About UNICEF

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families.

© UNICEF/UN074437/Dormino

Our mission

© UNICEF/NYHQ1951-0006
UNICEF/NYHQ1951-0006/Unknown
Una educadora de salud de la mujer (a la izquierda, en blanco) enseña a un grupo de mujeres de un club de madres sobre el cuidado infantil, en una plaza abierta cerca de dos edificios en la ciudad de Metagalpa, Nicaragua. Cerca de allí, los niños se unen en un círculo grande para aprender sobre temás básicos de salud mientras juegan.
© UNICEF/UN04211
UNICEF/UN04211/Unknown
En 1961, en Guatemala, los niños de preescolar de una aldea reciben la primera de las dos raciones diarias de leche enviadas por UNICEF, lo que ayudará a protegerlos contra la malnutrición.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

In all of its work, UNICEF takes a life-cycle based approach, recognizing the particular importance of early childhood development and adolescence.

UNICEF programmes focus on the most disadvantaged children, including those living in fragile contexts, those with disabilities, those who are affected by rapid urbanization and those affected by environmental degradation.

UNICEF was created with a distinct purpose in mind: to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. We advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.

We involve everyone in creating protective environments for children. We are present to relieve suffering during emergencies, and wherever children are threatened, because no child should be exposed to violence, abuse or exploitation.

UNICEF upholds the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  We work to assure equality for those who are discriminated against, girls and women in particular. We work for the Sustainable Development Goals and for the progress promised in the United Nations Charter. We strive for peace and security. We work to hold everyone accountable to the promises made for children.

We are part of the Global Movement for Children – a broad coalition dedicated to improving the life of every child.  Through this movement, and events such as the United Nations Special Session on Children, we encourage young people to speak out and participate in the decisions that affect their lives.