

Putting the phone number on book covers, notebooks, pens or cover of dairy products also helps make the hotline known, Hiệu said. – VNS