For children entering adolescence, new experiences bring new risks. Violence, abuse and exploitation can take different forms as children age.
In addition to bullying and extreme discipline, adolescents may face gender-based violence, intimate partner violence and violence from gangs or armed groups.
Adolescents who grow up in neglectful homes, belong to minority groups, or identify as LQBTQI, or those with disabilities, are especially vulnerable to violence and abuse.
What’s more, digital connectivity creates new ways for bullies, abusers and exploiters to target others.
For adolescents in humanitarian settings, risks mount. Conflict and disaster may force them onto risky migration routes. They may be killed or maimed, detained, forced to take on hazardous work, subjected to sexual violence or exploitation, or trafficked.
Harmful practices like child marriage and female genital mutilation also threaten girls’ health and well-being, with consequences that last a lifetime. For boys, hazardous child labour and recruitment by armed groups pose significant dangers.
To make matters worse, adolescents who come into contact with justice systems are often denied the protection to which, as children, they had the right. Especially when detained with adults, they are vulnerable to even more violence and abuse.