Highly Vulnerable Children

Children iconGet the facts about child abuse and exploited children.

Child abuse is a heartbreaking reality for many children living in poverty, and it comes in many forms … physical, sexual, spiritual and emotional. Child abuse includes neglect, exploitation and child labor. Whatever the form, these facts about child abuse describe an urgent and growing need. Millions of children around the world are suffering and need someone to speak up on their behalf.

  • Globally in 2014, 1 billion children aged 2–17 years experienced physical, sexual, emotional or multiple types of violence. 1
  • A quarter of all adults report having been physically abused as children. 2
  • One in five women and one in 13 men report having been sexually abused as a child. 2
  • In 2014, children comprised 28 percent of detected trafficking victims. 3
  • Every year, there are an estimated 41,000 homicide deaths in children under 15 years of age. 2
  • US$7 trillion is lost due to violence against children each year equivalent to 8 percent of global GDP. 4
Concern for children is the cornerstone upon which Compassion International has been built. We are opposed to all forms of abuse and exploitation and will do everything within our power to ensure that no harm comes to any child registered in our program due to his or her involvement in the ministry of Compassion International.

How Do the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Relate to Compassion?

Students looking through window and smilingThe UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) directly parallel what Compassion does. But when it comes to goals and implementation we sometimes take a different approach. This is a quick analysis of the SDGs and how they most closely match our work, along with ways they overlap and differ.

Learn More >


1 World Health Organization Media Centre Fact Sheet. Violence Against Children, February 2018.

2 World Health Organization Media Centre Fact Sheet N°150. Child Maltreatment, September 2016.

3 UNODC, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.16.IV.6).

4 endviolenceagainstchildren.org