UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean


LACVOX, Latin America and the Caribbean Voice of Children - UNICEF


The networks of adolescent communicators from different countries around the region gather under common premises - the right for children and adolescents to participate as agents of change and to have their voices be heard which in turn become UNICEF advocacy initiatives. In September 2008, the Regional Network of Adolescent Communicators, LACVOX, was created as a regional community of networks to identify opportunities to showcase and exchange local experiences and learning know-how concerning adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The network organized two contests at regional level in 2009 and 2010 to foster participation and promote the network. Each contest had different allies and themes. Indigenous populations and climate change and child labour respectively. Fundación Telefónica and Sony Inter-America were the private sector partners as well as UN ILO and UNEP.

Coordination of the Network
The network’s building block works essentially through internet communication.

A LACVOX Blog was created and is managed from the UNICEF Regional Office to link the community of networks and friends from the region´s countries. In addition to the blog, a public page in Sonico the Latin-American social network was also created (with more than 100,000 fans). Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are also part of the networks’ digital media cluster.

The flow of information to and from the network is coordinated and facilitated by a focal point at the UNICEF Regional Office. From the regional office invitations to submit reports on a particular issue in the form of media advisories are directed to LACVOX friends. Their submissions are disseminated by LACVOX to key media, as well as to other UNICEF offices, LACVOX members and friends. These media advisories intend to support specific thematic campaigns - i.e. the launching of the State of the World Children (SOWC). This year the theme of the 2011 SOWC was part of the first media advisory of the year which resulted in videos, photos and articles from children and adolescents. One of the videos received from indigenous AWA children from Colombia, was released in Peru to local children and adolescents who exchanged ideas with UNICEF regional director and Lima`s mayor.

The information flows constantly. The blog also carries instructive information on how to produce materials (videos, newsletters, etc.) and updates the readers on different events and initiatives regarding children’s rights taking place in the region. Many of the articles posted on the blog in the form of press/video notes and stories of successful experiences from adolescents are also posted onto a special page within the Regional UNICEF Site. Voices of Youth (VOY) the digital youth Site managed by UNICEF at global level, is also part of the digital media facilities supporting LACVOX reports´ dissemination.

Structure of the Network
The makeup of the network has various levels. It is a network of networks (a hub of networks), which individually can be classified in various ways. There are the networks supported by UNICEF’s country offices, which are categorized as part of the internal level. There are the adolescent communication networks supported by organizations outside UNICEF, which are categorized as part of the external level. Additionally there are adolescents who do not belong to either of these two types of networks, they are known as the independent communicators.

The ages of the adolescent communicators range between 9 to 18 years. Without any exception, all the groups have the support of an adult guidance to promote and oversee their activities.

Children and adolescent who wish to participate are most welcome to join LACVOX.

Children and adolescent participation
In 2008, the Regional Office created the LACVOX network in El Salvador. In September a group of adolescent communicators from various Latin America and Caribbean countries joined together and launched the LACVOX regional network. Approximately 27 teenagers ages 14 to 17 from UNICEF Country Offices in Barbados, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Suriname, and Venezuela participated in the Intercultural Regional Workshop for Adolescent Communicators held in El Salvador. Further on, other UNICEF country offices such as Brazil, Mexico and Argentina have joined and are supporting the network.

The agenda of the El Salvador Regional Workshop allowed adolescents to (i) exchange experiences, (ii) learn about about racism, and intercultural diversity, (iii) receive training on the production of short videos, pictures (with a rights based approach), press and radio notes, all with a regional focus incorporating multiculturalism, (iv) shape and launch the Regional Network of Adolescent Communicators officially with a sustainability visualization, (v) and lastly taking what they learned from the workshop, adolescents covered the Third Iberoamerican Forum of Governors and Mayors as their first task as the LACVOX network.


Video on the creation of the Regional Network of Adolescent Communicators

In 2011 after the dialogue held between children in Peru and the UNICEF regional director, similar activities were organized in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

 Key objectives

To foster participation in the network with their own productions in the form of videos, radio clips, press notes, or photography.

To improve their communication skills, to inform themselves and others, and to perform their role as agents of change.


To be informed by the adolescent communicators and to perceive the positive side of adolescent participation.


To input messages into UNICEF advocacy efforts for adolescent`s development and participation.


To receive from the media, social networks, UNICEF and associate websites positive information about adolescents.



Please visit the blog:: http://www.lacvox.net/  


For more information:

Andres Lopez, aalopez@unicef.org, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean.





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