Child protection

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Not to be confused with Child Protective Services.
For Wikipedia's child protection policy, see Wikipedia:Child protection.

Child protection is a set of usually government-run services designed to protect children and young people who are underage and to encourage family stability.

Encountered problems[edit]

Child labour[edit]

Main article: Child labour

Due to economical reasons, especially in poor countries, children are forced to work in order to survive. Child labour often happens in difficult conditions, which are dangerous and impair the education of the future citizens and increase vulnerability to adults. It is hard to know exactly the age and number of children who work. At least 150 million children under 5 years of age worked in 2004, but the figure is underestimated because domestic labour is not counted.[citation needed]

Endangerment and infanticide[edit]

In some countries, children can be imprisoned for common crimes. In some countries, like Iran or China, children can even be sentenced to capital punishment (the United States abandoned the practice in 2005). In contexts where military use of children is made, they also risk being prisoners of war. Other children are forced to prostitution, exploited by adults for illegal traffic in children or endangered by poverty and hunger. Infanticide today continues at a much higher rate in areas of extremely high poverty and overpopulation, such as parts of China and India. Female infants, then and even now, are particularly vulnerable, a factor in sex-selective infanticide.

Child abuse[edit]

Main article: Child abuse

Most children who come to the attention of the child welfare system do so because of any of the following situations, which are often collectively termed child abuse:

Actions typically include foster care, adoption services, services aimed at supporting at-risk families so they can remain intact, and investigation of alleged child abuse.


A 2014 European Commission survey on child protection systems listed the following categories of children needing help:[1]

  • Child victims of sexual abuse/exploitation
  • Child victims of neglect or abuse
  • Child victims of trafficking
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children in a situation of migration
  • Unaccompanied children in a situation of migration
  • Children without parental care/in alternative care
  • Children in police custody or detention
  • Street children
  • Children of parents in prison or custody
  • Children in judicial proceedings
  • Children in or at risk of poverty
  • Missing children (e.g. runaways, abducted children, unaccompanied children going missing)
  • Children affected by custody disputes, including parental child abduction
  • Children left behind (by parents who move to another EU country for work)
  • Children belonging to minority ethnic groups, e.g. Roma
  • Child victims of female genital mutilation or forced marriage
  • Children who are not in compulsory education or training or working children below the legal age for work
  • Child victims of bullying or cyberbullying

International treaties[edit]

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency dealing with labour issues, created in 1919. It takes care also of child labour issues, in particular with conventions 138 and 182.

On 20 November 1959 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Declaration of the Rights of the Child during the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is a United Nations Programme headquartered in New York City, that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.

In 2000, an agreement was reached among UNO[ambiguous] countries about the military use of children.

The effectiveness of these programs is contested and seems limited to some.[vague]


Provincial or state governments' child protection legislation empowers the government department or agency to provide services in the area and to intervene in families where child abuse or other problems are suspected. The agency that manages these services has various names in different provinces and states, e.g., Department of Children's Services, Children's Aid, Department of Child and Family Services. There is some consistency in the nature of laws, though the application of the laws varies across the country.

The United Nations has addressed child abuse as a human rights issue, adding a section specifically to children in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding… should be afforded the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.


  1. ^ Open public consultation - EU guidance on integrated Child Protection Systems.

See also[edit]

Prominent child protection organizations[edit]


External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • McCutcheon, James, 2010."Historical Analysis and Contemporary Assessment of Foster Care in Texas: Perceptions of Social Workers in a Private, Non-Profit Foster Care Agency". Applied Research Projects. Texas State University Paper 332.
  • Handbook: Child protection UNICEF, IPU, 2004
  • Eileen Munro.2008. Effective Child Protection. Publisher-SAGE ISBN 1412946956, 9781412946957.
  • Jeff Fowler. 2003. A Practitioner's Tool for Child Protection and the Assessment of Parents. Publisher Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 1843100509, 9781843100508
  • Eileen Munro. 2007. Child Protection: Sage Course Companions Series. Publisher- SAGE. ISBN 1412911796, 9781412911795
  • Harries et al. 2008. Reforming Child Protection. Publisher- Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415429056, 9780415429054
  • Janet Polnay. 2001. Child Protection in Primary Care. Publisher-Radcliffe Publishing. ISBN 1857752244, 9781857752243
  • Chris Beckett. 2007. Child Protection: An Introduction. Publisher-SAGE. ISBN 1412920922, 9781412920926
  • Gerald Cradock. Risk, Morality, and Child Protection: Risk Calculation as Guides to Practice. Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 29, No. 3, Special Issue: Reconstructing Order through Rhetorics of Risk (Summer, 2004), pp. 314-331
  • Leigh A. Faulconer. In the Best Interests of Children? Family Relations, Vol. 43, No. 3 (Jul., 1994), pp. 261-263
  • Eileen Munro. Common errors of reasoning in child protection work