The right to be protected against all forms of violence
Terre des Hommes Suisse protects children against severe violations of their rights, in particular against the worst forms of child labor, violence and abuse as well as human trafficking and the increased vulnerability of children on the move.
Protection against the worst forms of child labor
International Labor Organization convention 182 clearly states what the worst forms of child labor are. The number of exploited children is considered to be of nearly 215 million, among them 115 million are carrying out dangerous work (for example in mines, quarries, or domestic work). The main challenge faced by people involved in this field is to enforce the application of a legislative framework frequently existing and very rarely utilized. Beside the worst forms of child labor, against which Terre des Hommes Suisse is clearly taking actions, we adopt a pragmatic approach toward other child labor situations, especially concerning family work, always focusing on the best interests of the child. This method gives us the possibility to consider the local context and its often complex social and cultural aspects.Our goal is also to develop furthermore our contacts with existing working children organizations and to encourage the creation of new ones.
Violence and abuse
Children can become victims of violence and abuse in their own home, at school, in the street or at their workplace. This violence has severe consequences on their development, it affects their health, their ability to learn and to plan their future. In the worst cases it can lead to the death of the child. It is necessary to fight the various forms of these violations: physical violence, sexual violence (prostitution and sexual abuse, especially concerning young girls), psychological violence, child neglect (when a family fails to address the fundamental needs of its child) and child abandonment. The number of children victim of violence in the world today is estimated at 300 million (source TDHIF).
Child trafficking and vulnerability caused by migration
Migration is a global issue. Inequality, poverty, the lack of prospects, armed conflicts, climate change,…are among the many factors leading 33 million children and young people below the age of 20 to resort to migration. These children have left their home, they move within or between countries, accompanied or alone. Victims of child trafficking, surviving on the streets, kidnapped, forced to migrate, refugees or asylum seekers, their situations are many and various. Children on the move are invisible, ignored and often perceived as a threat. They suffer from isolation, prejudices and marginalization. However, if children’s mobility increases their vulnerability and the risk of exploitation, it can also create opportunities for their future, provided that these children benefit from a specific protection, during migration and after reaching their destination.
Terre des Hommes Suisse looks for ways to prevent children’s migration and to develop protective elements from the point of departure to the place of arrival. We raise awareness among the population by giving children and young people the opportunity to speak. We advocate for policies, practices and legislations taking into account the best interests of the child. Terre des Hommes Suisse works with the communities in order to bring alternatives to children and their families, such as access to education, professional training and development prospects.