UNICEF primary health care services help children in Dhaka.

Children's Protection

Every day, millions of children are denied their fundamental right to safety and security. UNICEF works with families to make home a safe place for children — and to create a world where every child grows up free from fear, exploitation and harm. 

What are the protection risks — and how is UNICEF protecting children?

Every year, over 1 billion children experience some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence. For example:

Children are often forced into early marriage: climate disasters like severe drought in the Horn of Africa and other humanitarian crises are increasing the number of girls at risk of child marriage.

Children are often forced into child labor: There are over 150 million children working instead of attending school; nearly half are working in hazardous conditions. 

Many children — an estimated 230 million under age 5 — have no birth certificate, denying them legal proof of identity, rights and protection.

More than 400 million children live in countries affected by violent conflict, at great risk to their health, safety and future well-being.

UNICEF and partners work to prevent and respond to violence, exploitation and abuse

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 national and local governments, UNICEF advises and assists on child-protection legislation. In the U.S., 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 combats all forms of violence against children, including including cyberbullying and internet predators. UNICEF Ambassadors and Supporters BTS, Charli D'Amelio, David Beckham, Dixie D'Amelio and Liam Nesson have all championed 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. 

Help protect children globally by supporting UNICEF programs. Donate today.

TOP PHOTO: Israt Jahan Tania, 26, and her 16-month-old son live in a crowded inner-city neighborhood in Dahka, Bangladesh, where UNICEF helps improve access to health care and other essential services.
© UNICEF/UN0757343/Rahman

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