GSMA launches consumer protection campaigns with Governments and Operators in Costa Rica and El Salvador

GSMA Expands Reach and Scope of “We Care” Programme in Latin America

The GSMA today announced that it has launched a series of initiatives designed to protect mobile users in Costa Rica and El Salvador, working in collaboration with national governments and mobile operators in each country. The GSMA is expanding the reach and scope of its “We Care” campaign in Latin America, with the goal of providing users with safer, more secure and convenient mobile experiences through programmes focusing on handset theft, child protection and disaster response. The GSMA “We Care” campaign, which was officially launched today in Costa Rica and on 28th October in El Salvador, builds on initiatives currently being implemented by operators and governments in Brazil and Nicaragua.

wecareelsalvador1“Throughout Latin America, mobile provides citizens access to a wide range of communications, information and entertainment services, enhancing their everyday lives and offering new economic opportunities,” said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “We are very pleased to be working with leading mobile operators and authorities in Costa Rica and El Salvador to extend the reach of our “We Care” initiatives, to ensure that every customer can enjoy mobile’s transformational benefits in a protected and trusted environment.”

Launching “We Care” in El Salvador
In El Salvador, the GSMA is working with operators Claro, Digicel, Telefónica and Tigo, as well as national authorities, including the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior and Territorial Development and the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence, in a multi-faceted customer protection initiative that focuses on three key areas: handset theft, child protection and disaster response.

wecareelsalvador2In the area of handset theft, operators will expand their participation in the GSMA IMEI Database, which allows them to report stolen or lost devices and block them from operating on their own network, as well as those of participating operators globally. This service also allows organisations including device recyclers, retailers, dealers and others to determine if a specific device may be lost or stolen by using the GSMA Device Check tool. In child protection, the operators will promote the programme, “Alerta Angel Desaparecido”, an initiative from the Attorney General’s Office to find missing children, through SMS campaigns, social networks, events and branding on their websites. To address disaster preparedness, the operators have committed to implement mechanisms outlined in the GSMA Disaster Response “Guidelines for Establishing Effective Collaboration between Mobile Network Operators and Government Agencies”.

“Claro El Salvador is committed to working with the local government to implement initiatives that will help promote child and youth protection programmes, such as “Angel Desaparecido” which has been implemented by the Attorney General’s Office. We are also supporting additional “We Care” initiatives, such as contributing with a disaster notification system as part of the disaster response programmes of local government agencies and participating in the GSMA Device Check programme to eradicate the illegal activation and dealings of stolen handsets in El Salvador,” stated Eric Behner, CEO at Claro El Salvador.

Focus on Child Protection in Costa Rica
wecarecostaricaCosta Rica operators Claro, ICE and Telefónica are working with the National Board for Children (Patronato Nacional de la Infancia or PANI) to promote the 1147 child helpline run by the PANI. Operators will offer free calls to the helpline and will build awareness of the initaitive through SMS, social networks events and promotion on their websites. In the future, the operators will undertake “We Care” programmes in the areas of handset theft, eWaste and human rights.

“For Telefónica, it is important to support social issues such as the helpline initiative driven by PANI, which gives voice to Costa Rican children and youths. We believe in promoting the development of the societies in which we operate, and we work to ensure access to information through our services, protecting young people and children. The GSMA “We Care” initiative represents an opportunity to integrate the efforts already performed with the other operators in the country, helping to maximise the benefits to society,” said Jorge Abadia, Country Director, Telefónica Costa Rica.

“We are pleased to see the further expansion of the “We Care” campaign in Latin America, building on the excellent work already underway in Brazil and Nicaragua,” said Nenita La Rose, Executive Director of Child Helpline International (CHI), a global network of 191 organisations aiming to promote and protect the rights of children and teenagers in 145 countries. “We welcome this initiative developed by GSMA Latin America and we look forward to working even more closely with operators in Costa Rica to not only build awareness, but promote the use of the 1147 child helpline run by PANI. This is an important opportunity for us to help ensure the safety of children and young people in Costa Rica.”