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Monday November 19, 2012

User-friendly website soon to empower children

KUALA LUMPUR: Childline Malaysia is currently developing a website to enable children to contact it for help over their rights and protection.

Its chairman Sabri Rahman said the website would benefit children who were hearing impaired or unable to contact them via telephone.

“We are now developing a user-friendly website, which will be more of a social network site incorporating a Facebook and Twitter-like environment,” Sabri said at a press conference at the Children for Child Protection Forum and Exhibition 2012.

“This will allow for another medium for children to contact us. We hope to complete it by June next year.”

He added that another benefit of the website was that it offered more privacy.

Sabri said the website was currently being modelled on similar applications done by Childline organisations in other countries.

Sabri said last year, their 24-hour helpline Childline 15999 received 4,564 calls nationwide, with psycho-social mental health issues having the highest number of calls (1,828) followed by calls about abuse and violence (1,192).

“There is a dire need for more concerted efforts as we all have a role to play,” he said.

Childline Malaysia is a national 24-hour free telephone emergency outreach service for children in need of care and protection and aims to link children to long-term services.

Also present at the forum was Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein who said his ministry was working with non-governmental organisations to handle the issue of children living on the street.

Hishammuddin said a common problem faced by street children were that they had no identification cards or birth certificates and so could not go to school.

“This is a vicious cycle, which has to be stopped,” Hishammuddin said.

“It can only stop if all stakeholders, including the children themselves, get involved.”

He also received a resolution on children’s rights by participants at the forum.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin called for a global peace movement to solve the conflict in Gaza, saying he hoped Malaysia, with its harmony in diversity, could be used as an example of a model of peace.

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