Child Protection

Millions of children around the world are trapped by violence – from child labour, to civil conflict, to forced marriage. We teach communities about child rights, galvanizing families to keep children safe. And we speak out for children in the halls of global power, pressing for decisions that shield and empower them.

We spoke out for the 85 million children suffering in the worst kinds of child labour.
Learn more >

Our 1,842 clubs gave children places to play, make friends and learn about child rights. 
Read the report >

We equipped 26,886 people to stay safe from human trafficking, at home and when travelling.
Learn more >

We championed 300 million children living in fragile contexts, pressing Canada to prioritize their needs.
Find out how >

  • 367,061 people, including 69,101 children, learned about child rights and protection issues to help ensure children's safety and participation
  • 2,353 survivors of abuse, including 2,124 children, received support to help them cope with trauma and recover
  • 1,318 people with disabilities, including 862 children and youth, were supported with medical care, accessibility upgrades and equipment
  • 555 community groups are in place to protect children by monitoring and reporting child rights violations 
  • 191,142 people participated in campaigns aimed to educate the public about child rights and safety
Results of World Vision Canada’s projects (around the globe) reported for FY18 (October 2017 to September 2018)​.

Our approach

For us, “child protection” includes all our work 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 all around children. We don’t want them to just survive in their communities – we want them to thrive. Through our programs, we strive to meet the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of even the most vulnerable children. It's our desire to see them flourishing within caring, protective families and communities.

Here’s how we do it:

  • We empower girls and boys to protect themselves and one another, teaching them life skills and building resilience. Our activities develop youth leadership skill and encourage child participation.  Activities might take the form of a children’s club in a remote mountain village, or a youth forum including children from several countries.
  • We strengthen families and caregivers as the first line of protection and care for children.  We empower them to grow social support networks. We link them to economic and social assistance.  And, where its lacking, we equip mothers and fathers with positive parenting skills.
  • We catalyze communities, including faith-based groups like churches and mosques, to change harmful behaviors and end abusive practices. This is especially critical with respect to girls, who are often bound by traditions which harm their bodies and limit their potential.
  • We involve families and local leaders in the influencing of governments. Often, laws and policies need changing or enforcing to ensure children are safe. We educate local leaders and formal stakeholders, empowering communities to hold governments accountable. We collect evidence to drive policy change. 
  • We advocate with Canada’s government and with Canadians to create policies and change habits for the sake of children overseas. An example is our No Child for Sale forum, through which Canadians can take our Conscious Consumer Challenge.  They can also sign petitions to press our government for greater clarity in the global supply chains which bring goods into Canada.


Often, the children who are most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation are those who have no parents to care for them. Tragically, the can be neglected by the communities around them. They must make their way in the world without protection or guidance, doing whatever they can to survive. 

Linking children with family can make all the difference to their well-being. That’s why we do whatever we can to connect children with their broader family network. Then we strengthen that family to care for and protect the child.
In situations where children are orphaned or separated from their parents in a disaster, our primary focus remains finding extended family members to care for them. If remaining with family isn’t in the child’s best interests, World Vision supports the family, community, and local authorities to find community-based solutions.
In every way that we can. We harness the strength that comes from networks, partnering with local groups to ensure that child protection is a priority. These groups might be local hospitals, schools, community leaders, faith communities and law enforcement agencies. 

While we want to ensure every child is protected, World Vision is always on the lookout for the most vulnerable children of all. These might be children separated from the care of families.They might be children who live or work on the streets. Those who are affected by disaster or conflict. Those who are not in school.
Always, we strive to meet the immediate needs of children in this situation. We also want to arm them against child traffickers. We teach them about the techniques that traffickers use – and how they should respond. We offer drop-in centers, where children can continue their education even when circumstances force them out of school.

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.

In every community where we work, we encourage 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 protects children by looking out for their well-being and ensuring others are doing the same. We help communities develop strategies to keep children safe at all times – especially in areas where trafficking is a threat.

Where possible, we teach children to help protect themselves from harm, equipping them with strategies to stay safe. We educate children about their rights, how to stand up for them and how to seek help when needed.

We work with communities to identify and support children in need with whatever immediate care is needed, including emergency medical care and shelter. We advocate with parents, community leaders, schools, and hospitals to ensure children’s care is of paramount importance. 

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 Canada. We seek to influence Canadian laws and policies to protect vulnerable children overseas. We appeal to Canadians to help influence those policies by signing petitions, writing e-mails, or, in the case of child labour, considering new shopping habits.
The approach varies depending on what a child has endured. Our approach for a child who has been forced into prostitution, for instance, is different from that of a child who’s endured the horrors of civil conflict.

Some things, though, are consistent. Children who’ve been abused or exploited need time and care to recover. And, where possible and appropriate, they need their families and communities. We help them heal through medical and psychological care, and legal services if appropriate. Often, this means providing a safe place for children to go while offering counseling and recovery activities. 

Children in exploitative or abusive situations have often lost long periods of school. They may have little hope for the future. We work with children to provide skills and livelihood training, so they can support themselves in the years to come.
We published our findings for 44 major companies importing goods into Canada, calling for greater supply chain transparency and action to protect children from exploitation.
New research by World Vision reveals the startling contrast between the fears and dreams of children engulfed in the Syrian crisis compared to those in safer countries like Canada.

Ways to give to Child Protection

Protect Children from Exploitation & Abuse: $50+

Help keep children safe from harm.

Children have the right to be protected, yet millions suffer from violence, exploitation and abuse every day.

Sponsor a Child

Child sponsorship empowers children, their families and communities to help break the cycle of poverty. Child Sponsorship is available to help children in 46 countries. You can experience the joy of changing a child’s life today.

 Find a Child to Sponsor

Discover where we work


Where We Work

Together with your support, we are bringing about real change for children, families and communities in more than 50 countries.
From Canada to the world. With love.

children walking through brush