Historical documents and publications
Knowledge leadership and expertise that transform children’s lives.
UNICEF research and publications have become synonymous with advocating for the rights of children. Aside from being critical vehicles that promote policy discussion and guide decision-making, they showcase our efforts and those of our partners on behalf of children.
From flagship publications to documents of historical interest, discover highlights from the archives.
The evolution (1946–2016)
Commemorating UNICEF’s steps through history, the following milestone series showcases how the cause of children has evolved since World War II. These historical reviews explore our contribution against a backdrop of rapid global changes in social, political and economic affairs.
The State of the World's Children
Thanks to our historical body of knowledge, UNICEF has an unprecedented view on The State of the World’s Children – also the name of UNICEF’s annual flagship publication that covers the most important issues affecting children, year by year.
The reports, from the first publication in 1980 to our latest, can be downloaded here.
UNICEF Annual Reports
The UNICEF Annual Report spotlights significant results achieved by UNICEF and its partners each year on behalf of children around the world.
UNICEF’s Annual Reports from 1972 to 1999 are available here. For our most recent Annual Reports, visit our Publications Hub.
World Summit for Children
The World Summit for Children was a landmark event for UNICEF and the world. Held in September 1990, 71 heads of state adopted a declaration on the survival, protection and development of children, and a plan of action for implementation in the 1990s.
The declaration and plan of action from the World Summit for Children is laid out in the booklet First Call for Children.
The Progress of Nations
The Progress of Nations charts the advances made since the 1990 World Summit for Children. Each edition challenged countries to fulfill their promises to children.
Read more and download the Progress of Nations series (1997-2000).
More selected documents
Looking for more?
Visit the UNICEF Archives to explore our collection of resources, artifacts and other materials that document UNICEF's history of protecting children's rights.
For the latest publications and reports from UNICEF, visit our Research and Reports Hub.