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Child Protection

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) clearly states that freedom from violence is a fundamental human right. Yet millions of children around the world are experiencing, have experienced and are vulnerable to physical, sexual or emotional abuse in schools, at home, within justice systems and the community.

The impact of violence on children can be devastating and not only threatens their growth and development but effects families and entire communities.

What’s considered a child protection issue?

Children and adolescents are affected by violence directed at them and by violence that occurs in their immediate environments. Violence may occur within the privacy of their home or family; it could affect their communities through armed conflict, forced displacement or in the upheaval following natural disasters. Any form of violence towards children is considered a child protection issue, this includes but is not limited to:

Child, early and forced marriage (CEFM)
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Intimate partner violence
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School related gender-based violence (SRGBV)
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Around the world



children have experienced emotional, physical or sexual violence in the past year.



of adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have been victims of emotional, physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by their husbands or partners.


of children between 2 and 14 worldwide are subjected to physical violence by their caregivers on a regular basis.



children are affected by armed conflict worldwide, resulting in 300,000 child soldiers; 40% of whom are girls.

Plan International's four focus areas for child protection programming

Both in development and emergency settings

Focus area 1
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Communities working together to protect children.

Focus area 2
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Families providing care and protection.

Focus area 3
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Children contributing to their own protection.

Focus area 4
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Governments developing integrated child protection systems and services.

Child Protection in Emergencies

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Child Protection in Emergencies (CPiE) involves prevention of and response to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against children in times of emergency caused by natural or manmade disasters, conflicts or other crises. Emergencies both exacerbate pre-existing protection concerns and create new ones. Emergency settings also increase the exposure of girls and young women to risks of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and harmful practices such as Child, Early and Forced Marriages (CEFM).

In emergencies, we work in partnership with girls and boys, their families, communities, service providers, inter-agency coordination mechanisms, and government actors in preparedness, response and recovery. Ensuring adequate preparedness for and strengthening the resilience of children and communities to disasters is an important priority. We also provide quality, gender and age-appropriate child protection services to girls, boys and their families, and strengthens the protective environment so that girls, boys, families and communities recognize child protection risks and prevent and respond to them.

Boda drivers

Creating safe pathways to school for girls in Kenya

Boda boda riders in many parts of Kenya are unaware of child protection and rights and have for a long time viewed children as easy prey for sexual gratification and exploitation. Teenage pregnancies have often been associated with the riders who lure school girls with small gifts in exchange for sexual favours.

Through our Tulinde Tusome’ project, we organized a sensitization session for 145 riders and discussed child protection and rights, gender equality, traffic rules, code of conduct and the penal code.

"We have realized it is also our responsibility to protect them and enable them to achieve their goals in life."

Ali, a Matuga boda boda rider.

Now the riders are being held accountable to keep their promise that they will act as watchdogs to end child abuse and the result is a safer community and commute for girls going to school.

Ways you can support our Child protection Work

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Gifts of hope

Fill schools in developing countries with the school essentials to give students the best possible education and the best possible start to a better life.

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Child sponsorship

Help a child realize their right to live, learn, decide and thrive. Together, we can create a world where all children unleash their full potential.

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