UNICEF IN SERBIA
Our goal is to ensure that children who are still growing up in poverty and isolation get a fair chance to be healthy, educated and protected, and to reach their full potential.
We cooperate with the government, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to ensure respect for the rights of every child through everything that we do.
UNICEF in Serbia focuses on supporting the government's efforts to create a better and safer environment for every child in the country. We particularly focus on the realisation of the rights of the most vulnerable groups of children so they can have the same opportunities as other children and reach their full potential.
In Serbia, as elsewhere in the world, we cooperate with government organisations, as well as with civil society organisations, independent human rights institutions, the private sector and the media. At the same time, our task is also to be the voice of children – to point out the gaps, breaches and violations of child rights.
The role and mandate of UNICEF has changed over time. We started our work back in 1947 by providing the first humanitarian aid packages to the former Yugoslavia after the Second World War, and we continued cooperation during the years of centralised communist rule, when the grateful country raised funds for UNICEF's work to help children around the world.
In the beginning of the 1990s, the first international UNICEF office in Belgrade was established to provide help to children and families from the areas affected by the war and those who had to leave their homes. We organised the mass provision of humanitarian aid, which, in addition to necessary foodstuffs, included immunisation, education and psychosocial support for children suffering from trauma because of what they had experienced.
From 2000 onwards, UNICEF has focused its work on supporting social sector reform in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Child. We have become an important partner of the Government of the Republic of Serbia both in supporting the process of harmonisation of the national legislation with European and international standards, and in implementing activities aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, as well as full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.