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UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. UNICEF has the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grass-roots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. This makes UNICEF unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.


UNICEF believes that nurturing and caring for children is the cornerstones of human progress. UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. UNICEF believes that we can, together, advance the cause of humanity.

We advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.

We promote girls’ education – ensuring that they complete primary education as a minimum – because it benefits all children, both girls and boys. Girls who are educated grow up to become better thinkers, better citizens, and better parents to their own children.

We act so that all children are immunized against common childhood diseases, and are well nourished, because it is wrong for a child to suffer or die from a preventable illness.

We work to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people because it is right to keep them from harm and enable them to protect others. We help children and families affected by HIV/AIDS to live their lives with dignity.

We involve everyone in creating protective environments for children. We are present to relieve suffering during emergencies, and wherever children are threatened, because no child should be exposed to violence, abuse or exploitation.

UNICEF upholds the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We work to assure equality for those who are discriminated against, girls and women in particular. We work for the Millennium Development Goals and for the progress promised in the United Nations Charter. We strive for peace and security. We work to hold everyone accountable to the promises made for children.

We are part of the Global Movement for Children – a broad coalition dedicated to improving the life of every child. Through this movement, and events such as the United Nations Special Session on Children, we encourage young people to speak out and participate in the decisions that affect their lives.

We work in 191 countries through country programs and National Committees. [1]


Education is a basic human right, vital to personal and societal development and well being. All children deserve a quality education founded on a rights-based approach and rooted in the concept of gender equality. A rights-based approach to education will address inequalities in our societies that are deep-rooted and often gender-based. Such inequalities exclude millions of children, particularly girls, from school or condemn them to educational experiences of very poor quality.

Education enhances lives. It ends generational cycles of poverty and disease and provides the means for sustainable development. A quality basic education will better equip girls and boys with knowledge and skills needed to adopt healthy lifestyles, to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and to take an active role in social, economic and political decision-making as they transition to adolescence and adulthood. As educated adults, they are more likely to have fewer children, to be informed about appropriate child-rearing practices, and to ensure their children start school on time and are ready to learn.

UNICEF advocates quality basic education for all children — girls and boys — with an emphasis on gender equality and eliminating disparities of all kinds. In promoting equity, UNICEF focuses on the most disadvantaged children through a range of innovative programs and initiatives in education. We work with a range of local, national and international partners to realize the education and gender equality goals established in the Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All Declaration and to bring about essential structural changes needed to achieve social justice and equity for all. [2]


  1. UNICEF. (2008, May 15). About UNICEF: Who we are. Retrieved August 17, 2010, from UNICEF.org: http://www.unicef.org/about/who/index_introduction.html
  2. UNICEF. (2010, May 12). Basic Education and Gender Equality. Retrieved August 17, 2010, from UNICEF.org: http://www.unicef.org/education/index.php

See Also

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