Annual Report 2020 End Violence Partnership

The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children is a public-private partnership launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2016. We exist to galvanise a movement, connect partners and catalyse investment in solutions that protect children from violence.

2020 was an extraordinary year for humanity. The health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic put children at even greater risk of violence, exploitation and abuse. Amidst the crisis, the End Violence Partnership provided a platform for collective, adaptive and evidence-based advocacy and action.

The End Violence Partnership ended 2020 with more unity, more champions, and more clarity on how to end violence against children and the resources needed to deliver success. As the world navigates its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, our task is to turn the Partnership’s momentum into lasting change that keeps children safe at home, at school, online and within their communities.

Explore this snapshot of our annual report and access the full version at the button below.

550 partners had joined the End Violence Partnership by the end of 2020, bringing diverse perspectives and experience from every region of the world.

We are made up of governments, UN agencies, research institutions, international non-governmental organisations, foundations, civil society organisations, private sector groups, and more.

Though different in many ways, one simple belief unites us all: every child deserves to grow up free from violence.

Protecting children during the pandemic, preparing to build back safer

The year 2020 was like no other for the world’s children, who everywhere faced isolation from school, friends, services and support. The COVID-19 restrictions created a perfect storm for potential violence against children, and many countries reported increases in abuse and exploitation.

But something else happened in 2020 that provided a counter-balance: our movement to protect children from violence got stronger. The networks, relationships, systems and structures built over the past five years proved enormously helpful when the pandemic struck and elevated the risks to children in ways no one anticipated.

In 2020, we also:


Published the comprehensive Global Status Report on Preventing Violence Against Children, a collaboration between the End Violence Partnership, WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO and other partners.

Joined with Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Roblox and Snapchat in a campaign to promote safe internet usage for children isolated at home and at higher risk of online harms.

We also launched a robust new Knowledge Platform to share evidence, learning and data with the community.


Convened thousands of practitioners, experts, policymakers, advocates and partners in dozens of webinars to share learnings from the frontlines on what’s working to protect children from violence during the pandemic.

Convened donors in three global forums to highlight the impact of the pandemic on children and the need for increased financing.

Working with partners and governance members, the End Violence Partnership issued a global Leaders’ Statement calling for urgent and united action to protect children during the pandemic.

Enabled collective action:

Provided more than 155 million families with tips on coping with the stress of lockdowns to help prevent violence at home and online, developed with WHO, UNICEF, CDC, USAID and Parenting for Lifelong Health.

Published comprehensive technical guidance on how to keep children safe online and make learning safe during school closures and distance learning.

Joined the world’s biggest technology companies in a new initiative ‘Project Protect’ Launched by the Technology Coalition to tackle online child sexual abuse.

Safe at Home and in Communities

Major achievements:

New Pathfinding Countries: In 2020, the End Violence Partnership welcomed three new Pathfinding countries: Finland, Zambia and Namibia.

Country Dashboard: The End Violence Partnership launched a powerful new tool in 2020 to track country-level progress in protecting children from violence and inform future planning.

New partners, new alliances: The Partnership worked closely with Parenting for Lifelong Health to disseminate evidence-based parenting tips to more than 150 million people in 198 countries. We also broke new ground working with faith communities through a collaboration with Arigatou International and its global network, as well as with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to engage more with the justice sector.

INSPIRE Working Group: The End Violence Partnership worked hand-in-hand with the INSPIRE Working Group in 2020 to adapt and scale up evidence-based strategies in targeted countries. Working Group members representing more than 200 organizations regularly come together to discuss their collective efforts to build capacity and chart new ways to scale up use of the seven strategies identified in the INSPIRE framework.

Engaging with civil society: In 2020, the End Violence Partnership deepened its engagement with national civil society focal points in Pathfinding countries, who play an essential role in shaping and delivering national action plans. Essential to this work was the involvement of the CSO Forum.

Safe to Learn

Safe to Learn’s work was made possible with financial support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Government of Switzerland, and Global Affairs Canada.

Major achievements:

The End Violence Fund has invested nearly $8 million in eight Safe to Learn projects in Cambodia, Lebanon, Nepal, South Sudan and Uganda. The investments aim to prevent and respond to violence in schools and other learning environments.

Collectively, Safe to Learn partners leveraged several key moments in 2020 to get school violence higher on the global agenda, including the Education World Forum, the Bullying Conference and the African Union Education Ministers forum.

Jamaica and Lebanon endorsed the Safe to Learn Call to Action in 2020, bringing the total number of endorsing countries to 15.

Safe to Learn partners developed practical recommendations for parents to keep children safe during the COVID-19 school closures in 2020, including a comprehensive technical guidance note to help educators create safe online learning environments during the pandemic.

Safe to Learn partners conducted diagnostic exercises in Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, South Sudan and Uganda in 2020 to identify progress and gaps towards meeting benchmarks laid out in the Call to Action. The diagnostics also aimed to support governments in setting priorities that ensure safe learning environments.

Safe Online

The End Violence Fund invested a total of $11 million in 2020 to strengthen the architecture to tackle online sexual abuse and exploitation, with a focus on technology solutions that make digital spaces safer for children. These latest investments make the End Violence Fund the world’s largest funder of online child safety, with a Safe Online portfolio of $44 million in 53 projects with impact in more than 70 countries. The work is made possible with financial support from the UK Home Office, Oak Foundation, and Human Dignity Foundation.

Major achievements:

When COVID-19 struck, the End Violence Partnership’s Safe Online initiative coordinated with grantees and global partners to ensure children’s online experiences were safe and positive. Together with UNICEF, ITU, UNESCO, UNODC, World Childhood Foundation USA, WeProtect Global Alliance and WHO, Safe Online released a multi-stakeholder technical note and a resource pack with guidance on making digital platforms safe for children.

