|© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-1374/Giacomo Pirozzi|
|Girls wash their hands at a Catholic primary school to which UNICEF provided a water tank, latrines, educational supplies and teacher-training (Rwanda)|
There are compelling reasons for UNICEF and other child rights agencies to engage meaningfully with religious communities in promoting and protecting children’s rights. These communities have the inherent advantages of legitimacy and moral influence as well as the reach of organic and extensive networks and structures. Many are already providing direct services and have the ability to identify and refer vulnerable children and families who need additional support. They thus play a myriad of roles for the care and protection of children.
UNICEF has long been collaborating with religious communities in all areas of its programming at the global, national and local levels. This section will present examples of the diverse and creative nature of these partnerships to highlight the potential for action through strategic engagement.