Overview

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 152 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 in child labor alone. (ILO report "Ending Child Labor by 2025" December 2018) 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.

Every child deserves to grow up protected, free from exploitation and abuse. World Vision has a plan to protect children based on global best practices. World Vision takes stock of all the people who could, should, or do have a responsibility or even an opportunity to contribute to the protection of children and works to mobilize them into action—starting with children themselves.

We do this through the four rings of responsibility.

4 Rings of Responsibility
  1. cp_ringsEmpowering youth to protect themselves and others
  2. Equipping parents to better care for and protect their children in the home
  3. Mobilizing communities to take action to stop violence against children
  4. Holding governments accountable for creating and enforcing laws that support the rights and well-being of children

Life-changing results

1,924,172 people including over 845,000 children, have benefited from our child protection projects since they began. In 2018 alone, over 567,000 people have benefited. This has included projects in Armenia, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kenya, Southeast Asia and Uganda. We’ve been tackling some of the worst forms of violence against children.

2018 highlights include:

  • 21,244 children in Uganda participated in children’s clubs, where they learned about human rights, how to protect themselves from violence, and how to advocate for change.
  • 700 Kenyan children engaged in alternative rite of passage training to educate them about the dangers of female genital mutilation and cutting.
  • 483 children were able to play and learn in Child-Friendly Learning and Recreation centers in seven red-light districts in India.
  • 377 faith leaders in Uganda were trained in Channels of Hope for Child Protection, enabling them to join other trained faith leaders in promoting violence prevention messages in their communities.
  • 224 children in Bangladesh were removed from hazardous labor and helped their parents increase their income so their children will not have to work again.

Engaging all of society

World Vision helps communities to build a protective environment for children — 4 Rings of Responsibility —  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. 

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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. 

World Vision’s child protection work addresses the issues that put children in harm’s way—from child labor to exploitation, gang violence and conflict, child marriage, and other forms of violence that rob them of their childhood.

Carla Hillard National Leadership Council member

carla
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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

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Videos

2018 Highlights

21,244
girls and boys participated in children’s clubs in Uganda, where they gained crucial skills for protecting themselves and other children
358
girls and boys withdrawn from hazardous labor
3,145
girls and boys report taking action to prevent violence against children in their communities

News and Stories

Our team of experts

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