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What is child abuse, and what are the laws against child abuse?

What is child abuse? Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse. Abuse is a deliberate act of ill treatment that can harm or is likely to cause harm to a child’s safety, well-being, dignity and development.

Save the Children works tirelessly for the protection of children subjected to child labour, human trafficking and sexual exploitation. It rescues children from various kinds of harm, such as: abuse, neglect, exploitation, physical danger and violence. Save the Children partners with civil society organisations, government initiatives and other key stakeholders to protect as many children as possible from child abuse.


Violence may possibly take place in homes, schools, orphanages, residential care facilities, on the streets etc. Such violence can affect the normal development of a child impairing their mental, physical and social being. In extreme cases abuse of a child can result in death.

What are the laws against child abuse? There are several laws against child abuse in India created to protect children from various kinds of child abuse. Some of them include:

1. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000

2. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956

3. Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986

4. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006

5. The Commissions for the Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005

6. Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act, 2012

Preventing child abuse is one of the main priorities of Save the Children. The best ways to do so involve introducing protective factors against child abuse and eliminating the risk factors for child abuse. Save the Children also believes in educating young children on physical and sexual abuse, as well as how to avoid risky situations and report abuse when it takes place. We work with governments to develop and implement protective policies for children. We partner with social workers, clinic staff and teachers to effectively implement and coordinate appropriate services for children


By 2030 Save the Children is committed to ensuring that violence against children is no longer tolerated, and that the most vulnerable children around the world are protected.

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