Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has launched nationwide coverage of Bangladesh’s first toll-free Child Helpline to provide a free telephone service to children facing violence, abuse and exploitation.
The Child Helpline enables anyone to report child rights violations, child abuse, exploitation or any other act of disruption to the protection of children by calling a toll-free number “1098” from any corner of the country, through any mobile phone operator, according to a joint press release of Bangladesh government and Unicef.
The prime minister officially launched the ‘Child Helpline – 1098’ today at her official residence Gono Bhaban in Dhaka.
Social Welfare Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed, Supreme Court Appellate Division Judge Justice Imman Ali, Secretary of the Ministry of Social Welfare Md Zillar Rahman, Acting CEO of Grameen Phone Yasir Azman and Sara Bordas Eddy on behalf of Unicef Bangladesh were present at the programme.
“A revolution has taken place in the field of ICT in Bangladesh. Today, another technological milestone has been added by launching the ‘Child Helpline – 1098’ to promote and protect child rights and give children’s interest utmost priority,” PM Hasina said.
“I am very happy that through this service children will be able to inform their concerns to the highest authority and will receive care and support as per their individual needs. Thank you to UNICEF for supporting the government in implementing various development initiatives for women and children in Bangladesh,” she said while launching the helpline.
Child Helpline-1098 has been initiated in accordance with Article 90 of the Children Act 2013 to provide a means for channeling information from vulnerable children, children in conflict or contact with law as well as information of child rights violation, to an appropriate authority and simplify the process of providing information.