Press releases and news notes
Asia Pacific Governments gather to share expertise on child rights issues
BANGKOK, KATHMANDU, NEW DELHI, 23 October 2013 - A high-level inter-governmental meeting of representatives of countries from Asia and the Pacific opened today in New Delhi, India. Hosted by the Government of India and supported by UNICEF, participants in the meeting will discuss cooperation for the realization of children’s rights and share knowledge and information about early childhood development, children in urban environments and opportunities and issues concerning adolescents.
New tools from UNICEF to work with business on children’s rights
NEW YORK, 19 September 2013 – UNICEF today released a tool kit aimed at integrating the rights of children into business operations.
Child well-being - progress in danger?
FLORENCE/BRUSSELS/DUBLIN 10 April 2013 – A timely study on child well-being in rich countries, launched today by UNICEF’s Office of Research, finds that the Netherlands and four Nordic countries – Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – again sit at the top of a child well-being table; whilst four southern European countries – Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain – are placed in the bottom half of the table.
One year on for the world’s youngest nation: The future of South Sudan’s children hangs in the balance
JUBA, South Sudan, 6 July 2012 - UNICEF calls for the rights and well-being of children to be made an urgent priority in the development of the country as the...
UNICEF campaigns for children’s rights in Mexico election period
MEXICO CITY, 5 July 2012 – On 1 July, almost 50 million Mexicans voted for a new president and other office-holders. They also voted for children as the...
UNICEF welcomes Russian Federation ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
MOSCOW/GENEVA, 4 May, 2012 – UNICEF congratulates the Russian Federation for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, describing it as a great step forward for people with disabilities, particularly children.
A third of women aged 20-24 in the developing world were child brides
NEW YORK, 12 October 2011 – Child marriage is a violation of a child’s human rights and is prevalent across the developing world, UNICEF said today as a...
UNICEF says one-third of children not in school have a disability and are often denied dignity and rights
NEW YORK, 12 October 2011 – Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups and suffer widespread violations of their...
On the Day of the Iraqi Child, UNICEF reconfirms its commitment to protect the rights of children in Iraq
BAGHDAD, 13 July 2011 - On the occasion of the Day of the Iraqi Child, UNICEF reconfirms its commitment to protect and promote the rights of Iraq's...
UNICEF and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children welcome Government of Pakistan’s commitment to protect children from sexual exploitation
ISLAMABAD, June 9, 2011 – In a joint statement with the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children, UNICEF Pakistan today...
Children’s Rights are at the heart of ‘Business’
NEW YORK/ LONDON, 5 May 2011 - UN Global Compact, UNICEF and Save the Children are inviting businesses and civil society to take an active role in developing a global standard of business principles pertaining to children’s rights...
Children’s rights events across Iraq conclude; several governorates agree to establish child rights committees
BAGHDAD, 10 December 2010 - As Iraq marks International Human Rights day today, government officials, community leaders and thousands of children across...
UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Statement - 3 December 2010
UNICEF calls for a comprehensive Child Act in Afghanistan
KABUL, 23 November 2010 - Afghanistan needs a comprehensive Child Act fully in line with the provisions and principles of the Convention on the Rights...
Convention on the Rights of the Child turns 21
NEW YORK, 20 November 2010 – 21 years ago today a remarkable milestone for the protection and realization of the rights of all children - the Convention...
Asia-Pacific governments commit to increase cooperation for child rights
BEIJING, 6 November 2010 – Governments from 28 countries across Asia and the Pacific today committed themselves to improving the rights...
Children are everyone’s business
NEW YORK, 24 June 2010 – At the opening of a major meeting of business leaders organized by the United Nations today, UNICEF, the UN Global Compact...
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake travels to Japan
TOKYO, 11 May 2010 – UNICEF’s new Executive Director, Anthony Lake, arrived in Japan today as part of his first mission on behalf of the UN...
Against child marriage: children demand their rights for a secure future
KOLKATA, India, 24 February 2010 – Almost 225 children from across West Bengal gathered together today to launch a movement against child...
Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF, on the occasion of Human Rights Day
Statement - 10 December 2009
On first official visit to the UAE, UNICEF Regional Director Sigrid Kaag discusses children’s rights with HH Sheikha Fatima
ABU DHABI, 9 December 2009 – The situation of women and children in the United Arab Emirates was at the center of discussions that UNICEF...
