Our goals for children
Action for children, UNICEF works for and with children and young people across 21 countries and territories in Europe and Central Asia (ECA). This is a Region with resources to meet the needs of every citizen. Yet, too often, the poorest children –those living with disabilities, those who are refugees and migrants, and those from ethnic minorities – are left behind.…, thriving, learning, protected and participating, in the world around them.Yet in Europe and Central Asia, too many children are still left behind. It is only by reaching the most vulnerable children that countries across the Region will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Thriving strategic goal icon., Thriving, Every child learns, Learning, Every child is protected, Protecting, Every child has a chance, Participating, Thriving, for every child, good health, Priority goal, By 2021: Every country in the Region has 95 per cent of its children at national level, and at least 80 per cent in every district, vaccinated with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP 3) or the Penta vaccine, which protects children against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)., SDG 3 (ensure healthy lives) target 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including effective, quality and essential medicines and vaccines for all., David Bielik, 1.2 y.o., is held by his father Bohdan, as he receives his first dose of MMR vaccine UNICEF/UN0302002/Filippov, The facts, Half of all deaths among children under the age of five in the Region occur in the first month of life. 400,000 children under the age of one have not received the recommended three doses of DTP vaccine, and immunization rates are falling because of system failures and vaccine hesitancy. Less than 30 per cent of Roma children are…, UNICEF in action, We help governments strengthen their health systems, including the skills of health workers, while mobilizing public demand for good health care. We help governments transform care for newborns so they have the healthiest start in life. We help governments procure vaccines and support national immunization campaigns to tackle…, Learning, for every child, a quality education, Priority goal, By 2021, 700,000 girls and boys who would have otherwise been out of school are enrolled in high quality, inclusive pre-primary, primary and secondary education., SDG 4 (quality education for all) target 4.1: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes., Турция. Ученица 1-го класса школы, функционирующей при поддержке ЮНИСЕФ, заглядывает через плечо рисующей соседки по парте. UNICEF/UN158166/Noorani, The facts, 5.8 million children and adolescents, typically aged 5 to 17, are out of school across the Region. Only 60 per cent of children, typically aged 3 to 5, are enrolled in pre-primary schooling. Of the estimated 5.1 million children with disabilities in the Region, only 1.5 million are registered as having a disability, and only 15 per cent of these…, UNICEF in action, We work with partners to expand access to quality pre-schooling so that all children arriving at primary school are ready to make the most of their education . We aim to make all schools inclusive, helping to increase the number of children and adolescents with disabilities who attend regular schools. We support monitoring to identify children who…, Protecting, for every child, safety from harm, Priority goal, By 2021, zero children in institutional care in the Region., SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) target 16.2: end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children., Jeta, 24, and Fabliona, age 4, play in a park in Tirana UNICEF/UN0220726/Babajanyan VII Photo, The facts, Around 664,000 children in the Region are growing up in institutional care - this is more than five times higher than the global average. Around 50 per cent of the children and adolescents in institutional care in the Region are living with disabilities. Most unaccompanied migrant and refugee children are hosted in sub-standard reception…, UNICEF in action, We work with governments to prevent family separation , support outreach to vulnerable families to catch problems before they escalate, and develop community-based services to address the complex needs of children and families. We help governments to systematically increase the number of qualified professional social workers and expand services…, Participating, for every child, a voice, Priority goal, By 2021, 20 million adolescents in the Region, including the most vulnerable, have a chance to be connected, engaged and empowered., SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) target 16.7: ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels., On 29 June 2016, young people participate in the launch of a Small Grants Programme for active young citizens in Slovyansk UNICEF/UN050224/Hetman, The facts, 2.7 million adolescents of lower and upper secondary age are not in school, with those who feel unwelcome and excluded most likely to drop out. In Bulgaria and Romania, over 70 per cent of young people, aged 16 to 30, say they feel excluded from economic, social and democratic life. In Ukraine, only around half of all girls and boys, aged 15, see…, UNICEF in action, We support the creation of legislation, policies, partnerships and programmes that recognize adolescents as one of the Region’s greatest assets. We work to shift attitudes and social norms that under-value adolescents, aiming to amplify their voices and their influence. We help to build the skills, confidence and abilities of adolescents so that…
