Child Helplines link children in need of care and protection to the services available, and use data on their contacts to advocate for the availability and improvement of these services. Child helplines thus operate as a hub in a country's child protection circle and advocate for its continuous improvement.
Through their direct work, child helplines have a direct impact on individual callers’ lives; for example, in the case of child domestic workers who are not allowed to go to school, child helplines have legal teams ready to file a case and to ensure that this child will be able to exert his/her right to education.
In 2008 more than 14.5 million children, or adults on behalf of children, contacted child helplines around the world. The 'callers' made their contact through different means of communication (phone; SMS; chat; outreach etc.). The majority of contacts are made by children (80%), about 20% of the contacts is made by adults, on behalf of children, or concerning children. By establishing and scaling-up helplines, CHI endeavors to bring helpline services to as many children, especially the most marginalized, as possible.
In May 2004, the helpline was officially launched in Vietnam. The helpline operates in Hanoi and is now looking to expand to other cities in Vietnam. The helpline has a free number (1800 1567) which serves during 7.00 – 21.00 daily and after 2 years after its inception, received around nearly 100,000 call, of these 1,000 required direct emergency support.. The helpline number can be directly called from anywhere in Vietnam, so it is very easy to reach. Most phone calls have been made to receive advice on peer relationship, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, abandoned children and accidents involving children.
The helpline has also started an on-line counseling services relating to reproductive health, children’s rights and psychology as an addition to the telephone service already provided. In addition, two centers for children's protection have been created in Ho Chi Minh (in the south) and Da Nang city (in central Vietnam) to make the helpline more efficient.
To promote this helpline, there have been many activities in Vietnam in schools and on the street to inform street children about the helpline. Some communication materials have also been used such as leaflets and booklets for publicizing the helpline.
Since November 2010, the Helpline in Vietnam has operated 24 hours instead of 14 hours daily to better serve children in need.