UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to protect children from violence, exploitation and abuse. Our efforts strengthen child protection systems to help children and adolescents access vital protection services, from birth through adolescence.   

During a humanitarian crisis, we provide leadership and coordination for all actors involved in the response, focusing on reunifying separated children with their families; preventing and addressing violence against children and gender-based violence; and safeguarding children from sexual exploitation and abuse. With the onset of war in Ukraine in 2022, we strengthened Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) as well as protection services for girls, boys and women to ensure the most vulnerable children and families receive support.  

We also support governments with policy, legislation and regulatory frameworks that give more children access to vital protection services and justice. In Moldova we supported the development and implementation of the 2022-2026 National Child Protection Programme and strengthened capacities of partners and local public authorities to effectively prevent and respond to violence against children, including gender-based violence, establishing models for multidisciplinary response that can be replicated across the country. 

We have also improved alternatives to detention for child offenders through probation programs, and continue to work with the Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs and Labour and Social Protection to enhance children's access to a more friendly justice.   

Throughout all we do, we listen to young people to ensure their needs drive our programming and advocacy. Our initiatives also support parents and caregivers and build alliances at the local and global levels to leverage knowledge, raise awareness and encourage action.  

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