|UNICEF promotes enhanced social service standards, such as the delivery of clean drinking water, around the world.|
Examples of the work UNICEF has done to promote ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols and their implementation—through changes in laws, the standards that guide basic social services and the capacity, knowledge and behaviour of the professionals who come in to contact with children—include:
Legislative reform project: UNICEF plays a leading role in encouraging legislative reform in States parties to the Convention. In many countries, UNICEF has supported the drafting of children’s codes and facilitated extensive reviews of national laws related to children, as well as the development of recommendations for revisions and new legislation with a focus on children’s rights.
Budgetary advocacy: UNICEF advocates with parliamentarians to adopt relevant policies and practices, through laws and budgets. In Brazil, UNICEF has cooperated with a non-governmental organization to promote an enhanced national ‘Child Budget’ that increased federal budgetary allocations for line items related to children and to provide technical assistance to help local entities working for children’s rights to better understand the budget process and incorporate it into their advocacy work.
Supporting national institutions for monitoring progress on the Convention: UNICEF has advocated for and supports national and local institutions to further the protection and promotion of children’s rights. For example, UNICEF Romania worked with the local County Council in Vaslui to create a County Child Rights Observatory in 2005. This institution was specifically designed to monitor the way children’s rights are realized.
Advocacy to ratify the Optional Protocols: UNICEF’s national offices work with local non-governmental organizations and parliamentarians to promote ratification of the Convention’s Optional Protocols. For example, UNICEF’s Regional Office for
Promoting a 'straight 18' position on child soldiers: UNICEF has joined other organizations, child rights advocates and non-governmental organizations in advocating a straightforward ban on all recruitment into the armed forces and participation in conflict of children (compulsory and voluntary) below the age of 18—the 'straight 18' position. This advocacy is part of UNICEF’s campaign for ratification and implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
For more information on the work of UNICEF, see 'What we do'.
Definition of key terms [PDF]