As the largest Christian humanitarian organization focused on children, we believe every girl and boy is a precious gift from God, and every last one deserves to be protected.

If we are to achieve any significant or lasting progress in improving children’s well-being, we must first keep children safe — whether we are working in our development areas, nearby communities, or fragile contexts. Being safe and secure is the primary factor in a child’s own sense of well-being. 

That’s why World Vision is expanding our work to help protect more children from exploitation, abuse, and violence — moving them from vulnerability to a life of safety they deserve. We want all children to be cared for, protected, and participating in decisions that affect their lives. Join us in reaching out as the helping, healing, and loving hands of Jesus to keep His children from harm.

Why it matters

cp.jpgYou don’t matter. You have no rights. You are property. You are weak and defenseless, and I can exploit you. It is hard to accept, but that is the reality for millions of children today.

This includes 85 million children forced into sex trafficking, dangerous labor, and other forms of exploitation. (ILO “Marking Progress Against Child Labor,” 2013) Many more suffer abuse in their homes and schools — often by someone they know.

In the nearly 100 countries where World Vision works, we receive hundreds of reports of crimes against children and serious child rights violations every year. Rape. Exploitation. The worst forms of child labor. Bodily harm and female genital mutilation. Child marriage. Even murder and child sacrifice. And they represent only a portion of the actual occurrences.

For a Christian, child-focused organization this is heart wrenching. It is difficult to talk about. But we can’t be silent. Join us in our transformational work to keep all children safe, especially the most vulnerable, and help the exploited heal.


Our Approach

World Vision is a global leader in empowering families and communities to keep children safe and equipping communities to provide healing and restoration services when children are abused.

World Vision has over 30 years of experience in child protection programming and has worked with and for vulnerable children for more than 65 years. Our deep presence in communities in nearly 100 countries and 46,000 staff — 95 percent of whom are working in their home region — help us successfully address harmful cultural norms that tolerate and enable exploitation, abuse, and violence.

Because protecting children takes different forms in every context, World Vision’s programs strengthen the circles of care, services, and laws that keep girls and boys from harm.

We work with families, local leaders, and children themselves. This community-based approach leads to sustainable impact because attitudes are transformed and behaviors change.

Children are safe in their homes and communities. Families and communities value children, nurture them, and uphold their rights. Girls and boys are celebrated and registered at birth.

Children themselves are transformed too — empowered with information about how to protect themselves and participate in decisions affecting their lives.

Key essentials of child protection
Empower children with the skills and knowledge to protect themselves and help protect one another

Strengthen families as the first line of protection and care for children

Mobilize churches and other faith communities to change behaviors and end harmful practices 

Life-changing results

In 2010, World Vision began to ramp up our work to protect vulnerable children in regions of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kenya, and Mozambique. In five years, we:

  • Educated more than 1.8 million children and adults about the risks of exploitation and abuse, traffickers’ ploys, and how to keep children safe
  • Equipped and mobilized more than 30,000 local leaders, parents, teachers, and police officers to recognize, report, and respond to crimes against children
  • Restored more than 8,400 child survivors with healing support such as counseling, shelter, or help reintegrating into family or community life

Through government grants, World Vision has leveraged the support of donors to reach millions more people. In five years, we have implemented over 50 grants in more than 40 countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America:

  • Reaching 2 million people through public awareness efforts
  • Providing more than 500,000 girls and boys with safe spaces or healing support
  • Equipping more than 500 communities to begin implementing strategies that reduce traditional practices that harm children, propelling social change
  • Strengthening child protection systems through lobbying for policy change and implementation of laws
  • Equipping over 800 communities to respond to violations of child protection rights in coordination with local justice mechanisms
  • Teaching more than 150,000 children life skills to reduce their vulnerability and increase their resilience 

Engaging all of society

World Vision helps communities to build a protective environment for children — a safety net of interconnected elements that protect children and ensure those who are harmed receive the help they need to recover.

World Vision programs strengthen the systems put in place to keep children safe. And we ensure access to services — medical, counseling, and legal — when children are harmed.

