Frequently asked questions

Read the FAQs on various categories.

A mother giving her baby water from a water pipe.

End violence

Q: What is physical violence?

A: Physical violence against children includes all corporal punishment and all other forms of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as well as physical bullying and hazing by adults or by other children. ‘Corporal’ (or ‘physical’) punishment is defined as any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light. Most involves hitting (‘smacking’, ‘slapping’, ‘spanking’) children with the hand or with an implement – a whip, stick, belt, shoe, wooden spoon, etc. But it can also involve, for example, kicking, shaking or throwing children, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling hair or boxing ears, caning, forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions, burning, scalding or forced ingestion.

Q: What do you mean by sexual violence?

A: Sexual violence comprises any sexual activities imposed by an adult on a child against which the child is entitled to protection by criminal law. This includes: (a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful or psychologically harmful sexual activity; (b) The use of children in commercial sexual exploitation; (c) The use of children in audio or visual images of child sexual abuse; and (d) Child prostitution, sexual slavery, sexual exploitation in travel and tourism, trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation (within and between countries), sale of children for sexual purposes and forced marriage. Sexual activities are also considered as abuse when committed against a child by another child if the offender is significantly older than the victim or uses power, threat or other means of pressure. Consensual sexual activities between children are not considered as sexual abuse if children are older than the age limit defined by the State Party.

Q: What is intimate partner violence?

A: Intimate partner violence includes any physical, sexual or emotional abuse perpetrated by a current or former partner within the context of marriage, cohabitation or any other formal or informal union.

Open defecation

Q: What is open defecation? How prevalent is the practice of Open Defecation in India?

A: Open defecation refers to the practice whereby people go out in the open rather than using the toilet to defecate. The practice is rampant in India and the country is home to the world’s largest population of people who defecate in open. Over 620 million people, over half the population in India, defecate in open. India accounts for 90 per cent people in South Asia and 59 per cent of the 1.1 billion people in the world who practice open defecation.

Q: If open defecation has such negative consequences on health, dignity and empowerment, why does more than half of India defecate in open?

A: Open defecation is a well-established traditional practice deeply ingrained from early childhood. Sanitation is a socially unacceptable topic and as a result, is not discussed. Consequently, open defecation has persisted as a norm for many Indians. Other reasons that can be cited for its persistence include poverty (the inability to afford toilets), landlessness, tenants in housing without toilets (usually urban), and of course cultural and social norms that have established open defecation as acceptable practice. There is also a strong belief that children’s faeces are harmless which is untrue as often child faeces carry higher pathogen loading than adults. As a result, children’s faeces are often disposed of in the environment, either close to dwellings or in open drains. No wonder creating a norm around Open Defecation Elimination (ODE) is a big challenge in country. 

Work with us

Q: What are the job areas UNICEF is hiring?

A: Administration, Operations, Finance, Human Resources, Supply/Procurement, Logistics, IT/Information Systems, Legal/Policy, Monitoring/Evaluation, Policy Advocacy /Partnerships, Child Protection, Education, Early Childhood Development, Health/Nutrition, HIV/AIDs, Water & Sanitation, Fund-Raising.

Q: What are the various staff categories?

A: International Professional (IP) staff are recruited internationally and serve in all duty station globally. They hold leadership, managerial or specialist functions which require a level of technical expertise. Senior staff or Director level positions are also part of this category. For details, please refer General Service (GS) staff are locally recruited and provide administrative and support services across all areas of the organization and in all locations. National Officer (NO) staff are nationals of the country in which they perform functions of technical and professional nature. National Officers are recruited locally.

Q: What are the various contract types?

A: UNICEF offers various employment contracts based on the needs of the Organization. In India, at present UNICEF offers the following contract types: Fixed-Term Appointment: Fixed-Term or regular appointment – typically for a period of two years, renewable subject to the needs of the organization. You will be a UNICEF staff. Fixed-Term contracts can be issued in three categories of staff: International Professional, National Officer and General Service categories. Temporary Appointment: Temporary appointments are time-limited appointments issued for less than one year to meet specific short-term requirements, including in response to emergencies. Temporary Appointments can be issued in all three categories of UNICEF staff. Staff members recruited under a temporary appointment modality receive full salary but slightly reduced benefits. Consultancies: UNICEF also hires individuals for consultancies to accomplish, within a specified period of time, a defined task for which the necessary expertise is not readily available within the organization.

