Our popular image of childhood is of a time of innocence. However, the reality for many children is harshly different. Around the world, children are the victims and survivors of shocking and abhorrent forms of violence in their homes, schools, institutions and communities. Evidence suggests that the effects of violence upon children are serious and long-lasting.
Marginalised children face the greatest risk of violence. Disabled children, children living on the streets, children without parental care and children caught up in conflict are just a few examples.
According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to protection "from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse".
World Vision works to uphold this right through working with local communities and national and international governments to address both the causes and manifestations of violence against children.
We also recognise that all organisations that come into contact with children have a fundamental duty of care towards them. As such, we acknowledge our responsibilities to keep children safe in both our relief and development interventions, and are working with a number of other agencies to develop and promote good practice in child protection among international organisations that come into contact with children.
World Vision UK is a member of the 'Keeping Children Safe' Coalition, which has developed a number of child protection tools for international NGOs, international organisations, government partners and other agencies needing to implement child protection measures in order to keep children safe through their work.
The toolkit is based around agreed standards that require staff and other agency representatives to receive an appropriate level of training, information and support to fulfill their roles and responsibilities to protect children.
Putting children at the centre: a child-focused response to the sexual abuse and exploitation of children (November 2008)
Kids understand how other kids hurt: children and adolescents speak out about sexual exploitation (November 2008)
World Vision's submission to the Home Office's consultation 'Keeping Children Safe' and accompanying letter (April 2008)
Sun, sex and heritage:Tourism threats and opportunities in South East Asia. A report on best practises on tourism and trafficking (2007)
Almost every child matters? Ensuring equal rights for trafficked children.Briefing paper (Feb 2007)
Hope for the girl child. A briefing paper to the UN Commission on the Status of Women at its 51st Session (Feb 2007)
Strongim Pikini. A contribution to the UN study on violence against children (2005)