Our Purpose Every child has the right to a safe and secure childhood

Our purpose

Every child has the right to a safe and secure childhood, but for many these rights are denied. Born into extreme poverty and violence, they are at high risk of exploitation and abuse. Our purpose is to draw out and build on the strengths of children and those around them to tackle injustice. Looking at root causes, such as poverty and inequality, we also focus on influencing the policies and systems that can and must be changed to enable children to thrive.


A world in which all children enjoy a life free from injustice and abuse.


To build on the strengths within children, families, communities and institutions so that children can grow up to become confident citizens.


We aim to be trusted, transparent and accountable to children and adults, our partners, our supporters and our donors. Mutual respect for all children and adults, regardless of their situation, lies at the heart of our approach.

Children we work with

We work with some of the world’s most marginalised children. While most children grow up with layers of support around them, we work with children when these support structures have broken down.

Many children have been forced into these situations by extreme poverty, climate change and human impact on the physical and natural environment. While many countries become richer, there is growing inequality within and between states, and the children we work with are facing the consequences.

Girls and children with disabilities can face even greater challenges - the chances that they will be abused, exploited or neglected are even higher. We are committed to increase the visibility, voice and potential of these often ‘hidden’ children throughout our work.

Children are at the heart of everything we do

All children should have layers of support around them that protect them and keep them safe. The children we work with have often lost that support.

Adopting an ‘ecological model’, illustrated in the diagram, we examine each layer of the system that surrounds the child and build mechanisms that allow them access to support and protection and the means to grow and thrive.

This involves work with their families, if they have them, to strengthen their ability to care for their children. We work with children’s friends and other support structures, especially if they no longer live with their parents. Our ecological approach includes strengthening connections and creating programmes with individuals and agencies within the community, including schools, that have a significant influence in children’s lives.

We also look at the policies, systems and structures that are meant to keep children safe. We work to address problems of poor implementation - at local, national and international levels.

This includes urging donors and governments to provide sufficient resources to ensure the most marginalised children are not ignored. Each priority and focus area within the strategy connects back to one or more layer of the ecological model. Our ecological model is based on Bronfrenbrenner’s Ecological Model of Child Development.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Children everywhere should be free of fear from all forms of violence and abuse.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) underline all our work. The overarching SDG of our programmatic work is Goal 16 - Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. Under Goal 16, we are supporting access to justice, tackling human trafficking and modern slavery, promoting the right to documentation and birth registrations, preventing sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, encouraging participation in decision-making at all levels, and working towards ending violence against children.

Goal 16 targets most applicable to our work.

  • 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
  • 16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
  • 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
  • 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreement

Find out more about our work 

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