Children have the right to protection from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
An estimated 300 million children worldwide are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse each year. Of this number many millions of children are sexually exploited and approximately 1.4 million children are trafficked for sexual purposes.
Millions of children must fend for themselves or work, often in hazardous conditions, to support their families, instead of focusing on learning and playing. In its worst forms, child labor involves children living in slavery-like conditions, separated from their families or exposed to serious danger and illness. An estimated 8.4 million children are trapped in the worst forms of child labor.
Around 300,000 children - some as young as seven - are fighting in wars around the world. Government forces, as well as rebel armies, use child soldiers. In some countries, girls are sexually abused and forced to 'marry' adult soldiers.
There are an estimated 143 million orphaned children worldwide. Many millions more are abandoned or separated from their immediate and extended families, living on the street, in institutions, or supporting their siblings on their own. Children without adequate family care are highly vulnerable.
These figures are alarming and the unfortunate reality is that unprotected children are to be found everywhere, even in developed countries.
Save the Children works to protect children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.