About us

UNICEF programmes work to protect the rights of children and adolescents across 21 countries and territories in Europe and Central Asia. We prioritize the most vulnerable children to ensure that no child is left behind by national progress.

UNICEF in Europe and Central Asia

UNICEF works with and for disadvantaged children and adolescents across 21 countries and territories in Europe and Central Asia where we have country programmes. We also have programmes to respond to the needs of refugee and migrant women and children in Austria, Germany, Greece and Italy, as well as engagement with institutions across many more countries to uphold the rights of children.  


In line with our mandate, shaped by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we work to ensure that no child is left out of economic and social progress

Our work across the region

  • We advocate for greater investment in the well-being of children and adolescents – the region’s greatest asset.
  • We support the strengthening of national systems that safeguard the well-being of all children and adolescents.
  • We strengthen collaboration across sectors that are crucial for child well-being, from health and education to child protection and social welfare. We also strengthen the skills of service providers to deliver child-focused assistance.
  • We demonstrate what works, supporting cutting-edge research, innovative approaches and awareness-raising among policymakers and the public.
  • We support monitoring the situation for children and progress so governments can be held to account for the commitments they have made to children. 
  • We work with partners to leverage and mobilize greater resources for all children and adolescents.
UNICEF/UN0150857/Gilbertson VII Photo
Children listen to a mine risk awareness class provided by UNICEF and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) at a school in Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of children continue to live in constant danger in eastern Ukraine due to ongoing conflict.
A doctor and midwife perform a newborn baby’s first checkup in rural Kyrgyzstan, where UNICEF and partners train medical staff, provide new equipment and renovate clinics to improve maternal and newborn health.

Partnership lies at the very heart of our work

The complex and inter-connected challenges that face many children in the region are often rooted in inequity, discrimination, lack of investment and weaknesses in the national systems that are supposed to ensure their well-being. No single organization or approach can hope to tackle all of these challenges, which is why we never work alone. Partnership lies at the very heart of our work. 

In the 21 countries and territories where we have country programmes we work with governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations; academia; UN agencies; international financial institutions and the private sector. We nurture and build partnership to achieve wider goals for children, to close equity gaps and to address the most pressing child rights violations across the region.

Together, we address exclusion in countries where too many marginalized children are in institutions, too many are out of school, too many live in unsafe and hazard-prone communities and too many adolescents are excluded. These are children with disabilities, children of migrant workers, refugee and migrant children, children from ethnic minorities, rural children and the urban poor, children in conflict with the law or living in institutions and often, girls

Our ambition is to get everyone working together as one on behalf of these vulnerable children.