Work with UNICEF
Meet our staff, A day at the office can mean many things to a UNICEF staff member It could mean talking with a 14-year-old former child soldier about their experiences, or finding funding for vital supplies for children during an emergency, or dedicating each day to efforts to eradicate a killer disease. It's not all drama, of course. Much of the organization's…, Please be sure to visit the vacancies section., International postings, Children and UNICEF staff playing in a migrant reception centre in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Current vacancies, International postings If you are seeking a post with UNICEF in one of our duty stations around the world, please visit UNICEF’s global website . There you will find information about required qualifications and the benefits of working with UNICEF. UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion and encourages qualified female and male candidates…
Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on children and families in the Western Balkans and Turkey
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking an unprecedented toll on children and families, There is abundant evidence that children bear a heavy burden resulting from disrupted essential services, increased social isolation, and loss of family income. In pandemic times, parents and caregivers are more likely to feel overwhelmed with providing stimulation and care for their young children and delay seeking prompt medical attention for…, strengthen national health, education, early childhood development, and child protection systems to ensure continuity in the provision of core services for vulnerable children and their families in the immediate and the longer-term recovery response to COVID-19., The initiative is being implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*  , Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey. , Action and impact, Child is playng a game on ipad and learning about online safety. 10 November 2021 -, UNICEF Albania, will reach to 400 children and 100 parents and ensure that they have access to a mobile, “digital literacy and online safety curricula”, and know about the, , importance of mental health and where to seek support., Social worker is responding to a call to support parent in Montenegro. 30 October 2021 -, UNICEF Montenegro, launched the toll-free telephone number 080 888 888, to support parents who are facing numerous challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic., Father reads book to his son. 29 June 2021 – In, Montenegro, , UNICEF’s #ParentChat programme teaches Mums and Dads, positive parenting techniques that help in stressful times., On 15 July 2020, a caregiver hugs a three-year-old girl at Hana and Rozafa, a state-run residential centre in Tirana, the capital city of Albania. 6 October 2021 -, UNICEF Kosovo* , and University in Prishtina in partnerships with the European Union signed a new agreement : To, improve access to mental and psycho-social health services, for children Sanela runs the phoneline service, which was launched as one of the services within the “Mladost” Children’s Home in Bijela. 3 August 2021 – In, Montenegro, , within the project a universal SOS phoneline is set up to, provide professional counselling and assistance to children and young people., A baby girl receives her vaccination at a clinic in Serbia. 5 July 2021 – In, Bosnia and Herzegovina, , UNICEF and EU support is helping parents to keep their, children’s vaccination , schedules, up to date. , How UNICEF and EU will support children and families, The European Union’s contribution of €5 million will help to ensure the continuity and quality of essential services in a context of epidemiological restrictions, while building durable national capacities that deliver quality services for children and families. The work at local level is aligned with the national needs and priorities and includes:, Strengthening the continuity of essential health and nutrition services and capacity of health service professionals., Activities will include research and analysis, technical support to ensure community of essential services and commodities, support for development of national guidelines and innovative platforms that enable parents to access information on newborn care, breastfeeding, nutrition and immunization, as well as capacity building of…, Strengthening the continuity of child protection services and capacity of social work and social service professionals, to better identify and respond to the needs of vulnerable children and families by creating access to child protection services and mental health and psycho-social counselling., Strengthening education services through capacity development of, teachers in delivering quality