Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Global Network to Fight a Global Problem

By David Simms, Senior Contributor

There is an organisation known as the Child Helpline International (CHI) who is doing much great work. CHI is conducting ongoing development and support of toll-free child helplines worldwide and uses data to detect inconsistencies and weaknesses in existing child protection systems. This organisation was started in India some 25 years ago and was originally known as Childline India.   Their approach was to have volunteers speak on the phone directly to children in need and keep logs of all calls.  From there it evolved into a global network. Now, helplines around the world can join under the umbrella of CHI as long as they meet basic criteria. 

At present there are 127 countries involved. In the 25 years CHI has been in operation, cyberbullying and harassment has become more of a central problem they deal with on a daily basis. This is a very tangible indication that the issue of cyberbullying is significantly supplanting the crisis’ youth face in the modern age. It is pleasing to see that CHI is pioneering such a service to young people around the globe. Their work is very similar to ours here at the Global Institute however our focus is expanded to help adults facing the destruction in their lives due to cyber harassment. We are also aligned with the modes of communication typically used in this day and age.  It is of utmost importance that we bond together in our fight and that we adapt to changing technologies. 

As the world evolves in its communications it is our policy that, so too must we. In order to be effective it is our philosophy the battle must be fought where these crimes are taking place which is primarily through social media sites that are now accessed more by smartphone or ipads.