Japan to Make Child Abuse Hotline Toll-Free

Society Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japan's welfare ministry has decided to make child abuse hotline calls free of charge in a move to better secure the safety of children, according to informed sources.

The ministry also plans to increase the number of staff at child consultation centers to answer phone calls made to the 189 common number for reporting child abuse cases or seeking advice on child rearing, the sources said.

Aiming to take the measures to beef up the around-the-clock hotline service in fiscal 2019 at the earliest, the ministry will make a necessary budget request for the year starting next April, they added.

The ministry made its child abuse hotline service available for 24 hours a day in July 2015 with the introduction of the three-digit common number. The calls are transferred to nearby child consultation centers. Although the centers do not charge callers, the dial 189 is not toll-free.

According to a survey by the ministry, 4,166 out of 7,673 hotline calls made through mobile phones in May were disconnected before being transferred to child consultation centers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press