The Smile of the Child
Member: NGO Premium
Voluntary Children's Association
10, Zinonos Eleatou Street, GR-151 24 Maroussi, Athens, Greece
The Smile of the Child supports the global effort against Child Labor
World Day Against Child Labour - 12 June 2019
On the occasion of World Day against Child Labor, honored on the 12th of June, ‘The Smile of the Child” marks the day by supporting the efforts of all actors and authorities at a global scale in order to raise awareness on the phenomenon and offer support through its actions to victims or potential victims.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams is the main message of this year’s campaign launched by ILO. Yet today, 152 million children are still in child labour. Although child labour occurs in almost every sector, seven out of every ten is in agriculture.
In Greece the experience of “The Smile of the Child” shows that all minors are in principle potential victims of trafficking, either due to poverty conditions that might lead to labor exploitation, begging and/or sexual exploitation or other forms of exploitation, or stemming from neglect, intergenerational problems, family violence or drug addiction. These factors may lead children to become runaways and, thus, undergo a great risk of being victimized.
In the midst of the ongoing refugee and migration crisis in Europe, we have become witnesses of children and mainly unaccompanied minors and separated children who fall victims to trafficking, smuggling or other forms of crime in their effort to reach a safe destination in a European country.
According to various reports from international organizations, public agencies as well as personal testimonies from field workers, traffickers and smugglers deliberately target migrants in refugee camps, while most migrants and asylum-seekers are believed to rely on smugglers at some point during their journey. In addition, “The Smile of the Child” has repeatedly pointed to the fact these cases are not reported in most of the cases, and as a result the search and rescue mechanism of the European Hotline for Missing Children 116000 and Amber Alert Hellas are not activated.
“The Smile of the Child” stands by all children victims of trafficking by providing protection services through the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056, the European Hotline for Missing Children 116000 and the European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111, as well as the nationwide network of Homes of Care of the Organization and its Support Centers for Children and Families. In addition, the Organization operates "The House of the Child", a unique Day Center in Greece that provides specialized clinical mental health services for the therapeutic treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation of children and adolescents victims of any form of violence, including victims of trafficking.
At the national level, “The Smile of the Child’’ cooperates on a steady basis with the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking, the law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities, civil society agencies and organizations, whereas it is currently contributing to the operation of a National Referral Mechanism –a process which is coordinated by the National Center of Social Solidarity- and the effort to create a mechanism where victims will not only be identified, but also receive proper support.
At the European and international levels, “The Smile of the Child” participates in the EU Civil Society Platform against THB and contributes to the fight against trafficking in persons as member with consultative status at UN ECOSOC, associated member at UN Global Communications Unit, associated member of the United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, member of the BoD of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), member of the BoD of the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children-Missing Children Europe (MCE).
Watch here the awareness spot of the “” project, implemented by “The Smile of the Child’ in cooperation with actors from across the region of Southeast Europe.
Watch here the 2019 video of the International Labour Organization.