Missing Children Hotline 116 000

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Every child has the right to live a violence-free life. However, sometimes there are problems, for which there seem to be no solutions and you cannot stay in this unbearable situation any more.  Tensions pile up until you feel that you cannot remain at home. Before thinking about running away from home please call the Missing Child Hotline 116 000. We will hear you out and discuss the problems together with you, in order to find the best solution for the situation. Also please call if you have already run away from home: we will advise you about what to do next.

When you feel that things have become so bad that remaining in your daily environment becomes unbearable and you think about leaving home, share your concerns or your intent to run away with somebody, call 116 000 before you do, let us discuss the matter together. Instead of solving the problem, running away will bring along new problems and the life of an adolescent who has run away from home is full of hazards.  Runaways can fall victims of abuse, become homeless and/or fall ill. There are alternatives to running off.

The Missing Children Hotline 116 000 was launched in Estonia in the beginning of 2011 with the funding from the Ministry of Social Affairs. 116 000 is the cross-European missing children hotline number. The Missing Children Hotline 116 000 can be used to report children missing in Estonia as well as in another European country.

What is the purpose of the Missing Children Hotline?

The purpose of the Missing Children Hotline is to provide primary instructions about how to act in the particular situation; to offer crisis counselling and emotional support, if necessary, to adults whose children are missing, as well as for adolescents who have run away from home or are lost.

How is the Missing Children Hotline operated?

The hotline 116 000 is staffed 24/7 and is free for all callers. Calls are answered in Estonian, Russian and English. The hotline may also be contacted when a person thinks about running away from home or has already run away and wishes to talk to someone. As in case of the Child Helpline Service, the Missing Children Hotline may also be connected, in addition to telephone, via the website, e-mail, Chat or Skype (www.116000.ee). These access channels are also operated 24/7. As in case of the Child Helpline Service, the Missing Children Hotline is also staffed by 7 counsellors/ advisors who respond to callers round-the-clock either by telephone, Skype or online counselling. The counsellors have different educational backgrounds, and are either trained in psychology, social work or medicine, and have participated in various in-service training courses and have long-time experience in working in their respective field. In addition to them, the Child Helpline Service also employs a child protection expert and an project manager who respond to contacts sent by e-mail and, if necessary, take over more complicated cases from counsellors/ advisors, if necessary.

 Who are missing children?

  • children who have run away from home or a social welfare institution
  • children abducted by parent(s)
  • children abducted by criminals
  • lost, injured or otherwise missing children
  • missing minors
  • unaccompanied immigrants.

Some facts:

  • In Europe a child is reported missing every two minutes.
  • 25% of all young runaways face serious risks, including sexual exploitation and trafficking.
  • Many young runaways get into dangerous situations for which they are not prepared.
  • If a youth does not have any money or a person they can trust with their concerns, they could fall prey to individuals who will try to exploit them.
  • Young runaways who have no-one to turn to can soon develop depression that is difficult to overcome. 
  • Lack of food and shelter – hunger is not merely uncomfortable; it makes a person weak and sleepy. You can fall ill much more easily, because your body does not have strength to fight viruses and diseases.

More detailed information and other necessary data may be found on the Missing Children website at www.116000.ee