Plan's goal: providing a safe place for children to live and grow to their full potential
Protecting children from violence is a key priority for Plan. Violence against children has a devastating impact — threatening children's survival, development and participation in society.
Child protection is central to everything we do; we deliver targeted programs to address specific protection issues, such as child trafficking, corporal punishment in schools, female genital cutting and child marriage.
A global problem
Violence is a global problem and consists of physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse and neglect. Plan was actively involved in the 2006 United Nations Study on Violence Against Children, which estimates that worldwide:
- 40,000,000 children are abused each year
- 150,000,000 girls and 73,000,000 boys experience sexual violence
- 1,800,000 children are involved in prostitution and pornography
- 1,200,000 children are victims of trafficking
Plan does more than introduce short-term fixes for these problems. Our strength lies in working closely on a long-term basis with children, families and communities and focusing our efforts against violence in these settings. We also work with a range of other stakeholders at local, national and international level to influence policies and help children to reach their full potential.
Protecting the most vulnerable children
Many highly vulnerable children — including orphans, children affected by conflict, disabled children, and children affected by HIV and AIDS — are subjected to verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, and are often exploited through child labor. Plan works to tackle the root causes of these problems by facilitating the participation of children themselves in addressing the problems, along with promoting the widespread awareness of the rights of children.
Plan also fights to end child trafficking, particularly of these vulnerable children, by using the most effective means available. Plan's efforts against trafficking include increasing community awareness of the dangers of trafficking, rescuing victims, ensuring rehabilitation and healthcare, and providing education and life skills training.
Protection from gender-based violence
Plan focuses on combating violence against women and girls, who are subjected to abuse more often than their male counterparts: Nearly half of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls 15 years or younger, and of the 700,000 individuals each year forced into human trafficking, 80% are women and girls.
Gender-based violence takes on many forms, including incest, rape, genital cutting, sexual harassment, domestic violence, honor killings and trafficking. Plan recognizes gender-based violence as one of the most atrocious symptoms of gender inequality, and has developed a wide range of projects to address the broad span of gender-based violence. One of Plan’s major strategies for addressing gender-based violence is combating child marriage.
How does your support help?
Your support helps give children, families and communities the services they need to protect children from violence and abuse:
- Stronger community awareness about the dangers and vulnerabilities that children face;
- Rescue services for victims;
- Rehabilitation (i.e. counseling) and healthcare;
- Education, life skills training and vocational training;
- And advocacy — on local and national levels — on issues such as birth registration, the education of girls, child trafficking, child marriage and child rights.
Gender-based Violence in Malawi
Imam Fights Female Genital Mutilation in Tingolé, Mali
Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
Former FGM Practitioner Joins the Fight Against Female Genital Mutilation
Trafficking Remains Key Concern for Plan International