Forms of Violence

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Defining "Violence"

The UN Study on Violence Against Children was informed by the concept of violence reflected in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, especially in articles 19, 34 and 37, other human rights treaties and human rights instruments such as the 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.

In accordance with article 19 of the Convention and the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, violence, for the purpose of the study, included:

"all forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse"

The study was also underpinned by the general definition of child abuse agreed by the experts participating in the WHO Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention in 1999:

“child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.”

The settings of the Violence Study

By 'settings' we are referring to subsections, or areas of study in which violence may occur. You can also view relevant resources linked to each setting  in the CRIN database. Or use the Search

1. Violence in the home and family: Includes infanticide, physical, psychological and sexual violence

2. Violence in schools and education settings: This includes violent and humiliating discipline, physical, emotional, and sexual violence and harassment, and bullying in special schools (including military schools) and mainstream schools.

3. Violence in institutions: Includes violence in alternative care situations such as orphanages, foster and other care homes, NGO shelters, and institutions for disabled children and young people. 

4. Violence in the community and on the streets: Including children in conflict with the law, gang violence and children and young people involved in organised crime, but not "war" situations. Also includes private security guards, death squads and vigilantes, as well as harmful traditional practices. 

5. Violence in work situations: Includes children in domestic work, trafficking (for forced labour and sexual exploitation), commercial sexual exploitation, (includes sex tourism), and child labour in hazardous conditions.

Violence Categories

Physical and psychological violence