What you'll learn

  • The origins of child protection in international human rights law

  • How to analyze global child protection issues and the diversity of actors involved in child protection

  • The impact of violence, exploitation, and abuse (VEA) on children’s emotional, social and physical development and strategies for preventing and responding to these harms

  • The standards of protection for children in conflict or in contact with the law

  • How to assess and strengthen a child protection system

Course description

Across the world, children are at risk from violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Conflict and natural disasters have forced millions to flee their homes and confront the dangers of migration and displacement. Commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, child labor, and child marriage are problems in many countries. At-risk children and adolescents need their rights enforced if we are to protect them from harm and to ensure that they develop to their full potential.

Led by Jacqueline Bhabha, Research Director of the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, this course will teach you the causes and consequences of child protection failures. You will consider the strategies, international laws, standards, and resources required to protect all children. You will be able to link legal frameworks and child-rights approaches to the work of policymakers, lawyers, health workers, educators, law enforcement, and social workers. Learners will come to understand how they can ensure the protection of children and apply child protection strategies to their own work.

Join Harvard faculty, practitioners, and a global community of learners to master a child-centered systems approach to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation, and abuse against children.

Course Outline

Every Child's Right to Protection

  • The Legal Foundation of Child Protection
  • Defining and Measuring Child Protection

Violence Against Children

  • Causes and Consequences of Violence
  • Strategies for Preventing and Addressing Violence
  • Examples of Preventing and Addressing Violence

Children and the Law

  • Children in Conflict with the Law
  • Children in Contact with the Law
  • Migrant Children and the Law

A System's Approach to Child Protection

  • Components of a Child Protection System
  • Identifying Problems in Child Protection System
  • Global and Local Action to Strengthen Child Protection Systems


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4 days long
Registration Deadline
Starts Oct 29