and inclusive learning through digital learning for all children. Support will include developing teacher training, guidance, adapting inclusive high-quality teaching materials to local languages, and capacities of and providing advice to policy framework to improve the effectiveness and quality of distance learning., Supporting early childhood development (ECD) services and the capacity of ECD professionals., Emphasis is placed on expanding and improving the quality of tools and digital resources and that support children, their caregivers, and wide range of ECD practitioners. Innovative solutions will include, for example, online learning platforms for pre-school children and for children with developmental difficulties, and a smartphone app that can…, Expected results, Over this two-year initiative, across the Western Balkans and Turkey Continuation of vaccination services during COVID-19. 78,500 children and 84,000 caregivers will benefit from the continuation of essential maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition services. Girl is attending the centre to continue her education during COVID-19 pandemic.…, * , This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence This website was created and is maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office and do…, Contact for more information, Ivelina Borisova, Regional Adviser, Early Childhood Development
UNICEF ambassadors in Europe and Central Asia
Across Europe and Central Asia, UNICEF’s International Goodwill Ambassadors and National Ambassadors support our work to fulfil the rights of each and every child. Our Ambassadors have varied backgrounds and expertise, but they all have one thing in common: a proven commitment to improve the lives of children. They attract public attention, and…, National ambassadors, Henrikh Mkhitaryan Armenia, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Henrikh is a professional footballer who plays for English Premier League Club Arsenal, and captains the Armenian national team. He became an Ambassador for UNICEF Armenia in November 2016. He encourages Armenian families to be physically active and also focuses on early learning and inclusive education . Vladimir Pougatch Belarus, Vladimir Pougatch, Vladimir Pougatch, from the band J:MORS, became a UNICEF Ambassador in Belarus in November 2014. He spearheaded a 2012 UNICEF campaign to change attitudes towards children in conflict with the law, including the film ‘Angels Never Sleep’. Vladimir supports our work for adolescents . Edin Džeko Bosnia and Herzegovina, Edin Džeko , Footballer Edin Džeko plays for Italian club Roma and the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team. Appointed as a National Ambassador in 2009, Edin has participated in UNICEF campaigns to support early childhood development , as well as children with disabilities and those without parental care . Vladimir Ampov (‘Grafa’) Bulgaria, Vladimir Ampov (‘Grafa’), Grafa (The Count) has been a UNICEF Ambassador in Bulgaria since September 2014. This well-known and respected singer, composer, producer and writer aims to focus the attention of the public on the challenges facing children and families, and involve them in the solutions. Maja Vučić Croatia, Maja Vučić, Singer Maja Vučić became a Special Representative for Parents and Babies and National Ambassador in November 2006. Maja promotes early childhood development and has supported UNICEF’s work in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Rwanda, as well as refugee and migrant children in Croatia. Bojana Gregorić Vejzović Croatia, Bojana Gregorić Vejzović, This award-winning Croatian actress became a UNICEF National Ambassador in August 2004. Bojana’s support for children’s rights includes a special focus on children without parental care . As well as raising funds for UNICEF, she promotes the ideals that guide our work. Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni Croatia, Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni, Zlatan became the first UNICEF Ambassador in Croatia in July 2003. The well-known singer works to end violence and discrimination against children, helps to raise funds for UNICEF, and reaches young people with UNICEF’s messages. Slaven Bilić Croatia, Slaven Bilić, Slaven Bilić, Manager of West Ham United football club, became a National Ambassador in February 2008. He spearheaded Croatia’s ‘Break the Chain’ campaign against cyberbullying, and has focused on ending violence against children , as well as the promotion of child-friendly cities. Nikoloz Rachveli Georgia, Nikoloz Rachveli, Nikoloz Rachveli, composer and conductor, became a National Ambassador in June 2017, focusing on children with disabilities and ending violence against children . He uses his concerts to advocate for child rights and participated in the ‘See Every Colour’ campaign to tackle discrimination. Antonije Pušić ('Rambo Amadeus') Montenegro, Antonije Pušić ('Rambo Amadeus'), Musician Antonije Pušić, known as Rambo Amadeus, became a National Ambassador in 2006. He has supported many national campaigns, including those on children with disabilities , ending violence against children and expanding foster care . Andreea Marin