HIV & AIDS and Children
Global Commitments on Children and HIV / AIDS
|© UNICEF/ HQ04-0700/Pirozzi|
|Victoria, 11 months, sits in her crib, abandoned to institutional care as a result of AIDS, in the western port city of Kaliningrad.|
UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.
HIV and AIDS remains a clear and specific focus area of UNICEF’s business plan—the 2014-2017 Medium Term Strategic Plan (MTSP). The organization's efforts contribute to achieving global targets articulated in HIV specific international agreements including:
- Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6, which aims to halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS.
- United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS, which sets out a series of national targets and global actions to reverse the epidemic.
- The Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections in Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive, which provides the foundation for country-led movement towards the
elimination of new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive, focusing in particular on the 22 countries with the highest estimated numbers of pregnant women living with HIV.
In practice, combined efforts between HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health create synergies that have the potential to produce better results for children and their families.
HIV and AIDS is closely linked to wider maternal and child health MDGs:
- MDG 4, which calls for a two-thirds reduction in the mortality rate for children under five
- MDG 5, which calls for a three quarters reduction in maternal mortality
Several global initiatives support synergies across the MDGs, which also guide UNICEF’s HIV response:
- A Promise Renewed: an initiative that seeks to advance the United Nations Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child global movement, uniting a number of partners around the goal of ending preventable child deaths.
- Every Woman Every Child: a global movement, spearheaded by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to mobilize and intensify global action to improve the health of women and children around the world.
- H4+: supports countries with the highest rates of maternal, newborn and child mortality, to accelerate progress in saving the lives and improving the health of women and newborns. H4+ includes UNFPA, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, UNAIDS, and UN Women.
- Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA): an initiative to intensify the implementation of the Maputo Plan of Action for the reduction of maternal mortality in the Africa region.
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW): adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often referred to as an international bill of rights for women.
- International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD): At this conference, which took place in Cairo in 1994, delegates reached a consensus that equality and empowerment of women is a global priority, both in terms of universal human rights, and to eradicate poverty and stabilize population growth. ICPD Beyond 2014 is a United Nations initiative to review the ICPD Programme of Action.
- Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCC): UNICEF’s central policy on how to uphold the rights of children affected by humanitarian crisis.