Core Commitments for Children
Guided by the principle that children in the midst of armed conflict and natural disasters have the same needs and rights as children in stable situations, UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs) outline the organization’s key accountabilities in response to a humanitarian situation. The CCCs include a series of immediate and longer-term interventions aimed at providing basic support and protecting children’s rights. In 2010, UNICEF updated its the CCCs based on extensive consultations with civil society and other partners and incorporating lessons learned over the past years.
Measles and acute respiratory infections as well as malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition are major killers of children during humanitarian crises. As stated in the CCCs, emergency immunization is one of UNICEF’s priority interventions, along with vitamin A supplementation, therapeutic feeding, and the provision of safe water and sanitation.
In addition, the CCCs cover programme and operational commitments in the areas of education, HIV/AIDS, and child protection. They distinguish between vital, life-saving interventions that need to be initiated immediately and over the first eight weeks of a crisis, and the broader spectrum of activities that should be added afterwards.
Despite the ever changing humanitarian context throughout the years, the essence of UNICEF’s commitment to children in emergency situations has remained the same, while strategies and approaches have been adjusted to new developments in policy and operational environments, as well as new emerging threats.
The updated version of the CCCs defines preparedness for instance as an explicit commitment rather than an implicit assumption as before. Early recovery is now also an explicit commitment aiming to strengthen the link between humanitarian action, recovery and development. The development of national capacities with regards to emergency preparedness and response is recognized as a key strategy and commitment, which is necessary to fulfil the CCCs and to provide a more sustainable post crisis-transition.