Child Rights and Protection


Child Rights Mechanisms
Best practices related to child protection in humanitarian settings
Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
  • In November 2010, PEPFAR, under the auspices of the Technical Working Group for children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, along with MSH and NASW, organized a global conference in South Africa to address the lack of attention given to social workers who serve OVC and explore strategies for addressing the crisis at a country and global level. The Conference Report for the Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening Conference: Investing in those who care for children highlights the objectives, content, and outcomes of this important conference.  Click here to see the conference report.
  • UNICEF – Protecting Children Affected by HIV/AIDS
  • USAID List of Resources on Children Affected by HIV/AIDS
  • Supporting Vulnerable Children: Progress, Promise and Partnership  –  This US government second annual report to Congress summarizes activities the U.S. Government (USG) agencies are undertaking together to improve programming for highly vulnerable children.  It also outlines steps they have taken and plan to take to implement Public Law 109-95, an Act of the 109th Congress to amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to provide assistance for orphans and other vulnerable children in developing countries.   
Child Labor


Social workers around the world play a key role as advocates for the rights of children to be protected from child labor and also promote related rights, such as the right to education and protection from abuse and neglect.  With the conventions and rights described below in mind, social workers actively advocate for local and national policy change, coordinate social services and provide emotional support for children involved in or at risk of child labor and other exploitative practices.

The UN International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182 aims to eradicate the worst forms of child labor.  As described in the ILO Convention, child labor in its most extreme forms involves children being enslaved, separated from their families, exposed to serious hazards and illnesses and/or left to fend for themselves on the streets of large cities, often at a very early age.  Girls, who are more often denied access to education, are disproportionately affected by the worst forms of child labor and are often exposed to extra risks and hardships. 

Children are protected from child labor by a number of other international conventions, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted in 1989 and has been ratified by all countries except the US.  As article 32 of the CRC states, “States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.”

Child Soldiers
International Adoption
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