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Press centre

Press releases and news notes

Western Europe

36,000 Child Migrants in Libya in Need of Assistance – IOM and UNICEF
TUNIS, 18 December 2017 - 36,000 migrant children are in need of assistance in Libya, figures revealed today on International Migrants Day show. Out of an estimated 400,000 migrants, nine per cent are children and, shockingly, more than 14,000 children are also unaccompanied.

UNICEF statement on suicide of 11-year-old Afghan refugee in Austria
VIENNA/GENEVA, 22 November, 2017 –  “The recent reported suicide* of an 11 year-old Afghan boy in a refugee facility in Austria is a tragic reminder that European authorities need to pay greater attention to the deep psychosocial distress facing thousands of refugee children and children on the move.

European Commission, UN agencies and governments to call for increased social protection for millions of people displaced by protracted crises
BRUSSELS, 28 September 2017 - A two-day conference beginning today in Brussels will focus on sharing innovative and practical solutions to meet the needs of millions of people caught up in humanitarian crises around the world.

At least 200 children lost at sea trying to reach Italian shores so far this year
TAORMINA, Italy, 25 May 2017 – At least 200 children have died along the dangerous Central Mediterranean migration route from North Africa to Italy so far this year – a rate of more than one child per day – according to the latest estimates from UNICEF. The updated child death figures come as leaders of G7 countries gather in Sicily, a major locus for the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe.

Number of unaccompanied or separated children arriving by sea to Italy doubles in 2016 – UNICEF
LAMPEDUSA, Italy, 13 January 2017 – Some 25,800 unaccompanied or separated children arrived to Italy by sea in 2016 – that’s more than double the 12,360 who arrived during the previous year. These children account for a staggering 91 per cent of all the 28,200 children who reached Italy’s shores in 2016 as refugees or migrants.

European Commissioners mark UNICEF’s birthday with “tiny stories” looking towards a better world for children
BRUSSELS, 16 December 2016 - A quartet of senior European Union Commissioners have joined renowned novelists Paolo Coelho, Chimamanda Adichie and some 200 other writers, poets, and bloggers to pen their hopes for the world’s children in an initiative inspired by this week’s 70th anniversary of the United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF.

School “as vital as food and medicine” for children caught up in conflict and other emergencies: EU & UNICEF
BRUSSELS / NEW YORK, 6 December 2016 – Braving the consequences of war, natural disaster and other emergencies, nearly 2 million children in 20 countries around the world have been able to continue their schooling over the past four years as a result of a partnership between the European Commission's department for humanitarian aid and civil protection and UNICEF.

UNICEF calls on Italian parliament to pass bill providing support for record number of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children
ROME/LAMPEDUSA, 27 October 2016 –UNICEF is calling on the Italian parliament to urgently pass an historic bill that would strengthen support and protection for the record number of unaccompanied and separated children – at least 20,000 – who have arrived in Italy this year. Near daily reports of migrant drownings on the Mediterranean show clearly that passage of the bill cannot come a moment too soon for children risking their lives to reach Italian shores.

UNICEF calls on European Council to address plight of refugee and migrant children
BRUSSELS, 20 October, 2016 - “This week’s meeting of the European Council in Brussels is a perfect opportunity for Europe to begin putting in place specific and measurable actions to address the needs of vulnerable refugee and migrant children.

EU-UNICEF partnership helps address learning and protection needs of children and youth affected by the Syria crisis
AMMAN, Jordan/BRUSSELS/NEW YORK, 19 September 2016 – As a new school year gets under way across the Middle East, a major injection of funds from the European Union is boosting efforts to provide learning opportunities and protection to hundreds of thousands of children and youth who have fled the Syria conflict.

“Neither safe nor sound”: Sexual exploitation, trafficking and abuse engulfing the lives of children in the camps of Calais and Dunkirk
LONDON/PARIS, 16 June 2016 – Children experience sexual exploitation, violence and forced labour on a daily basis in the camps of Northern France, according to the findings of Neither Safe Nor Sound, a new UNICEF France and UNICEF UK study.