Q: What are the competencies candidate should possess for a post?

A: UNICEF requires high technical competencies in respected fields. UNICEF recognizes that, not only is it essential to assess a person’s technical competence for a particular role, but that it is equally important to assess their behavioural fit for that role and their cultural fit within the organization. The selection of staff will be guided by UNICEF’s competency model. Core values should be held by all UNICEF staff. Competencies are sets of behaviors that are essential for the delivery of results for UNICEF. Core Values shared across all UNICEF staff include: Diversity and Inclusion, Integrity, and Commitment. Our core competencies are: Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. Expected proficiency in these areas varies by job level. Functional competencies also vary based on the functional area of a position. Please refer to the vacancy announcement of a position to learn about the required competencies. You can click on the following document for a detailed description of each UNICEF core value and competency.

Q: What is the salary scale for a specific post?

A: Staff members in the National Officer and General Service categories are paid a salary based on a local salary scale which is reviewed periodically. Following link provides more information: 

Q:What are the various benefits and entitlements for a staff member?

A: Employees’ benefit from family friendly, work-life, and diversity policies, and UNICEF is committed to maintaining a balanced gender and geographical representation. Other Benefits and entitlements include: Tax exemption Salaries, grants and allowances paid by the United Nations are normally exempt from income tax. Allowances and benefits You may be entitled to other allowances and benefits including: Family allowances if you have eligible dependent children. Holidays and leave Depending on your contract, you will be entitled to 30 days to 18 days of vacation per year. In addition, UNICEF offers Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, Paid sick leave, etc. UNICEF also observes 10 paid holidays per year; these differ from field office to field office. Health insurance You will be eligible to participate in one of the UNICEF-sponsored medical insurance plans. The monthly premiums are co-shared by yourself and the Organization. Retirement pension If you have an appointment of six months or more or complete six months of service without an interruption you become a participant in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSP). A compulsory contribution will be deducted from your monthly salary.

Q: What action should be taken if someone receives a fictitious vacancy announcements or an offer of appointment or training?

A: UNICEF is currently aware of fictitious vacancy announcements that are being circulated through the internet, the purpose of which is to get people to register for employment or training and send in a fee. If you believe that you have received such a notice, you are kindly requested to check the authenticity of e-mails, letters or telephone communication purportedly from, for, or on behalf of the United Nations or its officials, and if you believe the information therein is fraudulent, send a fraud alert e-mail through: For additional information on the issue, please visit


Q: What are UNICEF publications?

A: UNICEF publications play a critical role in fulfilling the organization’s mandate to advocate for the rights of children. They provide vehicles for UNICEF to engage in policy discourse and influence decision-making, profile efforts by UNICEF and its partners on behalf of children, and showcase UNICEF’s knowledge leadership and expertise. UNICEF’s annual flagship publication, The State of the World’s Children, covers the most important issues affecting children in the world today. This research-based advocacy report also presents the latest available statistics on child survival, development and protection for the world’s countries, territories and regions; these are presented in statistical tables, a standard feature of the publication. The report was first published as The Situation of Children in the Developing World in 1979, the International Year of the Child. The publication took its current title, The State of the World’s Children, the following year.

Q: In which languages are UNICEF publications available?

A: The links on the webpage for the publication will display available language versions. Many of our publications are available in English, French and Spanish. UNICEF offices and National Committees also translate materials into local languages. For specific local language needs, visit the UNICEF country office website at, or the UNICEF National Committees website at

Q: How can I print or download a publication?

A: To download or print a PDF file, your computer must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Once the PDF file is launched, click on the save or print function. Note that some reports are quite large, and some computers or printers may have difficulty processing them.

