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UNICEF in Emergencies & Humanitarian Action

Core Commitments for Children

The Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action – the CCCs – are UNICEF’s central policy to uphold the rights of children affected by humanitarian crisis. They are a framework for humanitarian action, around which UNICEF seeks to engage with partners. The updated CCCs (April 2010) continue to promote predictable, effective and timely collective humanitarian action, and to clearly outline the areas in which UNICEF can best contribute to results. Initially developed in 1998, the current revision brings UNICEF’s overarching humanitarian policy up to date with changes in the context in which humanitarian action takes place, including new evidence and best practices, as well as humanitarian reform, in particular the Cluster Approach.

The CCCs are guided by international human rights law, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child and, in the case of complex emergencies, also by international humanitarian law. The CCCs reaffirm that advocacy to protect the rights of children and women is an integral part of humanitarian action.


The CCCs guide UNICEF’s work with partners not only in humanitarian response, but also emphasizing reliable preparedness and early recovery. The CCCs recognize that prioritizing sustainability and ownership in humanitarian response can speed up a transition from life-saving intervention to self-initiated recovery actions by affected populations.

The CCCs are based on global standards and norms for humanitarian action. UNICEF’s scope of action will be adapted depending on context. UNICEF’s role may include promoting CCCs through advocacy, leadership, cluster roles, or within humanitarian country teams. In some contexts, and in sectors and geographic areas where UNICEF has a comparative advantage, UNICEF’s humanitarian response may expand beyond the CCCs. UNICEF is also committed to ensure that humanitarian action is undertaken with all rights of children and women being considered as per The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, English, French, Portuguese, Serbian, Spanish, and Russian versions of the CCCs are available here.

An e-learning tool on the CCCs in available here.



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