Safe Online collaborated with Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Roblox and Snapchat to develop stay safe at home, stay safe online, a campaign to keep children safe amid the lockdowns and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of Project Protect, Safe Online and the Technology Coalition launched a research fund to help the tech industry prevent and eradicate online sexual exploitation and abuse.

Safe Online contributed to policy discussions on child online safety with governments, international organizations, technology industry, regulators, and security agencies. For example, the Partnership engaged with the European Commission on its comprehensive new strategy to combat child sexual abuse.

Safe Online helped to inform the UN Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, which now contains a specific call-out on the need to end online child sexual abuse and exploitation and increase investments toward this issue.

For the first time ever, seven global organizations — End Violence, ITU, UNESCO, UNODC, WeProtect Global Alliance, World Childhood Foundation USA and WHO — submitted a joint comment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the new General Comment No. 25 on child rights in digital environments.

In addition to awarding $10 million to scale up technology solutions to keep children safe online (see above), the End Violence Fund’s Safe Online portfolio awarded $700,000 to the 5Rights Foundation in 2020 to create a Global Policy Handbook to help users implement the Model National Response strategies and to address knowledge gaps in child online protection.

Ending Corporal Punishment

With generous financial support via Ignite Philanthropy, in late 2020 some aspects of the work of the Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment of Children (GI) were taken on by the End Violence Secretariat.

Major achievements:

Members of the End Corporal Punishment team conducted strategic consultations with End Violence Partnership stakeholders, including UNICEF, UNODC, WHO and Save the Children. An interagency reference group was formed and helped to develop a strategy to prohibit and eliminate corporal punishment of children in all settings.

Ongoing work includes assessing and providing direct input into draft laws; support for, confirmation and announcement of prohibitions; submissions to treaty bodies such as the CRC Universal Periodic Review; and support to national communications campaigns to ban corporal punishment.

The End Violence Partnership continued to advocate that prohibition is an effective, achievable and foundational measure for all countries addressing the prevention of violence against children. For instance, it developed partnerships at the national level and identified opportunities for law reform to prohibit corporal punishment in all regions, including in Zambia and Mexico.


Major achievements:

The End Violence Knowledge Platform was launched in August 2020 as an interactive, dynamic hub of knowledge, learning and information. The new knowledge platform curates content from hundreds of partners across the world, sharing information based on its relevance, rigour and alignment with the INSPIRE strategies.

The End Violence Knowledge Network, a group of leading experts on violence against children, produced three global products in 2020 to equip researchers and practitioners: 1) A Methods Menu detailing how to measure baseline data of violence against children data; 2) An Evidence Gap Map showing adolescent wellbeing in low- and middle-income countries; 3) An Including Children in Research Resource Pack with practical approaches to engage children in research initiatives.

The End Violence Lab engaged 22 policymakers via the 2020 Leadership Development Programme focused on leading with purpose, communication and storytelling skills.

The End Violence Lab continued to establish regional centres for children’s well-being with universities in Brazil, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda and the Philippines.

With thanks to the UNICEF Data Collaborative, the End Violence Lab secured funding for pioneering an approach to engage young people in INSPIRE-related research activities. Six young scholars from Brazil, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Colombia, Jordan and Uganda will participate in an INSPIRE global systematic review.

Together to #ENDviolence

A world safe for children should be a top priority on the global agenda. Together to #ENDviolence aims to make that happen through a unified global campaign and a virtual Solutions Summit Series that brings new energy — and resources — to the movement to end violence against children.

Together to #ENDviolence marks the formal beginning of the UN’s Decade of Action as we strive to achieve SDG 16.2 — an end to all forms of violence against children by 2030.

The campaign was launched in December 2020 at a high-level virtual event featuring youth leaders, royalty, government ministers, heads of UN agencies, corporate CEOs, and a Nobel Laureate. Nearly 2,000 people. Nearly 2,000 people from 130 countries watched the launch online, setting the stage for dozens of subsequent affiliate events that will continue throughout 2021 — including government-led policy dialogues in all 32 Pathfinding countries. The End Violence Partnership equipped partners to create these affiliate events across a range of topics, and more than 50 partners signed on to host events.

Country Engagement Case Studies

How Five Countries Protect Their Children: Colombia, Jamaica, Nepal, Philippines, South Africa

Each country faces its own unique challenges on the journey to ending violence against children. The hard work of building the systems, networks, programmes and social norms that protect children from violence happens, to a large extent, at the country level. It is here that the work of the End Violence Partnership and its national networks, working closely with governments, becomes real and tangible in the lives of children. This section looks at how five countries gained significant traction in keeping children safe at home, at school and online in 2020, with support from different thematic areas of the End Violence Partnership.

Global Partners, Local Impact

In 2020, the End Violence Partnership’s 550 partners around the world were challenged like never before as the COVID-19 pandemic put children at heightened risk of violence.

Individually, they carry out the critical day-to-day work of ending violence, from on-the-ground service delivery to global advocacy. Collectively, as part of the End Violence Partnership, they collaborate to address key gaps in the global effort to protect children.

Partners operate in nearly every country and bring diverse perspectives, expertise, networks and ideas to the table. In 2020, partners demonstrated enormous agility and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting their strategies to meet the needs of children suddenly isolated from school, friends and social services.


None of this success could be possible without the generous support of our donors, the diligent commitments of our Board and Executive Committee, and the limitless energy of our 550 partners around the world. From the smallest grassroots organization to the largest UN agency, our partners drive the global movement at the heart of our mission. We thank you for standing with children when it mattered most.