International Child Helpline Day 2021

Celebrating the work of child helplines all around the world

It’s International Child Helpline Day! We’ve been celebrating this annual event on 17 May since 2005, highlighting the achievements of our child helpline members all around the world!

Last year, we celebrated the great efforts our child helpline members were making to stay operational as the world around them went into various states of lockdown due to the emerging coronavirus pandemic. Now, one year later, we’re focusing on the impacts that the pandemic has had on the children and young people who have been contacting the child helplines since then, and the impact that it has had on the operations and services offered by our child helpline members.

We collected data from our child helpline members in order to understand these impacts,  by undertaking four quarterly surveys covering the whole year (January to December 2020). The findings are captured in our new report that we’re launching today, together with the conclusions that can be drawn from these findings and key recommendations to ensure that child helplines can continue their vital work.  


The data in this report reveals that, globally, our child helpline members received 25% more contacts in 2020 compared to 2019. Violence and mental health were still the main reasons for contact globally in 2020 as they already had been in 2019. However in 2020, requests for information about Covid-19, and contacts relating to family relationships, access to essential services and the caller’s own physical health emerged as the other main reasons for making contact.  

We also report that the vast majority of child helplines proved to be extremely resilient and were able to continue their operations, with 94% of the child helplines surveyed indicating that they remained operational throughout the pandemic. 

Tomorrow, we’ll be bringing you news about an exciting new partnership we’re undertaking with the African Union, and on Wednesday we will be joining our partners Tech Matters in a special online event about Aselo, the open source platform recently launched by Childline Zambia and Childline South Africa.

Finally, on Thursday, we will be issuing our Call to Action, developed by our child helpline members and calling on governments, regional institutions and organisations, and the global communications sector to support child helplines and promote their services, to ensure that their vital work can continue, especially at this time when it is needed more than ever.

Watch this space!