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Child Protection

We reached 3.3m with our protection programmes in 2023. These programmes help children who are in conflict, being exploited or neglected.
Shogofa*, 9, with her younger sister Fatima*

Shogofa*, 9, with her younger sister Fatima* in a settlement near Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan. Image credit: Jim Huylebroek / Save The Children

Whether a child is on the streets, moving across borders, in a refugee camp or an institution, we're there.

Whether they're at risk of child marriage, dangerous work or being recruited as a child soldier – we're there.

No matter where, Save the Children UK is finding new ways to reach children who need us most.

In 2020, we worked to help children on the frontline of some of the world’s worst conflicts – pushing for peace in Yemen and the repatriation of children trapped in Syria.

We helped provide psychological support for Palestinian children who’ve endured Israeli military detention and those left emotionally scarred by the massive explosion in Beirut. And we trained community volunteers in India to protect children at high-risk of abuse.


Jasmin, 19 and Shumi, 17, standing among trees in their village in Sylhet, Bangladesh

For girls forced into child marriage the consequences can be devastating: abuse or neglect from a husband they barely know, early, dangerous pregnancy, and the end of their education and any chance of building a future of their choosing.

That was the fate facing 15-year-old Shumi, whose parents wanted to marry her to man she had never met.

Shumi was against the marriage, and enlisted the support of Jasmin, a neighbour and Save the Children-trained peer leader who runs an advocacy group for girls in the village. Jasmin convinced Shumi’s family she didn’t need to be married and should complete her studies instead – now she’ll get that chance.

“I want to be successful in life,” says Shumi. “Now I’ll complete my education and become a good human being.”

  • 150M in child labour
  • 1 in 4 women aged 20-24 were child brides
  • 250k child soldiers in conflict
  • 1 IN 4 modern slavery victims are children
  • 13m orphaned children
  • 732m school-age children not legally protected from corporal punishment
  • 8m girls aged 15–19 have experienced sexual abuse

Here's a few of the things we're doing;

Democratic Republic of Congo: Training local leaders to prevent and respond to exploitation and abuse of children.

Ethiopia: Raising awareness of the harmful effects of female genital mutilation (FGM) and training health workers to help affected girls.

IndonesiaReconnecting families (Over 500k children are in orphanages, yet 90% have at least one parent living).

Lebanon: Providing psychosocial support, shelter kits, meals and cash grants to families affected by the August 2020 explosion in Beirut.

South Sudan: Leading a tracing & reunification programme to help 9k children separated from their families, (& a further 31k in neighbouring countries).

Syria: Calling on the British government to repatriate the British children who remain stranded in desolate camps in north-east Syria. 

: Working with partners to ensure that the British government steps up and does its part to protect children  trapped in this brutal conflict. 

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