Adolescents find many ways to participate in their societies – whether challenging injustice, fostering peace, or exploring innovative solutions to local challenges.
Promoting civic engagement is key to UNICEF’s work. We empower adolescents and enable them to become drivers of change through a variety of actions.
We promote policies and laws that encourage adolescent participation. UNICEF advocates for schools, health facilities and juvenile justice systems to adopt policies that give adolescents a seat at the table.
We strengthen platforms for adolescent participation. UNICEF helps bring adolescents together through student councils, youth clubs, local institutions and community-based organizations, as well as digital platforms. We promote adolescents’ involvement in accountability and decision-making mechanisms, including on issues that pertain to health, education, peacebuilding and climate change.
We help adolescents develop the skills they need to form and voice their opinions. UNICEF helps adolescents understand and exercise their full range of rights. We support programmes that build their confidence and decision-making skills, and work with young influencers to raise awareness of the issues that concern them.
We help communities support adolescents to create solutions and lead change. UNICEF engages community members – including parents, teachers and health workers – to address attitudes, behaviours and social norms that impede adolescent participation, especially for girls and marginalized adolescents. We create the space for adolescents to innovate and implement solutions to issues that concern them within their societies.
We focus on the adolescents most likely to be excluded. Because adolescents from marginalized groups have fewer opportunities to influence their circumstances, UNICEF addresses factors that exclude them from civic engagement, and works to ensure their safety when they do exercise their rights.