Protection de l'enfant

Child protection means preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse. All children are at risk of harm, but for many girls and boys this risk is heightened by their age, gender or ethnic, religious, socio-economic or other status. An equity-based approach to child protection emphasizes child protection systems (laws, policies and service provision) and societal factors, including social norms, and seeks to understand how the two intersect. These two complementary ‘pillars’ are applicable in all contexts, including emergencies. By addressing governance and institutional reform, as well as harmful discriminatory social norms, UNICEF’s child protection strategy focuses on the root causes of inequity using context-appropriate strategies that are consistent with a human rights-based approach. 

Why partner with religious communities for child protection?

Violence against and exploitation and abuse of children violate the fundamental tenets of the world’s major religions, which speak to the inherent dignity of all human beings.

In every setting, religious communities provide care and support for their members, particularly the poorest, most marginalized and most vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse. They often prioritize the educational needs of vulnerable children and assist with shelter and access to needed services, including medical and legal support. They provide counselling and spiritual guidance and speak out on behalf of those who are powerless to advocate for themselves. They can be powerful allies in protecting the most vulnerable children.

In emergency settings such as conflict, where children face particular protection concerns including displacement or recruitment into armed forces or groups, religious communities may have some of the only remaining structures and resources. They are called by their faith traditions to attend to those most in need and will remain long after the emergency is deemed to be over from an international perspective. They thus provide the foundations on which to build long-term protective environments.

What can religious communities do to protect children?



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Secteurs de programme


Traditions religieuses