Violence against children occurs in many different forms, places and contexts. It may be gender-based, take the form of sexual, physical or psychological violence, abuse or exploitation, and happen in the family, the school, residential institutions, the public sphere and the virtual world.

Whatever its nature, violence against children remains a human rights violation (according to Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) and is far from being eliminated from modern societies in the 21st century; on the contrary, it regularly appears in new forms, therefore creating new challenges for law and policy-makers on a regular basis.

Matrix on types of violence

  • Where it happens
  • Who perpetrates
  • Which type of violence
  • Which form of violence

Violence against children, like any other social phenomenon, can be studied and quantified. Data and studies help us to better understand the forms and manifestations of violence against children and enable the development of more precise and adequate responses.

The Council of Europe contributes to an increased understanding of violence against children and awareness of the ways to tackle it by providing easy access to the many resources and information available.

Some of the main categories of violence against children are explored here and links provided to various resources (instruments, studies and data):

Sexual violence

Monitoring by Council of Europe bodies

Violence in the digital environment

Intra-family violence

Monitoring by Council of Europe bodies


Corporal punishment


See also the Repository of good practice compiling member state information

Bullying and violence in schools


Monitoring by Council of Europe bodies

Violence against children in vulnerable situations

Migrant children

Children in care

Children with disabilities

Children at risk of / affected by poverty