Q: May I freely reuse text from UNICEF publications?

A: UNICEF encourages the use of its publications for educational and informational purposes, but all UNICEF publications are protected by copyright laws and regulations. For this reason, written permission from UNICEF is required to reproduce a UNICEF publication, in whole or in part and in any format or means of delivery, including print or electronic. Permission requests from governmental and non-governmental organizations, educational and research institutions, and individuals working for non-commercial purposes are granted free of charge. Commercial publishers might be requested to make a small financial contribution. For permission to reproduce publications of the Division of Communication, please contact: Publications Section 3 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA Tel: +1 (212) 326-7434 Email: For permission to reproduce publications of other UNICEF offices or divisions, please contact those offices or divisions. Contact information is listed for each publication.

Q: How do I cite a UNICEF publication?

A: To cite UNICEF publications for which permission has already been received, the following standard credit line should be included in all cases. Author name/s [individual or institutional], Full title of the publication [heading and subheading], Department name [if available], Publisher [UNICEF], city of publication, date [month and year, as available], page number/s. Reprinted with the permission of UNICEF. For example: United Nations Children’s Fund, Progress for Children: A report card on adolescents, No. 10, UNICEF, New York, April 2012. Reprinted with the permission of UNICEF. Please contact UNICEF publications via email.


Q: Why is imperative for India to get rid of Open Defecation?

A: Open defecation poses serious threat to health of children in India. The practice is the main reason India reports the highest number of diarrhoeal deaths among children under-five in the world. Every year, diarrhoea kills 188,000 children under five in India. Pathogens in excreta find their way back to people causing diseases. Children weakened by frequent diarrhoea episodes are more vulnerable to malnutrition, stunting, and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia. About 43 per cent of children in India suffer from some degree of malnutrition. Diarrhoea and worm infection are two major health conditions that affect school age children impacting their learning abilities. More importantly, open defecation also puts at risk the dignity of women in India. Women feel constrained to relieve themselves only under the cover of dark for reasons of privacy to protect their dignity. However, this exposes women to the danger of sexual attacks and encounters such as snake bites. Poor sanitation also cripples national development: workers produce less, live shorter lives, save and invest less, and are less able to send their children to school.

Q: What is Anaemia?

A: Human blood contains a red pigment called haemoglobin which carries oxygen into the lungs and to different parts of body. For making haemoglobin red, strong and healthy, it chiefly needs iron, folic acid, vitamin C, protein and vitamin B12 – these are essential nutrients which our body cannot make on its own and need to be taken in our food, deficiency of these nutrients in diet leads to decreased concentration of haemoglobin making it thin and pale in colour. When haemoglobin concentration is lower than the levels considered normal for the persons age and sex groups this is called Anaemia. Decreased haemoglobin concentration leads to less supply of oxygen to different parts of the body which results in the malfunctioning of body cells and organic systems. Out of all these nutrients, Anaemia due to deficiency of iron is more common. Among all Anaemia, iron deficiency Anaemia is found in more than 50 per cent of the cases. Anaemia, like fever is a manifestation, not a disease, the most common cause being iron deficiency. The other causes are deficiency in other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, B, folic acid and zinc, malaria and worm infections.

Q: Why is Anaemia a problem?

A: India has the largest number of young people aged 10-19 years in the world – 243 million out of 1.2 billion. This age group – referred as adolescents - comprise one-fourth of India’s population and are key drivers of India’s future economic growth. However, 56 per cent of girls and 30 per cent of boys in the age group of 15-19 years in India suffer from Anaemia. This means that 1 out of 2 young girls and 1 out of 3 young boys are anemic. In Haryana, 58 per cent of adolescent girls and 26 per cent of adolescent boys are anemic. Anaemia is eroding the mental and physical capacity of young boys and girls, retarding their physical development, making them fatigued and breathless, and adversely affecting their memory and energy to perform daily tasks. Adolescent marriage and pregnancy is still prevalent in India, particularly rural India. Anaemia in girls during pregnancy is increasingly their risk to give birth to babies with low birth weight and resulting in complications during birth. Research shows that after the first year of life, adolescence is the second highest growth spurt period. Adolescents if fed and cared well, gain up to 50 per cent of their adult weight, more than 20% of their adult height, and 50% of their adult skeletal/bone mass during this period. A country whose young boys and girls should have been marching ahead get robbed of their capacity to achieve their physical and mental potential due to Anaemia.

