Global Protection Cluster

Child Protection
The Issue

Children in humanitarian settings are exposed to life-threatening risks, extreme violence, abuse, physical and sexual exploitation, abduction, early or forced marriage, trafficking, and military recruitment. Many children will spend their entire childhoods away from home, sometimes separated from their families.

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Even where they are not directly targeted, children witness violence, experience terror, and deal with uncertainty and anxiety daily. The lasting effects can be both physical and emotional, impacting heavily on children’s learning, behaviour, and emotional and social development. Humanitarian emergencies also deprive children of access to health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, and other basic needs.

The Approach

VISION A world in which children in emergencies are protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.

MISSION The Child Protection Area of Responsibility (CP AoR) within the Global Protection Cluster supports global, regional and local actors to ensure that humanitarian efforts to protect children in Humanitarian Coordinator and Early Warning settings are timely, well-coordinated, and achieving maximum coverage, quality and impact.


  1. Strengthen advocacy, policy and integrated approaches to better prioritize and deliver safe and inclusive child protection services through key partnerships.
  2. Enhance the coordination of child protection responses through the provision of flexible, timely and appropriate operational support, both remote and in country.
  3. Strengthen already existing and locally owned child protection coordination systems and improve local service provision through close collaboration with local governments, civil society, protection actors, other clusters/sectors and national actors while adhering to the principle of neutrality.
  4. Improve the quality of child protection prevention and preparedness measures and responses through quality monitoring systems, stronger analysis and the building of an evidence base of good practice.

The Child Protection Area of Responsibility

The Child Protection Area of Responsibility (CP AoR), led by UNICEF, is a community with a wide, diverse and active membership of national and international organizations committed to supporting and providing the coordination of child protection response and prevention activities in humanitarian crises.

The CP AoR maintains the capability to rapidly deploy coordination, information management and technical experts to new and protracted crisis. It provides guidance materials and supports capacity development initiatives to strengthen coordination and build local capacity. Help desks operating in four different languages provide in-country staff with rapid support and guidance. It works in close partnership with other leading child protection actors and the wider protection community, strengthening protection analysis and supporting a more holistic response, including prevention and preparedness activities.

The CP AoR is fully committed to realizing the outcomes from the World Humanitarian Summit and has a strong focus on localization with the inclusion of national actors at both country and global level.

Read the CP AoR 2020-2024 Strategy here

For more information on the work of the CP AoR, visit our website here