Find legal information and policies related to UNICEF's digital communications.
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UNICEF offers its information on the Internet essentially for the benefit of individuals interested in its efforts to uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to protect and promote the well-being of children and to foster human development.
If you wish to mirror, reproduce, republish or translate any of the information for wider dissemination, please make use of the copyright permission option on our feedback form with details of such proposed use, including the nature and size of the intended audience. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org regarding the use of UNICEF publications issued in New York.
UNICEF reserves all copyrights on material on its Web pages, including photographs and graphic designs. In the case of some publications, UNICEF has licensed the rights to third parties.
The use of UNICEF Internet material for any purpose, including repackaging in hard copy or compilation for CD-ROM or any other electronic media, is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained.
The unauthorized use of the UNICEF name and logo is against international law and is expressly forbidden.
Information disclosure policy
1. This Executive Directive establishes the Information Disclosure Policy of the United Nations Children’s Fund (‘UNICEF’).
2. UNICEF is committed to making information about its programmes and operations available to the public. UNICEF considers public access to information a key component of effective participation of all stakeholders, including the public, in the achievement of its mandate. UNICEF recognises that there is a positive correlation between transparency, including through information-sharing, and public trust in UNICEF-supported development work and humanitarian response.
3. UNICEF management is accountable to the UNICEF Executive Board, which is comprised of United Nations Member States and is a part of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. UNICEF management considers that public access to UNICEF information further facilitates UNICEF’s transparency and accountability.
4. This Information Disclosure Policy (this ‘Policy’) is intended to ensure that information concerning UNICEF programmes and operations is available to the public, subject to the limitations set out in this Policy. As stated in the Report on the Accountability System at UNICEF, UNICEF Executive Board document E/ICEF/2009/15 (the ‘Accountability Report’), ‘UNICEF will make available reliable and timely information about existing conditions, decisions and actions relating to the activities of the organisation, in an accessible, visible and understandable fashion, unless the information is deemed confidential.’ (¶ 14(g)).
Definition of ‘information’
5. For purposes of this Policy, ‘Information’ means any produced content, whatever its medium (paper, electronic or sound, visual or audiovisual recording), concerning a matter relating to the policies, activities and decisions of UNICEF.
Scope of this policy
6. This Policy applies to all Information in the possession of UNICEF.
General principle of access to information
7. Information should be accessible and disclosed, subject to the limitations set forth in this Policy.
Accessibility of information
8. Information accessible to the public shall be made available, as much as possible, reasonable and practical, on one or more of the UNICEF public-access websites or websites of the United Nations System (such as the public-access websites maintained by a United Nations Country Team for any particular country). A selected list of Information publicly presently available (or being made available on an on-going basis) through various means, including through the UNICEF global website and individual UNICEF Country Office websites or UN Country Team websites, is listed in Annex A.
Restricted access to information
9. The Policy excludes data that exist in raw form, either physically or electronically. UNICEF is not in a position to respond to requests that require the selection and/or manipulation of data to produce content.
10. Confidential Information is not subject to disclosure. The Accountability Report (¶2), approved by the UNICEF Executive Board, requires the following categories of information to be classified as ‘Confidential Information’:
- Information received from or sent to third parties, with an expectation of confidentiality;
- Information whose disclosure is likely to endanger the safety or security of any individual, violate his or her rights, or invade his or her privacy;
- Information whose disclosure is likely to endanger the security of Member States or prejudice the security or proper conduct of any operation or activity of the organisation;
- Information covered by legal privilege or regulatory proceedings, or that subjects the organisation to an undue risk of litigation, or is related to internal audits and investigations;
- Internal inter-office or intra-office documents, including e-mails and draft documents;
- Commercial information, if disclosure would harm either the financial interests of the organisation or those of other parties involved;
- Information which the organisation believes would, if disclosed, seriously undermine a policy dialogue with a Member State or an implementing partner; and
- Other kinds of Information which, because of its content or the circumstances of its creation or communication, must be deemed confidential.
The definition of ‘Confidential Information’ should be understood in a way that favours disclosure as much as possible without contravening this Policy.
11. If only a part of the Information that is responsive to a particular request for disclosure is subject to one of the limitations set out in this Policy, UNICEF may decide, at its discretion, that the remaining part of the Information, responsive to that request, will be disclosed, and will take appropriate measures to preserve the confidentiality of the Information that is not disclosed.
