This Govt. of India launched Childline Service during the year 1998-99.  The child line is a 24 hours free phone service, which can be accessed by a child in distress or an adult on his behalf by dialing the number 1098 on telephone.  Child line provides emergency assistance to a child and subsequently based upon the child’s need, the child is referred to an appropriate organization for long-term follow up and care.

The service focuses on the needs of children living alone on the streets, child labourers working in unorganized sector, domestic workers and sexually abused children.

The basic objectives of the Childline Service are as follows:-

  • To respond to children in emergency situations and refer them to relevant Governmental and Non- Governmental Organisations;
  • To create a structure which ensures the protection of the rights of the child as ratified in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000;
  • To provide a platform for networking amongst organizations and to strengthen the support systems which facilitate the rehabilitation for children in especially difficult circumstances;
  • To sensitize agencies such as the public, hospitals, municipal corporations and the railways towards the problems faced by these children;
  • To provide an opportunity to public to respond to the needs of children in difficult circumstances.

Childline is envisaged by the Ministry as a National Service in each city.  The service is being standardized to meet common norms and objects.

Childline India Foundation (CIF) has been established as an umbrella organization to identify, provide support services and to monitor efficient service delivery of the centers at various locations.  CIF serves as a link between the Ministry and the NGOs in the field.  Secretary of the Ministry is the Chairperson of the Governing Board of the Foundation.