In shaping a Belize fit for children and women, we focus on young child survival, education, development and protection from violence.
UNICEF Belize works as part of the United Nations system to promote and protect the rights of children and women. We are guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and core human rights treaties, especially the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and Girls, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
UNICEF works alongside the Government of Belize to implement the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UNMSDF). This framework aligns with the country’s Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS), the new National Result Framework for Children and Adolescents and our own Programme Country Document.
The UNICEF office was established in 1981, the same year Belize gained its independence. However, our commitment to Belize dates back to 1954 with our early efforts to improve environmental health, vector control, supporting school feeding programs and providing primary school textbooks.
Since then, UNICEF has shifted its focus from direct service delivery for families and children to capacity building. We care for children by supporting child service providers, policymakers and members of the Belizean community.
UNICEF leads the way in educational efforts, early childhood development, legal and institutional reform, stronger systems for child protection and child justice, data management, monitoring and evaluation, and fostering positive adolescent development and participation in Belizean society.
Through our strong partnership with the Government of Belize, we promote legislative and policy reforms and provide support to government and civil society organizations, transforming innovative ideas to reality.
The country programme 2017-2021
UNICEF has entered into a new period of cooperation with the Government of Belize to build upon the successes of the 2013-2016 Country Programme. Guided by Belize’s national development agenda, UNICEF is supporting the Government to identify and overcome key bottlenecks that prevent the realization of children’s rights.
For the first time, the Country Programme has been prepared as part of a regional effort to identify joint priorities affecting 17 English- and Dutch-speaking countries of the Caribbean.
This alignment is aimed to achieve more coherent interventions, better knowledge exchange and increased opportunities to mobilize resources at regional level.
The 2017-2021 Country Programme focuses on the following areas:
- Protecting children from violence and abuse, and strengthening national efforts for violence prevention
- Strengthening the child justice system
- Improving access and quality of Early Childhood Education and development services
- Improving access and quality of primary and secondary education
- Strengthening the social protection system
- Supporting greater and better social investments for families and children
- Child rights monitoring and reporting
- Generating evidence and data for improved policymaking for children
- Enhancing national emergency preparedness, response and disaster risk reduction efforts targeting families, particularly children
- Reducing Multidimensional Poverty and Child Rights Monitoring (including Social Protection, Data Strengthening and Child and Adolescent Participation)
- Lifelong Learning (including Early Childhood Development, Adolescent Health, Nutrition, School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)
- Safety and Justice for Children (including Violence Prevention)
Integrated into all of these priority areas is support to enhance emergency preparedness planning and response
To support the Government to realize children’s rights, UNICEF Belize uses the following strategies:
Is “the deliberate process, based on demonstrated evidence, to directly and indirectly influence decision makers, stakeholders and relevant audiences to support and implement actions that contribute to the fulfilment of children’s and women’s rights.” (UNICEF 2010 Advocacy Toolkit).
Advocacy requires continuous efforts to translate relevant information into cogent arguments or justifications and to communicate the arguments in an appropriate manner to decision makers. The purpose of advocacy is to:
- promote new policies, change existing laws, policies or rules
- redefine public perceptions, social norms and procedures
- support protocols that benefit populations affected by existing legislation, norms, and procedures
- influence funding decisions for specific initiatives
The development of knowledge, skills and attitudes. It often takes the form of workshops, seminars and other forums, which allow participants to share best practices and lessons learnt, as well as gain new skills and knowledge to better care for and advocate on behalf of children’s rights.
Communication for development
Involves understanding people, their beliefs and values, the social and cultural norms that shape their lives. It involves engaging communities and listening to adults and children as they identify problems, propose solutions and act upon them. Communication for development is seen as a two-way process for sharing ideas and knowledge using a range of communication tools and approaches that empower individuals and communities to take actions to improve their lives.
Includes processes that allow participating agencies to learn from each other and build consensus on ways to shape and influence new policies and programmes for children.
Social policy development
Mainly involves providing technical assistance to governments and regional/subregional organizations to help them develop policies that are child friendly, gender sensitive and in line with international standards.
A process that engages and motivates a wide range of partners and allies at national and local levels to raise awareness of and demand for a particular development objective through dialogue. Members of institutions, community networks, civic and religious groups and others work in a coordinated way to reach specific groups of people for dialogue with planned messages. In other words, social mobilization seeks to facilitate change through a range of players engaged in interrelated and complementary efforts.