12. Decisions of the UNICEF Executive Board, and other UNICEF or United Nations policies, procedures or practices, may contain Information disclosure limitations. This includes but is not limited to UNICEF Executive Board decision 2009/8 on disclosure of UNICEF internal audit reports only to Member States. Nothing in or relating to this Policy will be deemed in any way to abridge, modify or abolish the application of those UNICEF Executive Board decisions, or other UNICEF or United Nations policies, procedures or practices.
Privileges and immunities of the United Nations including UNICEF
13. Nothing in or relating to this Policy will be deemed a waiver, express or implied, of any of the privileges and immunities of the United Nations, including its subsidiary organs, pursuant to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 1946, or otherwise. Without limiting the generality of the previous sentence, the disclosure of Information in response to a request for disclosure, will not constitute a waiver, express or implied, of any of the privileges and immunities of the United Nations, including its subsidiary organs, pursuant to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 1946, or otherwise.
Processing of information requests
14. Any person or organisation may request the disclosure of UNICEF’s non-Confidential Information that is not otherwise available through UNICEF public-access websites or websites of the United Nations System.
15. Information requests should be handled by the head of the relevant UNICEF country or regional office, or headquarters Division or office. All media enquiries should be handled by the UNICEF communications staff.
16. The UNICEF official responsible for handling a request for Information that may be Confidential should seek guidance from the UNICEF Legal Counsel in the Office of the Executive Director, New York Headquarters and, as appropriate, the Director, Supply Division Copenhagen (where the request relates to vendor relations or procurement issues) or the Director, Division of Human Resources New York Headquarters (where the request relates to human resource issues).
17. All Information requests will be handled promptly. The requestor should expect to receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the request within ten (10) working days (in New York). Depending on the complexity of the request, UNICEF will endeavour to handle all requests within thirty (30) days after the acknowledgment of receipt is sent. For information requests that involve the reproduction of material, UNICEF may charge a fee for material and labor cost, which will be communicated to the requestor and will need to be paid in advance.
18. UNICEF may partially or wholly deny a request, as follows:
- In accordance with the limitations set out or referred to in this Policy;
- If the request is deemed by UNICEF to be an excessive demand upon UNICEF’s resources; or
- If the request, in the judgment of UNICEF, appears to be frivolous.
19. If a request is denied, the requestor may seek the review of the decision by addressing a letter to the UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for Management. The Deputy Executive Director for Management will review the handling of the request for Information and make a determination on how to proceed. That review should normally be completed within sixty (60) days of being requested. The outcome of the review will be communicated to the requestor and there will be no requirement for providing a detailed explanation of the outcome of the review.
Reproduction of information
20. The implementation of this Policy will be subject to existing rules on intellectual property and other proprietary rights including, but not limited to, patents, copyrights, and trademarks, which may, inter alia, limit a third party’s right to reproduce or exploit information.
21. This document will be available in the working languages of UNICEF: English, French, and Spanish. This document may also be made available in the other official languages of the United Nations at a later time.
22. No representation is made or warranty given, express or implied, as to the completeness or accuracy of Information made available by UNICEF. The requestor shall apply discretion when using the Information made available by UNICEF. UNICEF will not be liable for any direct or indirect loss arising from the use of the Information.
23. The UNICEF Information Security Policy, promulgated by Executive Directive CF/EXD/2003/23, is hereby abolished.
24. The Policy shall enter into force on the date this Executive Directive it is issued.
Dated 16 September 2010
Linking to UNICEF
Thanks for your interest in sharing UNICEF’s message with visitors to your website!
UNICEF welcomes links from sites that share our goals of working for children’s rights, meeting children's basic needs and expanding opportunities for children to reach their full potential. By adding a link you are expressing your support for these goals.
A site that links to UNICEF’s site:
- May not contain any content which could be deemed offensive, unsuitable for children, or harmful to or exploitative of children, including content which could be considered child pornography or otherwise promoting or depicting exploitation of children for any illegal or immoral purpose.
- May link to UNICEF's content but may not copy it without special permission.
- Should not embed a UNICEF web page in a frame or create any border environment around UNICEF content.
