Child Protection and Development
Every day, millions of children are denied their fundamental right to safety and security
- 10 million additional girls are put at risk of child marriage due to COVID-19 school shutdowns and increased poverty; even before the pandemic, 100 million girls were at risk of child marriage in the next decade
- More than 150 million children today have been forced into children labor; nearly half are working in hazardous conditions
- Over 230 million children under 5 do not have a birth certificate, denying them legal proof of identity, rights and protection
- More than 400 million children live in countries affected by violent conflict
- Every year, over 1 billion children experience some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence
UNICEF prevents and responds to violence and abuse against children
UNICEF responds to commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labor, harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation and child marriage and more. UNICEF aims to prevent and respond to such abuse, especially for those most vulnerable: children on the move, children living on their own and children living in areas affected by conflict or natural disasters.
Working with governments on both national and community-based levels, UNICEF advises and assists on child-protection legislation. In the United States, UNICEF USA launched the Child Friendly Cities Initiative: a two-year process in which local governments work with UNICEF USA to establish policies that ensure safer, more just, equitable, inclusive and child-responsive communities.
Educating and supporting families, UNICEF strengthens efforts to work with parents and caregivers to reduce violence against children in the home and strives to create a world where every child grows up free from fear, exploitation and harm.