Q: What causes iron deficiency?

A: Iron stored in the body is utilized when the amount of iron required by the body is more than that absorbed from the intestine. If this condition continues longer, then iron stores become depleted and deficiency of iron develops in blood. Generally Anaemia develops due to less intake of iron in our food or hindrance in the absorption of iron from food due to any reason. Besides this, Anaemia results when there is blood loss during heavy, delivery injury and surgery and there are Hook worms/round worms’ in intestine and in case of Malaria, during which breakdown of hemoglobin takes place.

Q: Why are adolescents prone to iron deficiency?

A: During adolescence, there is rapid increase in height and weight and sexual maturation. Also for adolescent girls, menstruation begins –leading to blood loss each month. To cope with these additional demands, there is an increased requirement of iron. If it isn’t available, young girls suffer from iron deficiency and this leads to.

Q: How does it affect an anaemic person?

A: Simple exercises like playing games, walking, climbing stairs etc. make an anaemic person feel out of breath and tired. Even small work at home can lead to tiredness. reduces the ability to memorise and learn. You fall sick often and cannot concentrate while working or remember what you have learnt. This reduces academic success. Children with have more than twice the risk of scoring below average in math tests. Anaemic children often fall sick leading to absenteeism from school. in girls during pregnancy is associated with giving birth to anaemic as well: it’s a vicious cycle, low birth weight babies and affecting their own survival during delivery.

Q: How can we prevent it?

A: Eating foods rich in iron like Palak, Methi, Sarasia, Suva Ni Bhaji, Ajman Na Pan Bajra, Khajur, meat, fish, eggs and taking Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablets once a week, is an effective means of keeping away. Along with the above diet, deworming tablets need to be taken once in six months to prevent in adolescents. Tea and coffee two hours before and after meal should be avoided as it inhibits absorption of iron into the body. Vitamin C rich food i.e. citrus fruits like Amla, Guava, Ber, Oranges, lemon should be taken along with meal containing iron as it improves iron absorption.

Q: Is the iron tablet a magic pill to prevent iron deficiency?

A: Yes. This is because iron from a vegetarian diet is not effectively absorbed. Adolescent boys and girls should take it once a week. This is not a medicine but a nutrient, which you get from food. As the requirement of this nutrient is more and can’t be met by diet, it is supplemented in form of tablet.

Q: What are the side effects of having an iron tablet?

A: When the iron tablet is taken for the first time, the body may find it little difficult to digest and you may have symptoms such as stomach ache and nausea. However if we take the iron tablet after food, the absorption will be little low but stomachache and nausea will not occur. These side effects disappear once you take the tablet regularly for a few weeks as the body adjusts to the iron tablets. Some people may complain about black stools, but they are totally harmless. The body takes the iron it needs and the extra iron comes out of body through faces. To avoid any side effects you should never take the tablet on an empty stomach. Taking any vitamin or nutrient is never restricted during an illness. In fact it helps you to recover fast from your illness by improving immunity of the body.

Q: How to take IFA tablet –Do’s

A: Take single tablet • Swallow the tablet • Eat on full stomach • Have one glass of water after having the tablet

Q: How to take IFA tablet –Don’ts

A: • Don’t chew • Don’t crush • Don’t break • Don’t take on empty stomach • Don’t take with milk.


Q: Where can I find bidding opportunities?

A: National -

International -

Q: How can I find out about the status of a bid I submitted?

A: Please contact email ID, as per bidding announcement.

Q: How can I contact UNICEF India Procurement Section?

A: Please send your queries to ‘’

Q: Where can I send feedback and complaints?

A: Please send your queries / suggestions / complaints at