- Should not misrepresent its relationship with UNICEF or imply that UNICEF is endorsing it or its products.
- Should not use the UNICEF logo without permission. Permission is normally granted only to authorized partners of UNICEF, i.e. those organizations with which UNICEF has an existing working relationship, which typically are NGOs, academic institutions, publishers and broadcasters, and government agencies.
- Must, if it sells any products or services, inform UNICEF and request permission to link as a commercial site.
UNICEF reserves the right to disallow links at any time (e.g. if there are contents or other links in close proximity to the UNICEF link that may be inappropriate from UNICEF’s point of view). If this is the case, the site maintainers agree to delete the link immediately.
This privacy statement describes UNICEF’s policy concerning the gathering and sharing of visitors’ information through the UNICEF web site. It applies to all “UNICEF sites” – that is, all sites within the “unicef.org” domain name. You should note that through this site you may reach or be directed to other sites that relate to UNICEF, such as the sites of our national committees (the various private charities around the world whose job is to support UNICEF); all these sites have their own privacy statements which are similar to this one but may vary slightly. By visiting the UNICEF website you are accepting the practices described in this policy.
What information does UNICEF collect?
Normal website usage
In general, you can browse the UNICEF site without telling us who you are or revealing any personal information about yourself. The only information we gather during general browsing is from standard server logs. These include your IP (Internet Protocol) address, domain name, browser type, operating system, and information such as the web site that referred you to us, the files you downloaded, the pages you visit, and the dates/times of those visits.
Collection of personally identifiable information
If you register for a newsletter, log on to certain UNICEF sites, order a book or other merchandise, request information, provide feedback, apply for a job, join a discussion group or join an electronic mailing list, you will be asked to provide personal information such as your name, postal address and e-mail address. This information is collected only with your knowledge and permission, and is kept in various UNICEF databases. If you are purchasing something on the web, you may be asked to provide your credit card details.
Joining electronic discussion groups may mean that other participants of the discussion group (including non-UNICEF employees) will see personal information that you have volunteered. For open discussion groups, this information will be public.
Special note about information from children
Several sites in the UNICEF domain are focused on children, including interactive sites such as group discussions. Some of these require user-specific information to be provided to UNICEF. We ask for the minimum amount of personal information in this case.
These parts of the UNICEF site are for children and authorized adults only and unauthorized adults are not to participate in these parts of the UNICEF site. (Obtaining user information helps us in that regard if needed.)
Children should make sure their parents, or the adults who are caring for them, know they are participating in the UNICEF sites and are providing this limited user information.
What does UNICEF do with the information it collects?
Normal web usage
The information gathered during general browsing of the “unicef.org” domain is used to analyse trends and usage of the UNICEF site and to improve the usefulness of the site. It is not connected with any personal information. However, if you have registered with UNICEF in connection with any activity on the UNICEF site, the information we collect about your normal web usage will be identifiable to you.
Personally identifiable information
UNICEF may use the personal information you provide to:
- Contact you – either in response to a query or suggestion, or to mail newsletters, documents, publications, etc. to you, and we also may provide the information to the UNICEF national committees so they can contact you as well;
- Manage and process your job application;
- Confirm your purchases and registrations on the site;
- Obtain payment for purchases through the site (via credit card);
- “Remember” your online profile and preferences;
- Help you quickly find information that is relevant to you based on your interests, and help us create site contents most relevant to you;
- Undertake statistical analysis.
What if I don’t want to provide personal information?
Providing personal information on the UNICEF web site is optional. If you choose not to provide personal information, you can still browse and use the UNICEF site, but you will not be able to carry out certain actions such as purchasing items, registering for a newsletter, or applying for a job.
Opting out and changing your information
At any time, you can cancel or modify your information by returning to the web page where you first provided the information and contacting the focal point for that page/relevant UNICEF department. Where contact details are not provided on the page, you can contact us for further information.
However, UNICEF assumes no responsibility for the security of information.
The UNICEF site contains link to sites external to the unicef.org domain. UNICEF is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such sites.
Notification of changes
Before signing a petition, you should know what information we will keep private and what information we will make public.
UNICEF believes that it is important for decision makers to know what UNICEF’s supporters think about the major development challenges facing children and their families. A powerful way to influence those decision makers is to present them with the results of petitions and similar types of actions.
