Call 1100, protect child

Thursday 12th, January 2017 / 00:12 Written by
Call 1100, protect child

By Zainab Al Nasseri — MUSCAT: Jan. 11 – A hotline for protection of children (1100) was launched by the Ministry of Social Development on Wednesday. The hotline was launched in cooperation with the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) at an event presided over by Shaikh Mohammed bin Said al Kalbani, Minister of Social Development. Dr Hamed al Rawahi, CEO of TRA, was also present. The 24/7 hotline will receive reports about child abuse cases resulting from negligence, deprivation, exploitation and discrimination. It will help orphans and other children suffering from loss of parents by transferring their issues to child committees all over the Sultanate. The committees, affiliated to the ministry, include trained social researchers and psychiatrists who can professionally intervene and protect the abused children.

The patron of the event said dedicating a helpline for child protection was “based on real facts about true abuse stories in society”. He said: “Our society is young. 43 per cent of Omani population is under 18 years. Therefore, the ministry is keen on providing all types of care for them under the Child Law.” Dr Yahiya al Hinai, Director-General of Family Development at the ministry, said: “The hotline, which is free and easy to remember, is a national project that reflects the ministry’s efforts in backing child issues. It is intended to protect children aged below 18 years.” He said the hotline deals with emergencies by directly instructing agencies concerned to extend urgent help to the children.

896128Ibtisam al Lamki, social specialist, Family Protection Department, made a visual presentation about the hotline, which is a result of cooperation between the ministry, TRA and telecommunication providers, Omantel and Oreedoo. It will serve all children in Oman, both citizens and residents, as well as Omani children living abroad. It will also provide advice to doctors, social specialists, academics and parents. The ministry received 299 reports of children abused physically, psychologically and sexually in 2016, 53 per cent of whom were males and 47 per cent females. TRA said it was launching a campaign in the first quarter of this year to protect children from risks posed by use of communication devices.

Rozalin al Balushi, Consumer Affairs Manager at TRA, said: “The campaign aims to raise awareness about telecommunication services and how to use them wisely. It will educate children about the risks these devices pose. It will also offer tips to parents and teachers for keeping a watch on children using these devices.” TRA said it was launching a campaign in the first quarter of this year to protect children from risks posed by use of communication devices. Rozalin al Balushi, Consumer Affairs Manager at TRA, said: “The campaign aims to raise awareness about telecommunication services and how to use them wisely. It will educate children about the risks these devices pose. It will also offer tips to parents and teachers for keeping a watch on children using these devices.”

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