We engage all those who have a responsibility to protect children, starting with families and faith communities and extending to teachers and schools, local leaders, hospitals, police, government agencies, and courts.

World Vision strengthens families and caregivers to be the first line of protection and care for children through training in positive parenting, home visits to support vulnerable children and families, and livelihood support.

We specifically partner with local churches and faith-based organizations to equip them to take a leading role in preventing and responding to child exploitation and abuse.

Children also play a significant role as agents of change in their own lives. We empower them with life skills, including knowledge of how to mitigate risks and protect themselves and their peers. And we seek to build each child’s ability to participate in decisions affecting their lives.

We want children to be celebrated and become all God created them to be with love, respect, and help from their families and faith communities. 


Embracing all children

Jesus Christ is the model and basis for World Vision’s work — namely His identification with the poor, the afflicted, and the marginalized. We are committed to protecting children at risk because of their gender or a disability.

Many of our efforts focus on abuse and exploitation deeply rooted in gender discrimination. We respond by highlighting the value and needs of girls and boys and affirming the important roles of both men and women in protecting children.

World Vision promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in our work, so they are valued, active participants in the changes happening in their communities. In our child protection projects specifically, we are committed to ensuring that all children, including girls and boys with disabilities, have their voices heard in decisions affecting their lives. 

Advocacy by and for children

World Vision is a world leader in citizen advocacy work. We operate at the local level to empower community members, including children, with information about their rights to essential services, such as healthcare and education. We also equip adults and youth to hold their governments accountable for delivering these services.

At the national level, World Vision advocates for the enactment, funding, and implementation of laws that protect children’s rights and their well-being, such as laws prohibiting violence against children. 

An Integrated solution

Through decades of experience in child protection, World Vision has learned we must address all aspects of poverty as one integrated system to be successful. When you invest in child protection, you’re helping us address other areas that help tackle the root causes of poverty. 

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT We increase household earnings and access to markets to reduce children’s vulnerability to trafficking and to help survivors transition back to family and community. Similarly, vocational training provides opportunities for employment and preparation for microlending.

EDUCATION Working alongside communities, we help children learn to read, increase access to early childhood education and youth workforce development, ensure inclusive education for all children, improve learning outcomes, provide education in emergencies, and help to create safe schools. 

EMERGENCY RELIEF World Vision helps to identify children separated from their families, provides psychosocial support, and operates Child-Friendly Spaces — safe havens for children where they can play, draw, sing, share their feelings, and engage in educational activities. This helps children regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. 

FRAGILE CONTEXTS Fragile contexts are home to the world’s most vulnerable children. We help to ensure children are protected and cared for. We operate Child-Friendly Spaces and provide psychosocial support. We also promote birth registration, local protection committees, and improvement of government protective services. 

MOTHER AND CHILD HEALTH Health systems play an important role in reporting and responding to child abuse, exploitation, and neglect. They help achieve birth registration, early childhood development, early interventions for children with disabilities, and home visits to monitor child well-being. 

WATER We ensure community wells, water points, and school latrines are accessible for children with physical disabilities. We also build gender-specific latrines to decrease gender-based violence at schools. 

Through World Vision, I've been so fortunate to witness incredible social progress in Bangladesh, thanks to a generation of advocates fighting for justice and opportunity for children.

Sandy Grubb National Leadership Council member and Women of Vision member

Millions of children are victims of violence and exploitation. They are physically and emotionally vulnerable and they can be scarred for life by mental or emotional abuse. That is why children should always have the first claim on our attention and resources. They must be at the heart of our thinking on challenges we are addressing on a daily basis. We know what to do, and we know how to do it. The means are at hand, it is up to us to seize the opportunity and build a world that is fit for children.

Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations



2017 Highlights

boys and girls participated in children’s clubs in Uganda, where they gained crucial skills for protecting themselves and other children
adult members of Child Protection Committees in Cambodia were trained in how to report child protection cases and refer children to social services
parents participated in couple’s groups in Armenia, where they learned about the prevalence of prenatal sex selection and how to prevent gender-based violence

News and Stories

Our team of experts

Lisa Galvin
Lisa Galvin
Program Management Officer, Child Protection and Education