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Spike in calls to Swedish kids help hotline

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Spike in calls to Swedish kids help hotline
11:48 CET+01:00
Swedish charity Children's Rights in Society (Barnens rätt i samhället - Bris) received a record number of calls to children's help hotline, new figures show.

Bris received slightly more than 115,000 calls in 2010. Calls regarding problems contacting authorities was one area that increased rapidly.

Last year, nearly 25 percent more children called Bris' hotline regarding these issues in 2010 compared with the previous year, according to this year's Bris report which was published on Wednesday.

Many children and young people feel powerless and disappointed over how their needs are not met through social services and child and adolescent psychiatry, the report claimed.

Bris' children's helpline was launched in 1980 and has now expanded to include email contact and chat forums. The organisation, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, wants to expand its operations to keep its hotline open 24 hours a day.

A children's peace centre and giving children's accounts more legal weight are also on the organisation's list of demands for this year, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter daily.

Cecilia Nauclér, press director of Bris, told The Local late last year that children tend not to talk about financial problems when they call its hotlines.

"We haven't seen an increase in children contacting us due to financial problems. The family conflicts may be about money, but children don't say that when they contact us," she told The Local in November.

Nauclér added that the financial problems are not the major challenges for the children who contact the organisation.

"Children contact us when they have major ongoing conflicts," she said.

Nauclér noted that unemployment, often due to psychological issues, among one or both of the parents is a bigger problem than the financial situation the family is in as a result of receiving benefits.

"The children say that the problems they are having are the parents arguing or aren't feeling well, not the financial reasons," she said.

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