child protection - woman with arm protecting human trafficking survivor

Child Protection

Millions of children are trapped by violence, war, child labor, and trafficking. World Vision protects children by looking out for their well-being: ensuring that communities are actively working to identify and support children in need; advocating for children’s rights; and providing for immediate needs, such as emergency shelter and essential care.

The latest articles

682,558
children involved in support groups

Thanks to World Vision U.S. donors. in 2015.

163,333
adults equipped to respond to violence against children

Thanks to World Vision U.S. donors in 2015.

100%
of Congress contacted to support elimination of child labor

Thanks to World Vision U.S. donors in 2015.

Our Child Protection Approach

What does child protection mean?

World Vision defines child protection as all efforts to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation, and other forms of violence against children — especially the most vulnerable.

World Vision seeks to create a protective environment around children, such that they not only survive but thrive in their communities. World Vision’s programs strive to ensure that physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of the most vulnerable children are met within caring and protective families and communities.

We focus on activities that:

  • Empower girls & boys to protect themselves and one another via life skills and resilience, youth leadership, and child participation

  • Strengthen families and caregivers to be the first line of protection and care for children by growing social support networks, linking them to economic and social assistance, and equipping them with positive parenting skills

  • Catalyze communities, including faith-based communities, to change behaviors and end harmful practices

  • Influence governments to ensure protection of girls and boys by educating local leaders and formal stakeholders, empowering communities to hold government accountable, and building evidence to drive policy change

How does World Vision help children outside of parental care?

World Vision prioritizes the well-being of the world’s most vulnerable children, including those outside of parental care who have been deprived of the protection and guidance normally given by their parents as primary caregivers and duty-bearers, leaving them vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

We value the family as the primary social unit and affirm its role as the primary actor responsible for the care and protection of children. Children grow and thrive best in a family-based environment, not in institutional care, the detrimental impacts of which are now widely recognized.

World Vision responds to children outside of parental care by strengthening families to care for and protect children, reducing risk of separation from their immediate and extended family, strengthening systems that provide alternative community-based options to institutionalization, and supporting transition and de-institutionalization processes.

Our primary focus is to strengthen systems that allow the child to remain with family members. If remaining with the family is not in the best interest of the child, World Vision supports the family, community, and local authorities to find community-based solutions.

How do you prevent crimes like child slavery and child sex trafficking?

World Vision works in partnership with local hospitals, schools, community leaders, faith communities, and law enforcement agencies to ensure that child protection is a priority. We encourage community stakeholders to raise awareness and advocate for child rights and protection, to speak out against harmful attitudes and practices, and to identify and respond to abuse and exploitation when they encounter it.

World Vision focuses on the most vulnerable — children separated from family care, who live or work on the street, who are affected by disaster or conflict, who are not in school — and provides targeted education for these children on what trafficking is and recruitment techniques that traffickers use. By providing vulnerable children with access to quality education and supporting families to meet children’s immediate needs, such as food and housing, we are making a significant contribution toward preventing child slavery and trafficking.

How do you actively protect children in need?

World Vision protects children by looking out for their well-being: ensuring that communities are actively working to identify and support children in need; advocating for children’s rights; and providing for immediate needs, such as emergency shelter and essential care.

Advocating for the rights of children is an important part of our work, both in the communities where we work, and on a national level here in the United States to influence legislation that protects vulnerable children. Our work with the most vulnerable in communities where child abuse and exploitation are prevalent informs national advocacy both at home and abroad to improve upon systems for child protection.

What do you do to help children recover from abuse or exploitation?

Children who have been abused or exploited need time and care in order to recover. World Vision works to restore and reunite children with their families and communities when possible and appropriate. But we start by helping children who’ve been exploited to heal through medical, legal, and psychosocial services, providing life and livelihood skills and education opportunities. Often, this means providing a safe place for children to go while offering counseling and recovery activities.

Resource Archives:

The final evaluation for the USAID-funded Preventing Trafficking in Persons through Sustainable Livelihood Recovery project in the Philippines found positive impact. See the full final evaluation.

In Georgia, World Vision’s child protection project resulted in a 20-percent decrease in the number of parents sending their children to work over two years. Read the report.

Child Protection Resources

Read the Child Friendly Spaces Report (pdf)

World Vision widely uses Child Friendly Spaces to protect children and provide psychosocial support in emergency situations. World Vision and Columbia University, working with Save the Children, UNICEF, and others, engaged in a 3-year collaborative project to document the outcomes and impacts of child friendly spaces and develop capacity for rigorous evaluation.

Read the Child Labor Report (pdf)

Our ongoing U.S. Department of Labor-funded project focuses on reducing exploitative child labor in fishing, agriculture, and domestic service in Cambodia through educational and livelihoods services. In its first 3 years, it has been successful at increasing enrollment, reducing the dropout rate, and influencing national level policy.

Ways to Give to Child Protection

Help exploited children: $20+

Each month, you’ll help exploited children find hope and new life. World Vision-funded recovery centers offer resources like safe shelter, food, healthcare, and trauma recovery assistance for girls and boys who have faced abuse.

We also advocate for the protection of these children at both the local and global level. And by partnering with law enforcement efforts worldwide, we support the prevention and punishment of child exploitation.

Help stop human trafficking: $50

You can help stop human trafficking. Your donation will help ensure safe places for trafficked and vulnerable children; provide counseling and vocational training to help children recover from their experiences; reunite trafficked children with their families when possible; and support the appropriate authorities to identify, investigate, and prosecute traffickers.

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