Home > Our Impact > Child Protection
World Vision staff person walking with 4 Sudanese children orphaned by war, reunited with other relatives

Bring hope to children in crisis

Our impact to help children trapped by violence, war, child labor, and trafficking

Millions of children are in danger. Abused, abandoned, and orphaned. Trafficked and enslaved. Caught in wars and disasters. Sickened by hunger and dirty water. Forced to find shelter in refugee camps, the streets, or city dumps. These children live in the most broken places of our world, places where many others cannot or will not go. The following accomplishments represent how we helped them in 2015:


children involved in support groups

Thanks to World Vision U.S. donors. in 2015


adults equipped to respond to violence against children

Thanks to World Vision U.S. donors in 2015


of Congress contacted to support elimination of child labor

Thanks to World Vision U.S. donors. in 2015

Evaluations and Evidence

Child friendly spaces are a widely used approach World Vision uses to protect children and provide psychosocial support in emergency situations. World Vision and Columbia University, working with Save the Children, UNICEF, and others, engaged in a 3-year collaborative project to document the outcomes and impacts of child friendly spaces and develop capacity for rigorous evaluation. We found that this approach has the potential for positive impact on the lives of children and their families, particularly with regard to psychosocial well-being and protection. Read more findings in the report.

Our ongoing USDOL-funded project focuses on reducing exploitative child labor in fishing, agriculture, and domestic service in Cambodia through educational and livelihoods services for 28,000 children and 14,000 households. In its first 3 years of implementation, it has been successful at increasing enrollment, reducing the dropout rate, and influencing national level policy. Read more.


  • The final evaluation for the USAID-funded Preventing Trafficking in Persons through Sustainable Livelihood Recovery project in the Philippines found positive impact. See the full final evaluation.
  • In Georgia, World Vision’s child protection project resulted in a 20-percent decrease in the number of parents sending their children to work over two years. Read the report.

Our Approach

+ What does child protection mean?

World Vision defines child protection as all efforts to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation, and other forms of violence against children — especially the most vulnerable.

World Vision seeks to create a protective environment around children, such that they not only survive but thrive in their communities. World Vision’s programs strive to ensure that physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of the most vulnerable children are met within caring and protective families and communities — focusing on activities that prevent them from falling into crisis or harmful situations; protect those who are in immediate danger through responsive care and improved capacity of service providers to respond; and restore child survivors of abuse, exploitation, or violence through appropriate community-based care.

+ How does World Vision help children outside of parental care?

World Vision prioritizes the well-being of the world’s most vulnerable children, including those outside of parental care who have been deprived of the protection and guidance normally given by their parents as primary caregivers and duty-bearers, leaving them vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

We value the family as the primary social unit and affirm its role as the primary actor responsible for the care and protection of children. Children grow and thrive best in a family-based environment, not in institutional care, the detrimental impacts of which are now widely recognized.

World Vision responds to children outside of parental care by strengthening families to care for and protect children, reducing risk of separation from their immediate and extended family, strengthening systems that provide alternative community-based options to institutionalization, and supporting transition and de-institutionalization processes. Our primary focus is to strengthen systems that allow the child to remain with family members. If remaining with the family is not in the best interest of the child, World Vision supports the family, community, and local authorities to find community-based solutions.

+ How do you prevent crimes like child slavery and child sex trafficking?

World Vision works in partnership with local hospitals, schools, community leaders, faith communities, and law enforcement agencies to ensure that child protection is a priority. We encourage community stakeholders to raise awareness and advocate for child rights and protection, to speak out against harmful attitudes and practices, and to identify and respond to abuse and exploitation when they encounter it.

World Vision focuses on the most vulnerable — children separated from family care, who live or work on the street, who are affected by disaster or conflict, who are not in school — and provides targeted education for these children on what trafficking is and recruitment techniques that traffickers use. By providing vulnerable children with access to quality education and supporting families to meet children’s immediate needs, such as food and housing, we are making a significant contribution toward preventing child slavery and trafficking.

+ How do you actively protect children in need?

World Vision protects children by looking out for their well-being: ensuring that communities are actively working to identify and support children in need; advocating for children’s rights; and providing for immediate needs, such as emergency shelter and essential care.

Advocating for the rights of children is an important part of our work, both in the communities where we work, and on a national level here in the United States to influence legislation that protects vulnerable children. Our work with the most vulnerable in communities where child abuse and exploitation are prevalent informs national advocacy both at home and abroad to improve upon systems for child protection.

+ What do you do to help children recover from abuse or exploitation?

Children who have been abused or exploited need time and care in order to recover. World Vision works to restore and reunite children with their families and communities when possible and appropriate. But we start by helping children who’ve been exploited to heal through medical, legal, and psychosocial services, providing life and livelihood skills and education opportunities. Often, this means providing a safe place for children to go while offering counseling and recovery activities.

Our Areas of Impact

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Clean Water

The foundation of life, health, and freedom from poverty

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Child Protection

Preventing child trafficking, child labor, exploitation, abuse, and neglect

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Disaster Relief

Life-saving emergency relief and long-term response

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Economic Development

Financial empowerment for communities

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Equipping children for a future of opportunity

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Food & Agriculture

Building food security; fighting hunger and malnutrition

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Promoting well-being for children, families, and communities

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U.S. Work

Assisting and empowering our American neighbors

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Our Faith

Following Jesus’ example through our global work

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Promoting gender equality to bring fullness of life for all

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