Let’s celebrate the launch of the 116 Helpline in Liberia

The 116 Helpline will provide immediate response to cases of violence against women and children

The 116-Helpline was inaugurated in November 2016 at a special ceremony held during the official launch of the 16-Days of Activism, a campaign initiated to stand up against all forms of violence against women and girls. A child helpline is a comprehensive, coordinated, interdisciplinary, accessible and sustainable multi-sectoral service and program that responds to children at all levels.

The United Nations Violence Against Children study of 2006 recommends that states should establish safe, well publicized, confidential and accessible mechanisms for children, their representatives, and others to report violence against children.

According to the study, the prevention strategy must include a framework to enhance coordination and partnership amongst Government Ministries and Agencies and all GBV and Child Protection Actors to create a child helpline which will improve the quality of life and access to spaces free of sexual violence or other forms of GBV against children.

Meanwhile, the leading light in the fight against child abuse is the way in which children themselves can use helplines to report what they are faced with.

GBV statistics covering the periods of January-August 2016 show that a total of 931 GBV cases were reported, of which 610 were rape cases. In 2015, 1,555 gender-based violence cases were reported, of which 720 were rape cases.

The study also showed that in 2015 the number of reported GBV cases was a striking 1555 and the number of rape cases was as high as 720

The African Union has recognised 116 as the regional number for helplines in Africa.

The launch of the 116 service in Liberia demonstrates a strong and passionate support from the government in fighting violence against children.