Read about UNICEF’s position on current issues affecting children
Prevention and response to sexual exploitation and abuse and harassment
UNICEF is committed to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse. Child safeguarding, including preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, is an issue at the core of our programmes for children and at the top of UNICEF’s agenda...
Ending violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people
United Nations entities call on States to act urgently to end violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) adults, adolescents and children...
Since the 1960s, there has been an increase in the number of inter-country adoptions. Concurrent with this trend, there have been growing...
Ready-to-use therapeutic food for children with severe acute malnutrition
UNICEF supports community-based management of acute malnutrition with ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF). The organization is the primary global procurer of RUTF, therapeutic milk and other essential products for treating severe acute malnutrition, and also provides technical support to governments and non-governmental organizations on their application and use.
Arsenic contamination in groundwater
Dangerous levels of arsenic have been detected in the groundwater in at least 70 countries and could affect more than 140 million people. Arsenic contamination of drinking water is invisible, tasteless and odorless and the effects of ingestion are not apparent in the short term. Continued exposure to high levels of arsenic from drinking water and food can lead to arsenicosis, a painful and debilitating skin condition. It can also dramatically increase the risks of morbidity and mortality from cancers and heart, lung, kidney and liver diseases...
Eliminating discrimination against children and parents based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity
All children, irrespective of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, have the right to a safe and healthy childhood that is free from discrimination. The same principle applies to all children irrespective of their parents’ sexual orientation or gender identity. Both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights make clear that human rights are universal. No person — child or adult — should suffer abuse, discrimination, exploitation, marginalization or violence of any kind for any reason, including on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Similarly, no person should be denied any of their universal human rights, freedoms and basic opportunities.
Protection of children from the harmful impacts of pornography
Pornographic content can harm children. Exposure to pornography at a young age may lead to poor mental health, sexism and objectification, sexual violence, and other negative outcomes. Among other risks, when children view pornography that portrays abusive and misogynistic acts, they may come to view such behaviour as normal and acceptable.
Children's rights and surrogacy.
Children born through surrogacy have the same rights as all children under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Regardless of individual State positions on surrogacy, all States have a duty to protect the human rights of all children born through surrogacy without discrimination, including ensuring appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks exist at the national level to protect and promote their rights.
Resources for the press
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Learn more about Catherine Russell, who became UNICEF's 8th Executive Director on 1 February 2022.