Protecting children from harm


Being safe is something many of us take for granted. Yet sadly, there are children around the world who aren’t safe.

Children in every country, culture and social level face various forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. This abuse occurs at home, in school, in the community or during humanitarian emergencies. Child protection failures affect progress in all other sectors.

Growing up with violence and abuse seriously affects a child's development, dignity and physical and psychological wellbeing. With 1.2 million children trafficked every year and more than one billion children living in countries affected by armed conflict, Save the Children is committed to protecting children from harm.

We do this by strengthening families and communities abilities to safely care for and protect their children. This reduces the number of children being abused, separated from their parents or ending up in harmful institutional care. We are also working with men and boys to support them in caring roles and to prevent the cycle of abuse and family violence.

Our child protection work

Child protection is an important part of our work. Save the Children implements child protection programs in countries all over the world like Nepal and right here in Australia. We make it our business to ensure vulnerable children are protected, to the best of our ability, wherever they are.

To maximise our impact for children, we directly implement programs and also work in partnership with governments, local organisation and communities to strengthen government and community based protective mechanisms and responses for vulnerable children and families. We advocate for improved laws and systems to prevent child abuse occurring and also to address the negative impacts caused by child abuse and family violence.

Our programs focus on:

    • Helping children without appropriate care including neglected and/or abused children, children in institutions or other forms of alternative care and children on the move (child refugees, child migrants and trafficked children).
    • Protecting children during emergencies including children subjected to sexual violence, children associated with armed forces and family separation.
    • Ensuring children are protected from risk of injury and are able to attend school and have adequate recreational time.
    • Ending all forms of physical and humiliating punishment of children in all settings.
    • Improving the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people in Australia.

      Child protection is everyone’s business

      We believe everyone has a role to play in protecting children from harm and we encourage you to help us keep children safe. Read about our Positive Discipline Program and learn how to guide and teach children with warmth, structure and understanding.

      Reporting child protection concerns

      If you’re faced with an immediate concern for the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person, please choose from our list of useful services that can assist you. You can also find out how important crucial child protection is to our work by reading Save the Children’s Child Safeguarding policy.