Protecting the children from violence and exploitation
Children have the right to be protected
On the move as refugees, separated from their families, recruited as child soldiers, forced to do undignified work, experiencing violence in their social environment in general or at home: millions of children are at risk of exploitation, violence, neglect and abuse. We do everything we can to ensure that all children are protected - no matter who they are or where they grow up.
Poverty, conflicts, rural exodus and pandemics destroy families and social structures worldwide every day. As a result, more and more girls and boys are exposed to numerous risks, in armed conflicts or after disasters for instance. If children are exposed to such impairments, the effects can influence their development for life. However, if children are given the special protection they need, their prospects of staying at school, having healthy emotional development and improving physically are enhanced.
We are convinced that children grow up most safely at home, within their community and in safe environments. We therefore also support families, local authorities and national governments in their efforts to provide children with the care and protection they need. We support with inputs about positive parenting without violence to ensure a safe environment for children at home. Because the right of a childhood without violence is not guaranteed today – not in Switzerland nor in other parts of the world.
1 in 4 victims of modern slavery is a child
8 million girls between 15 and 19 years are victims of sexual exploitation.
Half of the parents in Switzerland use violence against their children in their parenting.
Corporal punishment at school
Around 720 million school children have no legal protection against corporal punishment at school.
Child protection in crises and armed conflicts
426 million children worldwide live in wars and conflicts. But not only has the number of children living in conflict areas increased by 30 million in the last two years. The extent and intensity of the violence to which these children are exposed is also constantly increasing.
Child protection is particularly important in crises and armed conflicts and when children are on the move from a country to another. To respond to those protection needs, we build so-called Child Friendly Spaces in crisis regions around the world and in Switzerland to provide children with a safe place to play and learn. In these spaces, children usually receive psychosocial support to help them cope with the terrible experiences they made.
When children suffer trauma, we work to ensure that they receive the care, rehabilitation and psychosocial support they need to be children again. We also care for children who have been separated from their families while fleeing. We register them, place them in foster families and try to locate their relatives.
It is also of paramount importance to us to engage with local communities and authorities to develop new laws and practices to protect children who may fall into trafficking networks or may not access the local education nor health services.
children worldwide grow up in wars and armed conflicts.
In emergency situations, children are exposed to both physical and mental distress, which negatively affects their short and long-term development. It is our task to protect these children.
Projects in child protection
Learn more about our projects in child protection.