To be effective, it is important to show that there are real people behind these petitions. For that reason, when you sign a petition, we treat your name and your country as public information which we can share with decision-makers. We also share this information publicly on our website to encourage other like-minded people to show their support by signing the petition. If you wish to remain anonymous, please do not sign the petition.
However, we will never publicly disclose your email address, phone number or any other personal information you share with us.
If you have checked the box to receive more information from us
If you have checked the box to receive more information from us about UNICEF’s work, including progress of the petition’s campaign, fundraising appeals and other ways you can support children, then UNICEF will use the information you have given us to contact you about subjects we think will be of interest to you. We may do that directly or through one of our UNICEF partner organizations in your country.
If you have not checked the box to receive more information from us, then we will not share your information with any other person and will only contact you (if at all) for administrative purposes.
If you are under 13 years old
If you are under 13 years old, please do not give us your personal details and do not sign the petition. Our petitions are not aimed at children under 13 and we do not knowingly solicit information of any kind from children under 13.
It is possible that by some error or fraud we receive information relating to children under 13. If we are notified of this, as soon as we verify the notification, we will immediately obtain parental consent or otherwise delete the information from our systems. If you want to notify us of our receipt of information by children under 13, please contact us.
We may share your information with selected agents or service providers, for example external contractors working to maintain our websites, for the sole purpose of helping us do our work. These partners will only act under our instruction and will not use your information for their own purposes.
If you no longer want us to contact you or hold your information
As explained above, when you sign a petition, we treat your name and country as public information. That information cannot be removed from the petition.
However, if you would like us to remove your other personally identifiable information from our systems, or if you checked the box to receive more information from us, but have changed your mind and wish to unsubscribe, please contact us. Our policy is to retain a minimum amount of information about you after you unsubscribe solely to ensure that we have a record of your decision.
More information about how we keep your information safe
You can find our more about how UNICEF keeps your information safe in UNICEF’s general privacy statement.
The UNICEF Name and Emblem
The UNICEF name and emblem are the exclusive property of UNICEF. They are protected under international law. Unauthorized use is prohibited. They may not be copied or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of UNICEF. Requests for permission should be sent to us using the copyright permission option our feedback form.
The UNICEF Web Site
The UNICEF Web Site is provided by UNICEF for personal use and educational purposes only. Any other use, including reproduction or translation of anything more than a de minimis portion of the Content of the UNICEF Web Site, or any use other than for personal or educational purposes, requires the express prior written permission of UNICEF. Requests for permission should be sent to us using the copyright permission option on our feedback form, specifying full details of the proposed use. All Content of the UNICEF Web Site is protected by law including, as applicable, copyright laws.
The use of particular designations of countries or territories does not imply any judgment by UNICEF as to the legal status of such countries or territories, of their authorities and institutions or of the delimitation of their boundaries. The mention of names of specific companies or products (whether or not indicated as registered) does not imply any intention to infringe proprietary rights, nor should it be construed as an endorsement or recommendation on the part of UNICEF.
The United Nations and UNICEF disclaim any liability or responsibility arising from the use of the UNICEF Web Site or the Content of the UNICEF Web Site. The United Nations, UNICEF, members of their staff, and their contractors, shall not be liable for any financial or other consequences whatsoever arising from the use of the Content of the UNICEF Web Site, including the inappropriate, improper, or fraudulent use of such Content.
No representations or warranties of any kind concerning the UNICEF Web Site are given, including responsibility for any infection by virus or any other contamination or by anything which has destructive properties.
Other Web Sites
The UNICEF Web Site may be linked to other web sites that are not under UNICEF's control. UNICEF provides these links merely as a convenience and the inclusion of such links does not imply an endorsement or approval by UNICEF of any web site, product or service. UNICEF does not assume any responsibility or liability in respect of such web sites, including, for example, responsibility or liability for the accuracy or reliability of any information, data, opinions, advice or statements made on those web sites.
The UNICEF Web Site may contain Working Papers or discussion drafts of UNICEF Policy Papers. Comments and responses are welcome, but these should in all cases be addressed directly to UNICEF and not uploaded to the UNICEF Web Site. These documents are provided by UNICEF as a contribution to discussion on important issues affecting children and families, and to assist UNICEF by broadening and deepening the range of the consultations engaged in by the Organization. Such documents do not represent the Organization's definitive position on the issues covered and are not to be represented as such. Working papers may not be quoted or otherwise used outside the UNICEF Web Site.
