Child & social protection

Current situation 

UNICEF Mozambique work in Child Protection and Social Protection in Mozambique.
In Mozambique 52% of the total population are children. Half of all girls under 18 are married. (Sitan 2014)

In Mozambique, children make up 52% of the total population. Almost 2 million of these children, approximately 15%, are orphans because of HIV, chronic illness or for poverty related reasons (where one or both parents have abandoned the child to work elsewhere)

1 in 4 children aged 15-19 experience physical violence, with girls three times more likely to experience sexual violence than boys.

Half of all girls under 18 are married, putting them at risk of abuse, school drop-out, early pregnancy and high risk of death for both mother and baby. Although there has been progress, only an estimated 60% of children under 5 have their births registered

Children (2,300) constitute 14% of the prison population. Many of these children are on remand and have not been convicted of any crime

22% of children aged 5-14 are engaged in labour primarily in the agricultural and domestic work sectors; data on the worst forms of child labour is unavailable

Mozambique is a source, transit, and, to a lesser extent, destination country, for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking, however up-to-date prevalence data is not available most likely due to the ‘underground’ nature of this crime.

What we are doing

We work with the government to build systems that protect the rights of all the children who are exposed to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.

Advocating for changes to the legal framework as it affects children.

Regulating the appropriate placement of children – making sure they grow up in families.
Implementing a national system for Case Management to make sure that vulnerable children are identified and referred to appropriate services for care and support. This includes work with parents and care givers on improved practices for parenting.

Increasing birth registration to make sure that children can access services. This includes development of an e-CRVS (Civil Registration & Vital Statistics) system which uses rapid SMS technology to immediately register a child’s birth no matter where they are living.

Advocating for child-sensitive social protection, to make sure that the poorest families with children can receive cash grants. This involves support for re-registering beneficiaries to make sure the right people get the right kind of help.
Establishing specialised support centres which provide a safe space for survivors to report incidents of violence to the Police and to access social services.  

Providing support for training and qualification of social services and justice sector staff.

Working with partners including government and civil society organisations to make sure that more and more vulnerable children have access to services they need, where and when the need them.


The establishment of 64 specialised Police Centres nationwide for children and women who are survivors of violence, abuse and exploitation.

As a result of investments in workforce and the community based Case Management system, an estimated 147,191 vulnerable children were identified by Community Committees in 2014. Of these, 14,000 were referred to basic social services and followed-up.

The re-registration of the more than 350,000 social protection beneficiaries is on-going and involves investment in a sophisticated Information Management System which will be the basis for all national social protection schemes in the future.
A 12 percent increase in under-5 birth registration from 48% in 2011 to 60% in 2014.

The child helpline “Linha Fala Crianca” responds to more than 100,000 calls each year from children who need someone to talk to.

Together with Handicap International, we have helped government information and outreach centres support more than 2,000 children with disabilities and their families.
With REPSSI, ICDP and Give a Child a Family we have made sure that more than 170,000 poor and marginalised children have received the psychosocial support they need to improve their wellbeing.

During 2015, the Government of Mozambique with USAID, CDC Atlanta and UNICEF will conduct the first national prevalence survey on violence against children. Similar surveys conducted in five Sub-Saharan countries put sexual violence prevalence at 30-35% for girls under 18.