Progress as Africa marks ten years since the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child came into force
ADDIS ABABA, 26 November 2009 – “Significant strides have been made in the promotion of child survival, development, protection...
Children share with presidential candidates in Costa Rica
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, 20 November 2009.- As part of the celebration for the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child...
Georgia commemorates 20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with creation of Child Rights’ Council at the Parliament
TBILISI, 20 November 2009 – A joint initiative of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia and UNICEF to...
Bosnia and Herzegovina marks the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
SARAJEVO, 19 November 2009 – As the world celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ms. Florence Bauer...
UNICEF Azerbaijan launched special edition of State of the World’s Children to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Parliament
BAKU, 20 November 2009 – Today, during a special session in the Parliament of Azerbaijan (Milli Mejlis), UNICEF released its flagship report...
UNICEF welcomes decision by the Somali Transitional Federal Government to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child
NAIROBI, KENYA, 20 November 2009 - UNICEF today welcomed the announcement by the Somali Transitional Federal Government that it...
UNICEF’s State of The World’s Children report commemorates 20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
NEW YORK, 19 November 2009 – A special edition issue of UNICEF's flagship The State of the World's Children report, tracking the impact of...
UNICEF Executive Director raises child health and child rights in Mali
NEW YORK, 9 November, 2009 - On a three day trip to Mali, UNICEF Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman met with Government officials, visited...
UNICEF and Xinhua join forces to promote children’s rights
BEIJING, 5 November 2009 – UNICEF and Xinhua News Agency today signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining joint plans to promote...
CFSI and the Government of Andhra Pradesh partner with UNICEF to support child rights at the launch of the 16th Golden Elephant Festival 2009
DELHI, 4 November 2009 – In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the Children’s Film Society (CFSI) is...
Presidential candidates sign a declaration for children and adolescents in Uruguay
MONTEVIDEO, 12 October 2009 - In response to a call from UNICEF, the Presidential candidates from the political parties currently represented in the...
Government of Lao PDR and UNICEF reaffirm their commitment to children
VIENTIANE, 23 September 2009 - The needs and rights of children will remain a key priority as Lao PDR moves towards its broader development goals...
Costa Rica seeks to achieve the guarantee of all child rights by 2021: President of Costa Rica approves first Child Public Policy
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, 9 September 2009 - As part of the celebration for the National Day of Children, the President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias Sánchez...
Zambia: MPs pledge action on rights of disabled
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA 19 August 2009 -- Members of influential parliamentary committees in Zambia have pledged to ensure full rights of people living with...
UN welcomes access to legal aid for child detainees in Rwanda
KIGALI, RWANDA, July 27 2009 - As part of a new initiative launched by the Ministry of Justice, supported by UNICEF and the Dutch Government...
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman visits Syrian Arab Republic
DAMASCUS, 29 June 2009 – On the first visit ever of a UNICEF Executive Director to the Syrian Arab Republic, Ann M. Veneman met with Syrian President...
Is West Africa ready for children’s Ombudsmen?
BAMAKO, 23 June 2009 - This is the question being posed in Bamako by experts as they meet to encourage the development of Ombudsmen for...
New Machel Report calls for urgent action to protect children affected by armed conflict
NEW YORK, 16 June 2009 – UNICEF and the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict launched the Machel Study...
World Day Against Child Labour marks the need to tackle the worst forms of exploitation
GENEVA, 12 June 2009 – On the tenth anniversary of the World Day against Child Labour, UNICEF joins its partners in calling for action to...
UNICEF Morocco supports First Social Policies and Child Rights forum
RABAT, 25 May 2009 - To mark National Day of Child Rights, Morocco hosted the First Social Policies and Child Rights Forum to discuss...
UNICEF: Grave violations of children’s rights during armed conflicts must end
NEW YORK, 29 April 2009 – UNICEF today joined the Secretary-General’s call for an end to the recruitment and sexual exploitation of children by armed groups in theatres of....
UNICEF applauds the launch of first Child Act for Southern Sudan
JUBA, Southern Sudan, 8 April 2009 – The President of the Government of Southern Sudan H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayardit will tomorrow...
UNICEF Executive Director visits Roma community in Albania
Tirana, 3 October 2008 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, on a two day visit to Albania, highlighted the plight of Roma children and efforts...
UNICEF, UNESCO, and WHO call on all factions and communities to take Peace day as an opportunity to renew their commitments and respect for Afghan children’s rights to life and education
KABUL, 18 September 2008, - As the International Day of Peace, 21 September, approaches The World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural...
