World Vision is committed to creating a world that is safe for children, so child protection is a top priority. Building on that foundation, World Vision seeks to empower children, families, communities and partners to prevent and respond to exploitation, neglect, abuse and other forms of violence affecting children, especially the most vulnerable.
Many children around the world do not have the protective systems and support that we universally need in order to flourish. They may be separated from their families or guardians. They often don’t have access to schools or playgroups. They often live in countries with poor welfare and health services. Even when these services do exist, they may not reach or help those children most in need.
The world’s most vulnerable children include trafficked children, orphans, child soldiers, street children, child brides, displaced children and children that are in conflict or emergency situations. Without support, these children are vulnerable to neglect or deliberate harm from others. Their physical and mental development can be threatened, or affected permanently. Child protection is about contributing to a society that helps uphold a child’s rights. It is about the sustained well-being of children within their families and communities.
World Vision’s long-term presence in thousands of communities means that everyday we are confronted with the shocking reality that hundred of millions of children experience violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Their rights to care and protection are ignored. We encounter tragic stories of sexual exploitation and abuse, trafficking, dangerous work, violence against children and the recruitment of child soldiers. Many traditional practices, such as early marriage, are also harmful. Children are particularly vulnerable in the face of natural disaster or human conflict. All of these threats have long-lasting effects on a child’s wellbeing.