Child protection

Ensuring children and adolescents grow up in a safe and protective environment

A young girl child stands outside a hut
UNICEF Philippines/2016/Shehzad Noorani

Challenges

According to the 2015 National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children in the Philippines, there is a high prevalence of physical, psychological, sexual and online violence committed on Filipino children.

Eighty per cent of Filipino children have experienced some form of violence at home, in school, in their community and online.

These are often committed by people they trust. Despite the high incidence of violence, 7 in 10 children are not aware of services that may be able to help them.  

Children in conflict the law often face punishment and injustice and are not given a second chance at life. The age of sexual consent in the Philippines is at 12 years old—one the lowest globally.

Children also face increased risk of violence during emergencies. In the aftermath of natural disasters, children become more vulnerable to violence, trafficking and stress. In the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, thousands of children are exposed to the effects of armed conflict. If they are not recruited in armed groups, they become caught in the crossfire and may be injured, abducted, sexually abused and even killed. 

Solutions

UNICEF aims to reduce all forms of violence against children, including those affected by natural disasters and armed conflict. To achieve this, UNICEF is working with the Philippine government and civil society partners to:

  • Establish child protection laws and policies based on international standards  
  • Improve the implementation of laws and actions that prevent and respond to violence against children at the national and community levels, including in humanitarian situations
  • Build commitment from partners to plan and implement multisectoral actions to address violence against children
  • Improve access to quality, responsive and inclusive child welfare services
  • Promote a positive culture that discourages all forms of violence