Protecting children from abuse and neglect

Child Protection

We protect children who are in danger, exploited or neglected

Child protection is key to what we do

Our teams helped 323,000 children stay safe in 2017.

The War on Children

Children are too frequently put at risk in the world's most dangerous places.

We work to protect children wherever they are vulnerable

Whether they're living on the streets, in refugee camps, or in institutions.

Every child should grow up in a safe, supportive family environment. Yet right now, millions across the globe are not so lucky.

Many survive on the streets, in institutions or on the move as refugees. Others live in homes that are unsafe, or are at risk of exploitation and abuse in their communities.

Our child protection teams are working hard to keep children safe around the world. We campaign against child labour and help working children get back to school. We tackle exploitation and trafficking, and we raise awareness of the risks.


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.

In emergencies, we set up safe spaces to help children who have been traumatised by their experiences. We reunite families separated by war or disaster. And we help protect children who are at risk of recruitment into armed groups.

As well as supporting vulnerable children directly, we’re working with governments around the world to develop child protection systems and train social workers.

It is estimated that worldwide:

  • 150 million children are engaged in child labour
  • 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.


What we're doing around the world to help children

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, helping to ensure that children are protected at home and at school.

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

Child refugee crisisWe are urging the government to offer a home to 3,000 children who have arrived in Europe alone and are not able to be reunited with their families. We also provide psychosocial support for child refugees and those in the countries that they are fleeing, such as Syria.

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