Protecting children from abuse and neglect

Child Protection

We protect children who are abused, neglected or exploited

Child protection is key to what we do

Every single child should grow up in a safe, supportive family environment free from violence - but millions around the world aren't. We're fighting to keep them safe. In 2017, our teams helped 323,000 children.

Safeguarding children

Save the Children believes all children have a right to protection from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Our staff must always respect children, listen to them and protect them from harm.

Our child protection teams work tirelessly to keep children safe around the world.

Whether a child is living on the streets, moving across borders, in a refugee camp or an institution; whether they are at risk of child marriage, dangerous work or being recruited as a child soldier – we are there, standing side by side with them working to protect them, especially when they are made more vulnerable by natural disaster, poverty or conflct.

And, as well as working on the ground to directly support vulnerable children, we’re helping governments around the world strengthen their child protection systems and train social workers.

Together, we’re fighting for children– day in, day out. Because we believe every child should not just survive, but thrive, and go on to build a better future.

 In our Child Friendly Space in Sindhupalchok, Nepal, seven-year-old Mina and her two sisters, listen to a teacher talk about child trafficking dangers.

In our Child Friendly Space in Sindhupalchok, Nepal, seven-year-old Mina and her two sisters, listen to a teacher talk about child trafficking dangers. The Nepal Earthquake in 2015 took away lives, homes, and livelihoods, putting the children here in further jeopardy of trafficking.

  • 150 million children are engaged in child labour – 73 million in dangerous and unhealthy conditions that can lead to a child being killed, injured or made ill
  • 1 in 4 women aged between 20 and 24 were child brides
  • There are 250,000 child soldiers 
  • 13 million children are orphans, having lost both parents.
  • 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children
  • 732 million school-age children have no legal protection from corporal punishment at school
  • 8 million adolescent girls aged 15–19 have experienced sexual abuse

We help children who are displaced, or migrating with their parents or on their own, and we raise awareness of the risks involved.

We tackle exploitation such as trafficking and hazardous child labour, and help give children back their childhood

We work to make schools safe places for girls, free from violence and exploitation,

In emergencies, we set up Children Friendly spaces - safe spaces to help children who have been traumatised by their experiences.

Where there is war or disaster, we reunite children with their families when they have been separated. We help protect children who are at risk of sexual violence or recruitment into armed groups.

Learn more about our work around the world.

Indonesia: More than 500,000 children in Indonesia are growing up in orphanages, yet 90% of them have at least one parent still living. Our Families First programme reconnects these children with their families.

South SudanThere are 9,000 children in South Sudan, and 31,000 in neighbouring countries, who have been separated from their families. We lead a national programme of family tracing and reunification.

Philippines: Corporal punishment affects millions of children in the Philippines, impacting their physical and emotional wellbeing. We lobby for changes in the law, raise public awareness and promote positive parenting.

Ethiopia: Alongside the government and local NGOs, we're teaching women and girls' community groups about the harmful effects of female genital mutilation (FGM) and training health workers to help girls who are affected.

Sierra LeoneWe are protecting vulnerable children and making sure that children whose parents have died from Ebola are reunited with extended family or find appropriate care.

China: Our national child protection programme in China has made impressive gains over the last 12 years, working with the government to pilot new ways to protect children

Democratic Republic of CongoWe've reached thousands of vulnerable children by training local community leaders to prevent and respond to exploitation and abuse of children.

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