Overview: Protection from Violence

1 May 2020

The Areas of Global Distinctiveness (AoGD) Overview provides an introduction to Plan International’s future programme ambitions under its 2017 – 2022 global strategy “100 Million Reasons”. It defines the most important strategies we want to focus on as an organisation at global level and the most important areas of work where we want to invest to build coherent, gender transformative programming.

The Protection from Violence AoGD covers our work in child protection as well as our work to prevent and respond to family violence affecting children and violence against young women, particularly sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in emergencies. 

Every child has the internationally recognised right to grow up living a life free from violence and fear.

Yet worldwide, recent data show that more than half of all children aged 2 to 17 years (1.7 billion children globally) have experienced emotional, physical or sexual violence in the previous year.

Children and adolescents are affected by violence directed at them and by violence that occurs in their immediate environments. Violence may occur within the privacy of their home or family; it could affect their communities through armed conflict or forced displacement; it could affect them in the upheaval following natural disasters – as the statistics show.  

  • Six in ten children between the ages of 2 and 14 worldwide are subjected to physical violence by their caregivers on a regular basis.
  • Armed conflict affects 250 million children
  • One in four children (176 million) under the age of five live with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence (IPV).

Girls are particulary affected. An estimated one in ten girls worldwide has been subjected to sexual violence.4 The most common form of gender-based violence is that perpetrated against girls and women by an intimate partner. Girls also suffer violence when they are subjected to child, early and forced marriage (CEFM), female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), and sexual harassment 

Boys too experience sexual violence. The scale of this remains under-researched largely because sexual violence against boys is shrouded in stigma and taboo – particularly in patriarchal systems, due to social norms around masculinity.

Emergencies both exacerbate pre-existing protection concerns and create new ones.  The nature of forced displacement settings can also increase the exposure of girls and young women to risks of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and harmful practices such as Child, early and forced marriages (CEFM)

Our goal is for children, adolescents and youth – particularly girls and young women – to be protected from all forms of violence, and the gender dynamics that drive these.

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Protection from violence, child marriage, Child protection in emergencies, Gender-based violence