Objective 3: Protecting Children from Violence, Exploitation, Abuse, and Neglect

The U.S. Government will facilitate the efforts of national governments and partners to prevent, respond to, and protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.

Protection interventions aim, first, to prevent children from experiencing violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect and, second, to respond to those who have survived such experiences. Effective interventions build on the strengths of a child and their caregiver, as well as taking into consideration the ways threats and opportunities vary according to demographics, social, cultural, and environmental contexts. Adults in caregiving roles have a fundamental influence on a child’s coping abilities, as do peer and community support and acceptance.1 Individual, familial, and community sources of support are increasingly recognized as central to supporting child protection and well-being in low-income settings.2

Protection must be closely linked with other sectors, particularly health, education, labor, social welfare, security and justice, and emergency and humanitarian response. This concept of integration is key not only within this document, but also the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security [PDF, 7.7MB]; the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally [PDF, 1.5MB]; and the USAID Counter-Trafficking in Persons Policy [PDF, 343KB]. In order to fully tackle issues of violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect of populations, U.S. Government actors and external partners will work in a collaborative manner to ensure that mutually reinforcing interventions are established.

Below are the specific outcomes that the U.S. Government aims to achieve within targeted subpopulations.

Outcome 3.1: The percentage of children who experience violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect is reduced.

Outcome 3.2: The percentage of children who receive appropriate care and protection after experiencing violence, exploitation, abuse, or neglect is increased.

Outcome 3.3: The percentage of target population that views violence, exploitation, abuse, or neglect of children as less acceptable after participating in or being exposed to U.S. Government programming is increased.

Outcome 3.4: The percentage of countries that ratify and implement relevant conventions or formally adopt internationally recognized principles, standards, and procedural safeguards to protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect is increased.


  1. Cicchetti, D. (2010). Resilience under conditions of extreme stress: A multilevel perspective. World Psychiatry, 9(3). pp. 145-154.
  2. Ager, A., et al. (2010). Defining best practice in care and protection of children in crisis-affected settings: A Delphi study. Child Development, 81(4). pp. 1271-1286.

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