Humanium is an international non-profit organization which was founded on November 20, 2008 with the objective to improve the well-being of children worldwide and to put an end to the violations many children face. One of the multifaceted services provided by Humanium is its legal Helpline which offers legal assistance precisely to the victims of children’s rights violations.
During the period of one year, Humanium receives hundreds of cases of child rights abuse from around the world and, by investing all its efforts into solving them, acts as an advocate for a world where children’s rights would be respected, implemented and fulfilled.
The Legal Helpline – Making a Change for Children
Humanium’s legal Helpline team is committed to delivering accurate and timely legal advice to the victims of child rights violations. Since its beginning, the legal Helpline system has been divided into four languages: English, French, German and Spanish. Humanium’s operating system in four languages gives the victims different options as they can present their case to Humanium’s legal team in the language in which they feel most comfortable and confident communicating.
Once a request has been received in one of the four languages mentioned above, Humanium’s legal Helpline team will promptly respond to the case and do their best to find the most suitable solution. Due to the complexity of some cases, this might require extra time and support from our partners such as l’Alliance des Avocats pour les Droits de l’Homme (AADH), to which Humanium sometimes turns to lend a helping hand.
Humanium takes great pride in handling legal cases while abiding by its Ethic Charter, which always strives to ensure that the welfare of children is of the utmost importance. Enshrined in Humanium’s Charter (Humanium, 2020) are principles such as:
- Humanism: the human being, whose dignity is unalienable, is central to all our actions. The respect of the human person is fundamental. Child welfare is our priority.
- Neutrality: Humanium is non-political and non-confessional, our work is impartial and aid is determined by the mere needs. It is provided equitably and without any discrimination.
- Independence: to respect the law, Humanium makes sure that all its actions are free from any power, influence or interference.
- Diversity: Humanium commits itself to understanding, respecting and putting forward the differences between people and between nations.
- Democracy and Participation: democratic values are central to Humanium’s work. Everyone can express themselves freely and equally.
- Autonomy and Involvement: Humanium’s actions aim at the autonomy and the involvement of all the protagonists by putting forward everyone’s skills and resources.
- Sustainable Development: Humanium gives priority to a socio-economic system, while being respectful of human beings and nature, for present and future generations.
- Transparency: Humanium commits itself to provide clear, consistent and comprehensive information about all its activities on all levels.
Moreover, apart from following these values, Humanium always seeks to approach its victims with empathy, patience and due diligence. By creating this safe, compassionate and understanding environment for the victims, they are able to open more and therefore provide full details of the issues in question in order for our legal team to provide the best possible solutions.
The most fundamental viewpoint Humanium takes into consideration is the best interest of the child, as this is prescribed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child from 1989 (UNCRC, 1989) under Article 3. The legal advice Humanium provides will always adhere to this principle as we strive to ensure that the interests of the child in question are protected from any violations or maltreatment from the perpetrator.
In 2019, Humanium’s Helpline team responded to 157 cases; 91 English cases, 53 French cases, 5 Spanish cases and 8 German cases. The majority of English cases were submitted by European countries, whilst the Asia-Pacific region and North America region contributed to 45% of the cases.
The subject matter of the cases reported to our Helpline team mostly involves fundamental children’s rights issues such as abuse, medical advice, international child abduction and other child rights issues. In 2019, our team handled 155 themed questions with 69 questions originating from Europe and the Caucasus region, 22 from the African region, 21 from the North American region, 19 from Asia and Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, and 5 from the Central-South American bloc.
While 50% of the questions presented to the Helpline were in relation to abuse, 24 questions required legal assistance, 21 questions were related to child rights violations, 17 questions required custody assistance, 15 questions were in relation to general information, 13 questions requested financial help, 8 referred to migratory issues, 6 to medical request/advice and 4 questions were in relation to abduction.
The Future of The Helpline
Humanium’s legal Helpline is a free service committed to raising awareness about the importance of children’s rights. No matter how much effort it might take to resolve a certain case, Humanium’s Helpline team at all times includes young aspiring child rights advocates, striving to make the world a better place for all children, and working very hard to ensure that the victims’ voices are heard and not forgotten.
Humanim aims to broaden the scope of its Helpline and connect with more people whose rights have been violated. Moreover, Humanium is also hoping to offer psychological help to the victims of children’s rights violations, aware of the fact that mental wounds require more time to heal compared to physical injuries. Finally, Humanium wishes to use its Helpline service not only as a responsive tool but rather as a preventive mechanism which will identify and assist the victims of any wrongdoing.
If you or anyone you know have been a victim of child abuse or maltreatment, we encourage you to contact our Helpline and a member of our Helpline team will respond to your query as soon as possible. If you would like to contribute to the child rights protection by supporting our projects, then please consider making a donation, sponsoring a child or becoming a volunteer!
Written by Igi Nderi