On The Day of the African Child, UNICEF highlights the importance of child participation
NEW YORK, 16 June 2008 - UNICEF today drew attention to the importance of child participation in schools, community action, media, and governance...
Policy-makers in South Asia gather to discuss social protection strategies for children
DHAKA, 15 April 2008 - Policy-makers from eight countries of South Asia today gathered in Dhaka for a symposium organized by UNICEF...
Experts discuss impact of the CRC
New York, 20 November 2007 – On the 18th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) UNICEF is hosted a roundtable...
Ishmael Beah Appointed UNICEF Advocate, on the Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
NEW YORK, 20 November 2007 - On the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, author and former...
Machel Study: Ten years on
Her Highness Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed of the UAE underlines every child’s right to education on first visit to Sudan
KHARTOUM/JUBA, 1 October 2007 - On her first visit to Sudan, Her Highness Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates...
UNICEF Armenia calls for more investment in early childhood learning
YEREVAN, 2 October 2007 – Representatives from ministries, parliament, governors, international organizations and members of non-governmental...
San Rossore 2007 Conference explores a new global vision for children and women
SAN ROSSORE PARK, Tuscany, Italy, 19 July 2007 – UNICEF joined forces with the Tuscany Region today at a conference in San Rossore under the theme: “Children and Women: Fulfilling their rights, developing their talents, advancing the Millennium Agenda.”
UNICEF applauds verdict passed by the Special Court for Sierra Leone
FREETOWN/SIERRA LEONE, 20 June 2007 – Today marks a major milestone in the annals of Sierra Leone as the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) handed down the first...
Sierra Leone Approves the National Child Rights Bill
FREETOWN/ SIERRA LEONE, 7 June 2007 - The approval of the National Child Rights Bill by the Sierra Leone Parliament on Thursday 7 June is huge step forward for children’s rights.
UNICEF efforts to improve the situation of children in detention facilities in Georgia
TBILISI/GEORGIA, 8 JUNE 2007 - UNICEF is distributing education materials , along with recreation, hygiene and sanitation supplies to juveniles in detention centres across Georgia.
Tackling the rights of disabled children
DUSHANBE/TAJIKISTAN, 1 June, 2007 – Up to 2,000 children celebrated the rights of disabled children in a rally in one of Dushanbe’s major parks.
UNICEF calls for aid to Iraqi children
GENEVA/NEW YORK/AMMAN, 23 May 2007 – Conditions for Iraqi children affected by violence and displacement have reached a critical point, UNICEF said today.
Children’s Rights for Roma children
BELGRADE,16 May 2007 – UNICEF’s study Breaking the Cycle of Exclusion: Roma Children in South East Europe focuses on the 1.7 million Roma children living in South...
Turkmenistan children produce One Minute Junior video films on child rights
ASHGABAT/TURKMENISTAN, 14 May 2007 – Young people from the National Institute of Culture and the Youth Organization of Turkmenistan will use their creativity and artistic skills to...
UNICEF condemns shelling of Mogadishu hospital and calls for full access for humanitarian aid to displaced families
GENEVA, 27 April 2007 - UNICEF today condemned the mortar shelling of the SOS hospital in Somalia's capital and called for full access for humanitarian aid to the...
UNICEF Lauds Progress for Uganda’s Children, Urges More Must be Done
KAMPALA, 12 May 2006 – On the occasion of the inauguration of H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as President of the Republic of Uganda, UNICEF said that the new government had a critical opportunity to renew the commitment of Uganda to fulfil and protect the fundamental right of all its children and women to access health, education, safe water, shelter and other essential services.
UNICEF Concerned that Children a Casualty of Recent Demonstrations
KATHMANDU, April 13 – UNICEF has expressed its deep concern at reports that children have been injured, arrested and detained in the recent demonstrations in Kathmandu and other cities. “Children have no place being near demonstrations that could turn violent,” UNICEF Representative Dr. Suomi Sakai said today.
Criminal charge in child soldier case a milestone in protecting children
Friday’s arrest of Thomas Lubanga by the International Criminal Court, on a charge of conscripting and enlisting children and actively using them in hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, sends an important message that the international community will not tolerate the use of children in armed conflict, UNICEF said. It shows the high priority that the international community gives to combating crimes against children.
UNICEF and Al-Azhar University Present New Manual Designed to Underscore Importance of Children in Islam
CAIRO, 29 November 2005 – UNICEF and Al-Azhar University released today a new manual designed to underscore how the care, protection and development of children is central to Islam.
