In 2005, Lifeline, through the help of generous donors in Canada, secured funding for the implementation by HRH Crown Princess Katherine Foundation, the SOS Child Line. This was part of a state run project in support of children’s and youths’ rights in Serbia.

Children’s rights are one of the main aspects of human rights and one of the basic pillars of democracy. It is a fact that every child has the right to a safe childhood free from abuse of any kind even though many of these rights are to a great extent abused in Serbia. This prompted FPK to initiate an action for the protection of children’s basic rights by opening an SOS Child Line in 2006.

Taking into account that there was never an all – encompassing, easy–to-use service with a team of highly qualified professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, lawyers and many others) the SOS Child Line project was necessary for a modern democratic society.

SOS Child Line is a project aiming to support children’s and youth rights, which were initiated, realized and financed for the first time in Serbia through FPK with the support of the Office of the President of the Republic as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The target groups for this project are all pre – school and school children, especially those with family problems (divorce, separation, conflicts), abused (physically, sexually, emotionally.), and children faced with any type of abuse.

  • In Serbia, there are 1,560,000 younger than or 18 years old.
  • In the first 12 months of 2006, the SOS Children’s Helpline received 15,633 calls. 5,125 calls were taken care of.
  • 92% of all calls were based on calls from children.
  • 8% of calls were made by concerned adults.

Age group of children who called the SOS Children’s Helpline:

  • Up to 6 years old: 2.9%
  • From 7 to 9 years old: 8,6%
  • From 10 to 12 years old: 30,8%
  • From 13 to15 years old: 34,2%
  • From 16 to18 years old: 7,3%
  • Over 18 years old: 16,2%

Problems that children complained about:

  • Abuse and violence: 6,7%
  • Commercial exploitation: 0,3%
  • Homelessness: 0,3%
  • Peer relationships: 38,5%
  • School problems: 6%
  • Legal questions: 0,4%
  • Drugs and substance abuse: 0,9%
  • Sexuality: 5,1%
  • Family issues: 16,2%
  • Psychosocial issues: 13,7%
  • Physical health: 1,4%
  • Seeking information: 9,4%
  • Discrimination: 0,6%

In 75% of cases, calls were made by girls and young women.

FPK recognized the need for this type of intervention in 2005 and therefore initiated the SOS Child Line, which is still active today and provides support to children whose rights have been endangered.