In areas where Terre des Hommes Netherlands works, several forms of child abuse are quite common. Terre des Hommes Netherlands fights this injustice through education and legal assistance.


What is child abuse?

Child abuse includes any threatening or violent interaction of physical, psychological or sexual nature that may cause physical or psychological harm to the child. This includes neglect and withholding essential aid, medical care and education. Sexual and physical abuse are forms of physical violence; in addition, forms of mental abuse also exist. Forced marriage at a very young age and ritual circumcision of girls are also forms of child abuse. Children have the right to protection from all forms of maltreatment, abuse, neglect and violence.

What are the consequences of child abuse?

The World Health Organisation reports that an estimated 20 percent of all women are victims of sexual abuse. The effects of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and violence are far-reaching; not only their health but also the economic prospects of victims are affected. In conflict areas - where many refugees are given shelter - girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse and assault.

Where does child abuse occur?

Sadly enough, child abuse is common in many countries. In 2013, Terre des Hommes supported 32 projects to counter abuse in countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh, India, Bolivia, Indonesia and Cambodia.

What is the impact of the fight against child abuse?

In the last few years we achieved the following results: 

  • In Bangladesh Terre des Hommes was part of a succesfull lobby for child rights. As a result new legislation to prevent child marriage was implemented. 
  • In Bolivia new legislation was implemented to prevent sexual abuse and improve care for victims. 
  • To fight the high number of child marriages our Tanzanian programme was expanded to the Kahama/Shinyanga region.  

How do we fight child abuse?

Terre des Hommes is committed to children who are victims of various forms of abuse by:

  • supporting our partners in the implementation of various projects;
  • taking children away from situations where they are mistreated; 
  • offering children shelter and provide medical and psychosocial care; 
  • supporting the victims with legal help and train officers how to deal with victims of sexual abuse; 
  • deploying political lobbying activities to raise the minimum legal age for marriage; 
  • encouraging girls to continue their education, seek to empower them in girls' clubs, and offer them skills training; 
  • supporting families of abused children in increasing their income, because poverty remains one of the biggest causes of child abuse.

Terre des Hommes also works on:

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