Romania, Andreea Marin, TV presenter, producer, journalist, author and editor Andreea Marin has been a voice for children in Romania as a National Ambassador since 2006. Andreea has championed children’s rights, including improving access to immunization and preventing family separation in numerous telethons, campaigns and other public events. Gheorghe…, Gheorghe Hagi, World Cup All-Star Team football player Gheorghe Hagi became a National Ambassador in September 2008. He has been particularly active since his appointment on supporting UNICEF’s work to promote access to education for every child, including a successful campaign to prevent school dropout. Horia Tecau Romania, Horia Tecau, Tennis champion Horia Tecau was appointed as a National Ambassador for UNICEF in Romania in April 2017. Horia, the first Romanian tennis player to win Olympic gold, has championed children’s access to health and quality education for many years. Andrei Tiberiu Maria (Smiley) Romania, Andrei Tiberiu Maria (Smiley), TV presenter and pop star Smiley has been a National Ambassador since November 2013. His support for many social causes has included his involvement in UNICEF’s #endviolence campaign in Romania. Focusing on the most vulnerable children, he urges his fans to support children’s rights. Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic Serbia, Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic, Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic became a National Ambassador for Serbia in 2005. As an international basketball star and head coach of the Serbian national team, Aleksandar supports UNICEF’s fundraising and programmes, particularly on the prevention of violence against children . Ana Ivanovic Serbia, Ana Ivanovic, Retired tennis champion Ana Ivanovic became a National Ambassador in 2007. She supports UNICEF’s fundraising and programmes, and promotes UNICEF’s values and ideals. She has been particularly active on the prevention of violence against children at school and online. Gülsin Onay Turkey, Gülsin Onay, The renowned pianist Gülsin Onay is the longest serving National Ambassador for UNICEF in Turkey, appointed in 2003. She is actively involved in UNICEF’s fundraising activities and advocates to protect the rights of all children. Yıldız Kenter Turkey, Yıldız Kenter, A star of stage and screen in Turkey and beyond, Yıldız Kenter became a National Ambassador for UNICEF in 2007. She is actively involved in UNICEF’s fundraising activities and advocates for UNICEF’s core values and mandates. Ayşe Kulin Turkey, Ayşe Kulin, This well-known short-story writer, screenwriter and novelist became a National Ambassador for UNCEF in 2007. She promotes UNICEF's core values and takes an active role in fundraising activities. Müjdat Gezen Turkey, Müjdat Gezen, Müjdat, a stage actor, publisher, writer and founder of both a theatre company and television school, became a National Ambassador in 2007. He promotes UNICEF's core values and takes an active role in fundraising activities. Bilkent Senfoni Orkestrası Turkey, Bilkent Senfoni Orkestrası, This major symphony orchestra was appointed as a National Ambassador for UNICEF in 2009 in recognition of its efforts on behalf of children. The orchestra raised funds for victims of the İzmit earthquake in 1999 and the Pakistan earthquake in 2005, and has supported UNICEF’s campaign to improve girls’ access to education . Türkan Şoray Turkey, Türkan Şoray, This icon of Turkish cinematography holds the record for starring in more feature films than any other leading actress in Turkey. Türkan was appointed a National Ambassador in 2010. She is passionate about UNICEF's mandate and enjoys being involved in fundraising activities. Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ Turkey, Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ, Kıvanç, actor, model and former basketball player, became a National Ambassador in 2011. He has been involved in campaigns on child rights, on promoting positive attitude change towards children with disabilities and on the importance of education for children affected by emergencies . Ferhat Göçer Turkey, Ferhat Göçer, Musician and surgeon, Ferhat is well-know for combining classical and modern music. He became a National Ambassador in 2012 and is actively involved in UNICEF’s fundraising activities, as well as advocating for UNICEF’s core values and mandate. Şefika Kutluer Turkey, Şefika Kutluer, Şefika, classical flautist with the İzmir State Symphony Orchestra, became a National Ambassador in 2012. Her international performances have included a concert at the Palais des Nations in Geneva to mark the 60th anniversary of the United Nations. Tuba Büyüküstün Turkey, Tuba Büyüküstün, Tuba, a well-known actress, became a National Ambassador in 2014. She focuses on child protection for the most vulnerable children, particularly the rights of refugee and migrant children . Cedi Osman Turkey, Cedi Osman, Cedi is a Turkish professional basketball player currently for the Turkish National Team and Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In his role as a UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador, Cedi Osman will focus on youth engagement and sports.