Children’s Rights Not Respected in Cote D’Ivoire’s Ongoing Military and Political Crisis
ABIDJAN, Cote D’Ivoire, 21 November 2005 – As the world celebrates the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF is calling attention to the plight of the children in Cote D’Ivoire and the continued widespread violation of their rights as a result of the ongoing three-year-long conflict.
Egyptian TV wins International Children’s Day of Broadcasting Award
NEW YORK, 21 November 2005 – Egyptian TV won the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) award at the 33rd International Emmy Awards Gala on Monday night. The special prize is awarded every year by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and UNICEF.
Ministers from Islamic countries take strong stand in favour of children
RABAT, 8 November 2005 – On issuing a Declaration calling for an end to harmful traditional practices, elimination of gender disparity in education and urgent action to address the unacceptably high rates of child and maternal mortality in some Islamic countries, the more than 200 participants of The First Islamic Ministerial Conference on the Child hailed the meeting as a major success and a ground-breaking initiative for the Islamic world.
Ministers from Islamic countries convene for landmark meeting on children
RABAT, 7 November 2005 - Senior representatives of almost 50 Islamic countries and nearly 20 international organizations have convened for a landmark meeting intended to make a real and lasting difference for more than a quarter of the world’s children, who are disproportionately burdened by poverty, malnutrition and disease.
Children, the Focus for Islamic Solidarity
A new report says action is urgently needed to tackle a range of problems facing over 600 million children in the Islamic world, from poverty and disease to education and protection.
UNICEF and Casa Alianza join efforts against violence
PANAMA CITY, 6 September 2004 – With the expressed intention of protecting Latin American and Caribbean children and adolescents in a more effective manner against all forms of violence that affect the region, UNICEF and the international non- governmental organization, Casa Alianza, have recently signed their first regional cooperation agreement.
Indigenous children discuss problems and exchange solutions in Madrid
MADRID, July 7, 2005 - More than 80 indigenous children and adolescents from 17 Latin American countries are meeting here today and tomorrow to discuss their “problems and exchange ideas and solutions to resolve them,” in the words of 11-year-old Jessica Peñafiel, from the Quechua people of Ecuador, during the opening ceremony. The conclusions of the meeting will be reflected in a Final Declaration and presented at the Ibero-American Ministerial Conference on Children and Adolescents, to be held in September in León, Spain.
UNICEF, Government and NGOs unite for the children of Brazil’s most impoverished region
BRASILIA, 6 April 2005 – Cabinet ministers, state governors, mayors, NGO and business leaders today launched an unprecedented National Accord to improve the lives of some of the country’s most impoverished and excluded children.
Bellamy remarks at launch of Lancet series on newborns
LONDON, 1 March 2005, I am very pleased to be here representing UNICEF and the committed individuals from across UNICEF who played such a key role in the development of this series. The focus of this series on neonatal deaths is important and timely.
Bellamy - “when China achieves, the world achieves”
BEIJING, 24 February, 2005 - Carol Bellamy addressed government leaders, UN agency heads, programme partners, children and the media this morning at a Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and UNICEF cosponsored forum in Beijing on “A Decade of Achievement for Children”.
Bellamy to launch ‘The State of the World’s Children 2005’ with Goodwill Ambassador Vanessa Redgrave in London
LONDON/NEW YORK, 6 December 2004 - The State of the World’s Children is UNICEF’s annual flagship publication. It is the most comprehensive survey of global trends affecting children. This year’s launch will be UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy’s tenth. Childhood today is under threat for more than 1 billion children. Poverty, conflict, and HIV/AIDS are among the most serious threats undercutting childhood across the globe.
Effort to protect Darfur's children is failing
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 18 November 2004 - UNICEF said today that reports of violence against women and children, in and around Darfur's camps for civilians displaced by fighting, seems to be increasing rather than diminishing.
New Afghan leadership urged to put children first
KABUL, 18 November 2004 – On Saturday 20 November, the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Afghanistan’s children will ask their newly elected leaders to put child rights top of the agenda, with the presentation of a new Children’s Manifesto for Afghanistan.
UNICEF hails world’s first regional agreement on human trafficking
YANGON, MYANMAR, 29 October 2004 – Today ministers from China, Cambodia, Thailand, Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Myanmar signed a landmark memorandum of understanding that sets forth a framework of action to fight human trafficking.
