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NGOs can be defined as private agencies that build civil society. Their work addresses social, environmental, and human rights issues that focus on a particular social problem or a population in need of assistance. This entry provides an overview of research on NGOs that highlights the strengths and challenges of these organizations in addressing social problems, particularly those of children and childhood.

The History of NGOs

In 1945, the Charter of the United Nations first defined the role of nongovernmental agencies as consultative entities to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. This delineation distinguished NGOs from governmental agencies. Early NGOs were founded in response to First and Second World Wars, such as Save the Children after World War I, and Oxfam International after World War II. ...

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