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CHILDLINE 1098 Service » Media Backgrounder

Children of India

Children under 18 account for 43% of India's population is nearly 447 million of which nearly 40% or about 178 million are marginalized with various causes- poverty, abuse, exploitation, disease, illiteracy, malnourishment, disability, impairment, conflicts, calamities and neglect. CHILDLINE 1098 is the link for these children to avail necessary services and assert their rights.

With the world's largest population of Children, India has the dismal record of providing under 5% of its annual Union budget for children- and that includes education, health, and development. Child Protection receives under 1% of the Union Budget. With a Trillion dollar GDP, India still provides less than 0.01% of its GDP in annual budgets to children- currently targeted to be under Rs 10 per child per year.

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Child Protection and Child Rights

India is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children 1990 (UNCRC) and offers the following rights to Children, in addition to their rights as Indian Citizens:

  • The Right to Life and Survival,
  • The Right to Protection,
  • The Right to Development,
  • The Right to Participation.

The essential principles of the UNCRC are: 'Non-discrimination' (art.2), 'Best Interest of the Child' (art.3) and 'Respect for views of the Child.'(art.12).

The Right to Protection is fundamental to children. What is Child Protection? Every child has a right to protection. This not only includes children who are in difficult circumstances but also those who are not in any adverse situations.

Child Protection:

•  Child Protection refers to protection from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect.

•  Protecting children from or against any perceived or real danger/risk to their life, their personhood and childhood.

•  Reducing their vulnerability to any kind of harm and in harmful situations.

•  Protecting children against social, psychological and emotional insecurity and distress.

•  Child protection is about protecting every right of every child.

•  Ensuring no child falls out of the social security and safety net and those who do, receive necessary care and protection to be brought back into the safety net.

Child Protection ensures the chances to grow up physically and mentally healthy, confident and self-respecting, and less likely to abuse or exploit others, including his or her own children.

CHILDLINE 1098 service incorporates in its service delivery model the critical constructs of Prevention, Intervention and Rehabilitation with a rights based approach that involves Child Participation.

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The CHILDLINE 1098 Service

CHILDLINE in action

CHILDLINE 1098 is a national 24 hour, free emergency telephone helpline and outreach service for children in need of Care and Protection, operational in 83 cities across 25 States and UTs. The service logs over 2.3 million calls a Year- as of March 2010 CHILDLINE has serviced over 17 million calls.

CHILDLINE listens, counsels, provides information as well combines telephone response with direct intervention assistance and has the capacity to reach children and rescue them within 60 minutes of receiving a call for help.

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The PPP with MWCD

The XIth Five year plan has approved the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), India 's first scheme specifically addressing Child Protection. The XI th Plan goals under the ICPS scheme are to ensure that the CHILDLINE 1098 service is implemented in all of the 640 plus districts of India .

CIF is now in a massive expansion mode and hopes to cover nearly 300 districts of India with the CHILDLINE 1098 service over the next 24 months.


CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF)

CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF) commenced as a registered charity (NGO) in 1996, developed and runs the CHILDLINE 1098 service in India . As India 's foremost Child Protection agency, CIF is recognised as the Mother NGO for the CHILDLINE Service by the Government of India and operates in a unique social Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model with the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

CIF pioneered the CHILDLINE India model with the critical strategies of: Gaining the trust of children with the telephone as a social service delivery instrument, linking up with - not duplicating existing services for children, making the government and Allied systems organisations (Police/healthcare sector/education sector/Judiciary/Telecom/Media) active stakeholders in Child Protection and social franchising partnering local level NGOs CHILDLINE service delivery with the 4C approach (Connect, Collaborate, Catalyze and Communicate).

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CHILDLINE Se Dosti Campaign

The CHILDLINE Se Dosti Campaign is about taking Child Protection to the community. CHILDLINE Se Dosti Campaign aimed at to involve the community by understanding and recognising CP/CR and be pro-active in reducing vulnerability of children to risks. We want the issue of CHILD PROTECTION and Child Rights to resonate with people across all walks of life.

The CHILDLINE Se Dosti Campaign is about generating a Million Dosts of CHILDLINE - individuals from all walks of life who will be recognised as CP Ambassadors and empowered with knowledge about CP/CR. Dosts who will willingly undertake the responsibility of being a Dost to Children of India.

We hope that every CHILDLINE Dost will spread awareness about CP/CR and create awareness about CHILDLINE 1098 so that any child in need of care and protection can always reach a didi or a bhaiya at the end of a phone call.

The campaign is orchestrated through a combination of structured events coordinated by CIF and along with our partners across 83 cities. All of these events will happen in the week of November 8 to 14- to coincide with India 's Children's Day on Nov 14 th .

A CHILDLINE Dost is registered through a simple interaction on CIF's website that requires every potential Dost to take an ePledge and fill a form. The Dost will then receive, through email, a ECertificate of Dosti and will then be regularly invited to participate /volunteer in various activities. The Dost will also receive eNewsletters and will be empowered to become a Child Protection Ambassador.

Visit to know more about CHILDLINE Se Dosti.