Who we areMission statementWhere we work


UNICEF works for children.

UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child , everywhere. Across over 190 countries and territories, we do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

And we never give up.

unicef | for every child

From distributing lifesaving aid to children in the aftermath of World War II to fighting Ebola, UNICEF has been working for children for almost 70 years.

Our history►

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UNICEF believes all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential – to the benefit of a better world.

© UNICEF/UNI183931/Anthony

See how UNICEF works to promote the rights and improve the lives of every child, in every situation.

UNICEF’s work►

UNICEF is uniquely placed to transform the world.

UNICEF is a leading humanitarian and development agency working globally for the rights of every child. Child rights begin with safe shelter, nutrition, protection from disaster and conflict and traverse the life cycle: pre-natal care for healthy births, clean water and sanitation, health care and education.

UNICEF has spent nearly 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Working with and for children through adolescence and into adulthood requires a global presence whose goal is to produce results and monitor their effects. UNICEF also lobbies and partners with leaders, thinkers and policy makers to help all children realize their rights—especially the most disadvantaged.

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.

UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress.

UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a “first call for children” and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families.

UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children – victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities.

UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. In coordination with United Nations partners and humanitarian agencies, UNICEF makes its unique facilities for rapid response available to its partners to relieve the suffering of children and those who provide their care.

UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority.

UNICEF aims, through its country programmes, to promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political, social, and economic development of their communities.

UNICEF works with all its partners towards the attainment of the sustainable human development goals adopted by the world community and the realization of the vision of peace and social progress enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

© UNICEF/UNI193983/Anmar


UNICEF is active in 190 countries and territories – more than any other children’s organization. Whether we’re partnering with governments, local groups, other UN agencies or other children’s organizations, we bring unequalled experience and expertise in saving and improving children’s lives.

Our vast network means we can take successful approaches from one place and adapt them to meet challenges elsewhere, helping drive results for children at a global scale.

⇣ Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

Economic and demographic trends are positive for much of the region. Ideally, they will help open the way to improving services and support for children, and to protecting their rights.

⇣ East Asia and the Pacific

Child protection is among our highest priorities in the region. When they are given the best start in life, children grow up to be healthy and well-adjusted, both intellectually and socially.

⇣ Eastern and Southern Africa

The challenges facing the region are as varied as its history. Building on the strengths of their culture and tradition, we work with communities to advance the rights of every child.

⇣ Industrialized countries

National Committees for UNICEF advocate, educate and raise money for the critical actions that improve children's lives.

In 34 countries, they work with us to give a voice to children and their concerns.

⇣ Latin America and Caribbean

⇣ Middle East and North Africa

Our programmes touch many facets of the lives of children and women in the region. We advocate for the help advance their rights to health, education, equality and protection.

⇣ South Asia

We draw on the strong, local traditions of social participation in this diverse region to design and carry out programmes that help communities nurture their children and allow them to flourish.

⇣ West and Central Africa

Child survival is among our primary concerns in the region. By fostering respect for the rights of children, whether in peace or in war, we help ensure that they live and prosper.