Youthline Auckland’s Amber Davies marked International Children’s Day last week by attending the Child Helpline International (CHI) launch of “The Voices of Children and Young People” report to the United Nations in New York. The report has been released to mark the 10th anniversary of CHI and provides data and analysis drawn from a series of regional studies.
Amber was invited to attend the Global Policy Dialogue in New York in her role of Deputy Regional Representative for the Asia Pacific region.
During talks at the United Nations Headquarters CHI presented a decade worth of data from telephone records, emails, text messages and chats collected by CHI’s network of 173 child helpline members including New Zealand’s Youthline, operating in 141 countries.
“I am extremely excited to have the chance to be in New York for this occasion and represent the amazing work of Youthline and helplines across the world,” she said.
The report showed young people are willing to share concerns and fears if they trust the system or mechanism they are using.
There has been a steady increase in contacts to helplines over the 10-year period which indicates that children and young people trust helplines to give them information, support and care.
The data shows that young people and children around the globe contact helplines for support with violence and abuse, peer relationships, psycho-social and mental health, and family conflicts.
The reasons behind the calls, messages and texts showed both the traditional problems that children and young people have always faced, along with new challenges arising from changing social environments.
“Child Helplines have been helping children learn how to take control of their own lives and resolve their problems as best they can,” said Nenita La Rose, Executive Director of CHI, “but few of us understand the scale of the challenges children face. What we are presenting today is a sort of social barometer – an eye-opening glimpse into what is really going on in the lives of children and young people.”
Martin Mogwanja, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF said “Helplines for children are a critical connection that enables children to be heard and be helped”
Amber has been Deputy Regional Representative for Child Helpline International Asia Pacific for the past two years and this year will be MC at the regional conference in Hanoi on November 25 and as a keynote speaker on text counselling (of which Youthline are world leaders) and research.
Youthline’s Information Services and Projects Manager Nao Guy also sits on the New Technologies Advisory Council based out of CHI headquarters in Amsterdam, with the Council providing strategic support and advice to CHI on the role of New Technologies in connecting with young people.
For more information see the CHI report by clicking here.