The booklet comprises 14 information sheets which highlight how child protection is crucial to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Covering different forms of abuse, these sheets also outline how to build a protective environment for children and what UNICEF is doing on the ground to protect children.
UNICEF uses the term ‘child protection’ to refer to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children – including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage. UNICEF’s child protection programmes also target children who are uniquely vulnerable to these abuses, such as when living without parental care, in conflict with the law and in armed conflict. 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 poor parenting skills later in life.
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The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), now officially United Nations Children’s Fund, is an agency of the United Nations responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.