The rights of young Iraqis in conflict with the law “must be respected”
AMMAN, JORDAN, 28 September 2004: Senior members of the Iraq government reaffirmed Tuesday that young Iraqis who come into conflict with the law must have their rights respected in accordance with international standards and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Afghan religious leaders benefit from child rights awareness
KABUL, 12 September 2004 – 7,800 religious leaders from the western provinces of Afghanistan will start to receive awareness-raising and sensitization training on children’s rights, as a new round of workshops gets under way on 13 September in a joint initiative between the Afghan Ministry of Religious Affairs and UNICEF.
Unity in Belize: parties endorse plan for kids
BELIZE CITY, 7 September 2004 - The Prime Minister Hon. Said Musa and the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Dean Barrow endorsed a National Plan of Action for Children and Adolescents, 2004-2015 (NPA) during a brief ceremony at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City at 8:00am today.
UNICEF organises roundtable for Islamic leaders, experts, civil society and NGOs
AMMAN, 30 September 2003 - The Chief of Islamic Justice and Special Advisor to His Majesty King Abdullah II, Sheikh Izzidin Khatib Tamimi, today called for the establishment of a specialised division for family guidance and counseling in local law courts. At a one-day roundtable discussion on ”Mechanisms to Protect Family Unity from Divorce,” Tamimi emphasized the importance of reaching family reconciliation through counseling before reverting to the courts.
San Salvador is declared child-friendly city
SAN SALVADOR, 1 August 2003 – On July 30th, 2003, San Salvador, the capital city of the Central American country of El Salvador, was declared a “Child Friendly City”. According to the formal agreement signed between the Mayor of San Salvador, Carlos Rivas Zamora, and a child representative from the capital, Fátima Marielos Navarrete, the most important city of El Salvador will now guarantee the development of local activities focused on the promotion of children’s rights.
Day of the African Child, 2003: For each child, an identity
NEW YORK, 16 June 2003 - UNICEF offices in dozens of countries are set to celebrate the Day of the African Child today, calling for the need to ensure all children are registered at birth. (Press Release)
UNICEF Executive Director: Create a Latin America fit for indigenous children.
Cusco, Perú, 24 July 2004. During the Copa América, UNICEF has been repeating a simple slogan that sums up the spirit of our agreement with CONMEBOL: ¡Con los niños sí se gana!
UNICEF Executive Director praises Ecuador for increased investment in children
QUITO, ECUADOR, 5 August 2003 – UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy today applauded the commitment of Ecuador’s government to improving children’s lives through increased social spending, but said that more investment is necessary to reach all children with basic services.
SG bids for indigenous children's rights, citing UNICEF report
LIMA, PERU/PANAMA CITY, 12 November 2003 – Welcoming the statement on indigenous children made earlier today in Cuzco, Peru, by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNICEF called for urgent, far-reaching action in response to the “genuine emergency” facing millions of children from indigenous communities in Latin America.
East Asia and Pacific region at forefront of action to counter the commercial sexual exploitation of children
BANGKOK, 10 November, 2004 – New initiatives in East Asia and the Pacific are leading the way in combating the commercial sexual exploitation of children, according to senior government officials from across the region.
Sudan ratifies two protocols for the protection of children’s rights
KHARTOUM/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 31 October 2004 – UNICEF welcomed today the ratification by the President of Sudan, Omar el-Bashir, of two UN Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of Child. The Optional Protocols aim at strengthening the protection of children from recruitment into armed forces and from sexual exploitation.
UNICEF Executive Director launches campaign to combat exclusion of children
Monday, 16 June 2003 – Arguing that the exclusion of millions of children in the countries of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States is undermining the development of those nations, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy joined civil society representatives from 27 countries at the launch of a major regional campaign to “Leave No Child Out“
UNICEF names top five concerns for children in 2004
NEW YORK, 31 December 2003 – Marking the New Year by calling attention to the immediate needs of children in developing countries, UNICEF today named the top five concerns for children in 2004: child survival, the effects of HIV/AIDS, children caught in war, exploitation, and insufficient investment.
Launching of the National News Agency for the Rights of the Child (ANNI – Bolivia)
In the Auditorium of the National Journalists Association in La Paz the launching took place yesterday of the National News Agency for the Rights of the Child (ANNI – Bolivia).
Carol Bellamy addresses the 2nd World Youth Congress
Statement to the opening session of the World Congress of Youth.