The mission of the Safe Childhoods Foundation is to protect and support at-risk children in developing countries. Their primarily focus is on combating Crimes Against Children including Child Exploitation, Child Trafficking and Child Sex Tourism.


Safe Childhoods Foundation chose to begin their work in Indonesia, the 4th largest country in the world with a population of 240,000,000 people, 2/3 rds of whom live in poverty.  Indonesia’s economy is developing fast and there is a strong appetite for the commercial and consumerist lifestyles of the West.  But there are also huge challenges: an estimated 100,000 women and children are trafficked in Indonesia each year; around 1/3rd of all prostitutes in Indonesia are children; Child Sex Tourism has become a serious problem in hotspot areas; and the exploitation of impoverished children is common.  Unlike some other countries in the S.E. Asia region (such as Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines) Indonesia has received little international attention or support despite huge Child Protection challenges and Human Rights violations. The Safe Childhoods team feel there is much work to be done here and thus currently projects are primarily based in Bali and Sulawesi, with plans to expand further across the archipelago. 

In developed countries, they sometimes take the Child Protection systems that are in place for granted. They forget what it must mean for a child, or worried parent, when there IS no missing children’s database, no social services, no helpline, no sex offenders register, no specialist police units, no witness protection scheme, no safe housing. How can children escape dangerous situations when there is no one to turn to and nowhere safe to go?


Safe Childhoods Foundation team works with a top down and bottom up approach. Working at the grass roots level with at-risk children and their families, the team creates innovative solutions that break abusive or exploitative patterns and shift community attitudes. They also work with senior Government ministers and international and local police to strengthen Child Protection frameworks, address weaknesses in the law, improve the enforcement of those laws, and strengthen the prosecution of Child Protection cases.

In regions associated with particular risks, such as areas where traffickers tend to recruit new children or in Child Sex Tourism destinations, they implement awareness & prevention programs. They encourage members of the public, both local and foreign, to report any suspicions or concerns to us or the local and international police.

The Safe Childhoods Foundation are currently building Indonesia’s first ever Safe-Eco-Village, ‘The Sanctuary,’ for children rescued from the sex industry and trafficking networks.  The Sanctuary will provide 24 hour protection, medical support, individually tailored holistic therapeutic care, education and vocational training, nurturing the children back to health and supporting them in disclosing their experiences to the courts so that abusers are held to account.

Safe Childhoods Foundation also operates a network of Slum Schools for exploited children as well as a training and employment program for their parents.  This year they are hoping to build on this model and create The Safe Childhoods Centre for Street Children.


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