UNICEF works to protect the rights of every child

Agency for children

UNICEF has been working for over 70 years to safeguard the rights of every child

Image of children eating from 1946
UNICEF child feeding poster from 1946

Our mandate is defined in the Convention on the Rights of Children – the UN treaty ratified in 1989 – that sets the legal definition for ‘children’ and their distinct rights under international law. It is the most widely and rapidly accepted of all human rights treaties.

UNICEF is the only organisation mentioned specifically in the Convention, described as a source of expert assistance and advice.

Bangladesh signed and ratified the Convention in 1990.

The countries that signed the treaty containing 54 Articles are bound by international law to implement its vision to equally protect children of all race, religion and ability.

UNICEF works in 190 countries -- a global presence that allows unique access to disadvantaged children in remote places. 

We help governments ratify and implement the Convention and Optional Protocols, among many other responsibilities.  

Global goals

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG ) describe 17 universal objectives for countries in the UN. Bangladesh is among 193 member states that signed the agreement in 2015.

By finding solutions to challenges – political, environmental or economical -- these governments must meet the goals before 2030.

Member states may have different levels of wealth, but equity can be ensured by SDGs for setting the same safeguards and life opportunities.

Accordingly, the government in Bangladesh has developed its 7th five-year plan – outlining targets for education, health, nutrition, gender equality, besides safe water and sanitation.

The 2016-2020 plan seeks to boost economic growth, while making sure it is inclusive, pro-poor and adapted to an economy progressively powered by urban productivity and environmental sustainability.

Bangladesh entered the race to meet SDGs with a solid footing gained from fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals, a global effort against poverty that preceded the SDGs. 

The SDGs are designed to benefit everyone once these 17 objectives are met. 

These goals focus on children: 

Goal 1




Goal 1: No poverty

1.2. Halve the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty.

Goal - 2




Goal 2: Zero hunger

2.1. End hunger and ensure access by all people, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food.

2.2. End all forms of malnutrition, including achieving internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under five years of age by 2025.

Goal 3




Goal 3: Good health and well-being

3.2. End preventable deaths of newborns and children under five.

Goal 4




Goal 4: Quality education

4.1. Ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes

4.2. Ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.

Goal 5




Goal 5: Gender equality

5.1. End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

5.2. Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls

5.3. Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Goal 8




Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

8.7. Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

Goal 16




Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

16.2. End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.