UNICEF considers child protection as the prevention of or responding to the incidence of abuse, exploitation, violence and neglect of children. This includes commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage. Protection also allows children to have access to their other rights of survival, development, growth and participation. UNICEF maintains that when child protection fails or is absent children have a higher risk of death, poor physical and mental health, HIV/AIDS infection, educational problems, displacement, homelessness, vagrancy and poor parenting skills later in life.
Child Protection is about keeping children safe from a risk or perceived risk to their lives or childhood. It is about recognizing that children are vulnerable and hence reducing their vulnerability by protecting them from harm and harmful situations. Child protection is about ensuring that children have a security net to depend on, and if they happen to fall through the holes in the system, the system has the responsibility to provide the child with the necessary care and rehabilitation to bring them back into the safety net.
Child Protection is more than a right. It is a framework or system by which the rights of a child can come to be. The framework consists of various duty bearers such as the departments of the government, police, school, civil society, who all have roles to play to ensure that a child's rights are met, and in the case that a child's rights are violated that the violator be brought to justice and care be provided to the child. Child protection is not only treatment, but should also be preventive. Risk management needs to take place to reduce the risk of violation of child rights in any given circumstance or space.
Sundarban Social Development Centre (SSDC) has constituted Child Protection Groups (CPGs) and Child Protection Committees (CPCs) with community-based protection mechanism. Members of the community have been trained on present social scenario in relation to Child Trafficking, Child Labour, Child Abuse and Children deprived of their human rights. Programmes are organized with these issues. Collective community protection is the only means to prevent and banish these social evils. Children’s Group, Child Protection Committees, local administration and school authorities have a serious thought in generating mass awareness in this regard with intensive campaign against trafficking.