You are here

Protection of Children from Violence

Preventing and responding to all forms of violence and exploitation, in all contexts, is essential to ensure children’s rights to survival, development and well-being. Protecting children from violence is an explicit obligation set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Optional Protocols.

Nevertheless, millions of children experience violence on a daily basis – at home, at school, in care institutions, at work, in the community, in armed conflict and natural disaster. The violence children face takes many forms, such as sexual exploitation and abuse, trafficking, physical and humiliating punishment, harmful traditional practices (including early marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting) and recruitment into armed forces and groups.

Violence against children takes place in every country and it has devastating long-term impacts on the child. In many countries, violence against children such as corporal punishment, remains legal and socially accepted. Growing up with violence can seriously affect a child's development, dignity, and physical and psychological integrity. Victims of violence are also more likely to become future perpetrators.

Children are often afraid to report incidents of violence. In many cases parents remain silent if the abuse is perpetrated by a spouse or family member or a more powerful member of society, such as an employer, a police officer, or a community leader.

For the first time, the new set of universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a specific target to end violence against children. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan 'leaving no one behind'. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. The primary purpose of the partnership is to deliver SDG 16.2 (End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children) and other relevant SDG targets.

Photo: Simine Alam/Save the Children

Documents (86)

View mode:


Filter your search


Publication year





Content Type

Media format