Every year, over 1 billion children experience some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence.
Here are some examples of how children all around the world are being deprived of their right to safety and security today:
Child marriage: Before the pandemic, 100 million girls were at risk of child marriage; as a result of COVID-19 school shutdowns and rising poverty, that number increased by another 10 million
Child labor: There are over 150 million children who have been forced into child labor; nearly half are working in hazardous conditions
No birth certificate: Over 230 million children under age 5 do not have a birth certificate — denying them legal proof of identity, rights and protection
Caught in conflict: More than 400 million children live in countries affected by violent conflict
UNICEF works to prevent and respond to all forms of violence and abuse against children, including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labor, child marriage, female genital mutilation and other harmful practices. UNICEF focuses on protecting those who are most vulnerable to violence and abuse: 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.
Globally, UNICEF is known for its #ENDviolence campaign that raises online awareness of the issue, including newer forms of violence against children such as cyberbullying and internet predators. UNICEF Ambassadors and Supporters BTS, Charli D'Amelio, David Beckham, Dixie D'Amelio and Liam Nesson champion the cause.
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.