The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries through country programmes and UNICEF national committees. The heart of UNICEF’s work is in the field and each country office carries out UNICEF’s mission through a unique programme of cooperation developed with the host government. Country programmes focus on practical ways to realize the rights of children and women. UNICEF’s work is fully a part of the United Nations system and UNICEF works in collaboration with other UN agencies at the country, regional and global level.

UNICEF Child Protection Programme

Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is an integral component of protecting their rights to survival, growth and development. UNICEF’s commitment to protecting children is underlined in UNICEF’s Child Protection Strategy (CPS), approved in 2008 and contains two main pillars that are applicable in all contexts, including emergencies: 1) strengthening child protection systems – including laws, policies, regulations and services across all social sectors but especially social welfare, education, health, security and justice; and 2) supporting social change that contributes to improved protection of children from violence, exploitation and abuse.

UNICEF advocates and supports the creation of a protective environment for children in partnership with governments, national and international partners including the private sector, and civil society. National child protection systems, protective social practices and children’s own empowerment coupled with good oversight and monitoring are among the elements of a protective environment and enable countries, communities and families to prevent and respond to violence, exploitation and abuse.

Key Issues addressed under Child Protection

Violations of the child’s right to protection take place in every country and are massive, under-recognized and under-reported barriers to child survival and development, in addition to being human rights violations. Children subjected to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect are at risk of death, poor physical and mental health, HIV/AIDS infection, educational problems, displacement, homelessness, vagrancy and becoming poor parents later in life.



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