In Focus: Ending violence against children

Violence poses one of the greatest threats to children worldwide - including in the Europe and Central Asia Region

Nazerke (centre) plays with her classmates and their teacher at the Bopezhan Kindergarten in Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan.


All children have the right to be protected from violence inflicted on them by anyone in their lives – whether these be parents, teachers, friends or strangers. And all forms of violence experienced by children are harmful, from the immediate threat to life and well-being posed by physical and sexual violence to the insidious long-term impact of emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment and institutionalization. Often violence is passed from one generation to the next.

Beyond the hurt and pain it causes, violence undermines children’s sense of self-worth and hampers their emotional, cognitive and physical development. For half of all children in the region, violence, neglect and dysfunctional parenting make home the most dangerous place of all.

Violence also afflicts children in schools, in foster care, residential institutions, places of detention and other care settings that are supposed to protect children. Greater access to the Internet and to social media brings many benefits, but also has a much darker side, exposing vulnerable children to new avenues of violence, including
cyberbullying and sexual exploitation.

Cover image of in focus ending violence report
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