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Violence against children

UNICEF photo: A rehabilitation centre, Iraq.

© UNICEF/HQ99-0638/Pirozzi

A rehabilitation centre, Iraq.

In care and justice systems
As many as 8 million of the world's children are in residential care. Relatively few are there because they have no parents; most are in care because of disability, family disintegration, violence in the home and social and economic conditions such as poverty. Children in some institutions face violence from care-givers and other children. Staff may 'discipline' them with beatings or restraints, or by locking them up. In some institutions, children with disabilities face violence in the guise of treatment, such as being subjected to electric shock to control their behaviour or given drugs to make them more 'compliant'. Children in detention are frequently subjected to violence by staff. In at least 77 countries, corporal and other violent forms of punishment are accepted as legal in penal institutions. Detention of children with adults is routine in many countries, and this puts them at increased risk.