Interactive Parts of the UNICEF Web Site
The UNICEF Web Site may contain bulletin boards, chat rooms, access to mailing lists or other message or communication facilities. The user agrees, when taking advantage of such facilities, not to do any of the following: (a) defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal, moral, or human rights of others (such as rights of privacy and publicity); (b) publish, post, distribute or disseminate any defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent or unlawful material or information; (c) upload or attach files that contain software or other material protected by intellectual property laws (or by rights of privacy) unless the user owns or controls the rights thereto or has received all necessary consents; (d) upload or attach files that contain viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programmes that may damage the operation of another's computer; (e) delete any author attributions, legal notices or proprietary designations or labels in any file that is uploaded; (f) falsify the origin or source of software or other material contained in a file that is uploaded; (g) advertise or offer to sell any goods or services, or conduct or forward surveys, contests, or chain letters; or (h) download any file posted by another user that the user knows, or reasonably should know, cannot be legally distributed in such manner. UNICEF reserves the absolute right to delete any material posted to the UNICEF Web Site without notice to the user.
UNICEF accepts no responsibility or liability in respect of the conduct of any user in connection with such facilities, or for any material submitted by users and carried on the UNICEF Web Site including, for example, responsibility or liability for the accuracy or reliability of any information, data, opinions, advice or statements made in such material.
If you have any questions about this please contact UNICEF using our feedback form. Thank you.
UNICEF cookies policy
By visiting or using this website, a cookie will be created which UNICEF may use to provide statistics that help us to give you the best experience of our sites. The statement below describes our policy on cookies.
What is a cookie?
So – what is a cookie? When you enter a site your computer will automatically be issued with a cookie. Cookies are text files which identify your computer to our server. Cookies in themselves do not identify the individual user, just the computer used. Many sites do this whenever a user visits their site, in order to track traffic flows. Cookies themselves only record which areas of the site have been visited by the computer in question, and for how long. Users have the opportunity to set their computers to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time, although this of course means that certain personalised services cannot then be provided to that user. You should read the information that came with your browser software to see how you can do this. Even assuming you have not set your computer to reject cookies, you can browse our sites anonymously until such time as you register your information with UNICEF.
What do cookies tell us?
- better understand our audience and supporters, for example by estimating our audience size and patterns and tracking the level of interest in our campaigns;
- track your preferences and personalise the sites to your requirements and interests. For example: if on a previous visit you went to, say, the [Imagine Campaign] pages, then we might find this out from your cookie and highlight particular information – which you may find interesting, on a second visit;
- avoid lengthy registration/personalisation on each visit;
- display relevant promotion, communications and appeals on other websites you visit;
- improve and update our websites.
How do we collect and analyze cookies?
UNICEF does not collect and analyze the data to create cookies directly; we use a specialist service provider which both collects information on your preferences from your visits to our websites and analyzes your preferences from cookies already stored in your browser.
We obtain this information by enabling Google Analytics to analyze the traffic on our websites via "Google Advertising Cookies". Google Advertising Cookies are a series of cookies already stored in your browser that compile data from your browsing preferences. You can see the types of cookies used by Google and learn more about the different categories in the Google privacy & terms.
We may change our specialist service provider at any time without notice to you and will update this Policy as necessary at that time.
What can you do if you do not want us to use your cookies?
- Configure how we use your Google Analytics information.
- If you would like to opt out of all Google Analytics tracking services then you can install an Add-on. Find out about more about Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.
- Alternatively, you can use your browsers’ private browsing mode. Common browsers like Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer have this functionality.
How do I opt-out of the collection and use of information for promotional purposes generally?
There are many websites that provide guidance on how to opt out of the collection and use of your information for promotional purposes that are not limited to UNICEF web properties. For example:
- Google Ads settings
- Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page
- Digital Advertising Alliance’s Consumer Choice Tool
Do you share data from cookies with other organizations?
We may share your data from your cookies with partners, agents or service providers to understand our supporters more effectively and to further UNICEF’s mission.