“If you try to run, they shoot you; if you stop working they beat you. It was just like the slave trade.”
GENEVA, 14 June 2016 – More than 9 out of 10 refugee and migrant children arriving in Europe this year through Italy are unaccompanied, prompting UNICEF to warn of the growing threats of abuse, exploitation and death facing them.

UNICEF and Government of Italy agree on ways to help refugee and migrant children
ROME, 27 May 2016 – With 16,478 refugee and migrant children having arrived by sea in Italy in 2015 and more than 5,000 having entered the country already this year, UNICEF and the Government of Italy today announced a new collaboration to improve their care and protection.

UNICEF following operation in Idomeni, Greece
NEW YORK, 24 May 2016 – UNICEF is following today’s operation in Idomeni, on the Greece border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on account of the large number of children who have been living there in dire conditions (there were approximately 3,600 children in Idomeni in mid-May).

Unaccompanied refugee and migrant children in urgent need of protection, warns UNICEF
GENEVA, 6 May 2016 –– UNICEF today called for urgent measures to protect unaccompanied refugee and migrant children in Europe – who are at serious risk of abuse, trafficking and exploitation and whose number reached a record of more than 95,000 last year.

UNICEF: Give children better protection under revised EU asylum procedures
BRUSSELS, 4 May 2016 - As the European Union prepares for critical talks on the rules governing applications from people seeking protection in Europe, UNICEF has called for the interests and rights of children to be given greater priority.

UNICEF urges full hearings for refugee and migrant children stranded in Greece
GENEVA, 6 April 2016 - With the process of returning refugees and migrants from the Greek islands to Turkey underway as part of the EU-Turkey agreement, UNICEF reminds States of their duty to care and protect all children and give them a full and fair hearing when deciding on their future.

New EU-Turkey agreement on refugee and migrants could leave children at risk: UNICEF
GENEVA, 22 March 2016 – UNICEF today expressed concern that the new agreement between the EU and Turkey, which comes into effect this week, does not address the pressing humanitarian needs of 19,000 refugee and migrant children stranded in Greece.

FC Barcelona, UNICEF mark 10 years of partnership for children and look ahead to next 4 years
BARCELONA, 25 February 2016 – FC Barcelona and UNICEF renewed their commitment to the most vulnerable children today, signing a new 4-year agreement. The renewal comes as the two organizations mark the 10-year anniversary of a partnership that already has helped improve the lives of over 1 million children in seven countries.

Government of Germany and UNICEF join forces for refugee and migrant children in Germany
BERLIN, Germany, 14 December 2015 – With more than 300,000 refugee and migrant children having entered Germany this year, UNICEF and the Government of Germany today announced a new partnership aimed at improving their care and protection.

UNICEF: Major spike in number of refugee and migrant children on the move in Europe
GENEVA, 13 November 2015 – With record numbers of child refugees and migrants – 700 a day seeking asylum in Europe – UNICEF has identified five groups of vulnerable children and is mobilizing tailored actions to meet their needs.

UNICEF launches new appeal to support refugee and migrant children in Europe
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 25 September – UNICEF is appealing for US$14 million to assist refugee and migrant children in Europe, following an 80 per cent increase in the number of children on the move into the continent – many escaping conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

UNICEF response to EU summit on refugee and migrant crisis
NEW YORK/GENEVA/BRUSSELS, 23 September 2015 – "UNICEF welcomes the recognition by the EU that the best interests of children are paramount in their relocation within the EU and that the special needs of children for health care and protection should be a primary concern.

UNICEF: Refugee and migrant children in Hungary “need to be treated with dignity”
NEW YORK, 18 September 2015 - "UNICEF is in touch with the Government of Hungary's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York to discuss how refugee and migrant children can be adequately protected in line with the country’s commitments to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The World Council of Churches and UNICEF sign global partnership to promote children’s rights
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 18 September 2015 – The World Council of Churches (WCC) and UNICEF signed a partnership today pledging to work together to support children’s rights, with special initial focus on two major issues: violence against children and climate change. 

UNICEF urges European leaders to quickly turn new commitments for refugees and migrants into action for children
NEW YORK, 11 September 2015 - UNICEF welcomes increasing commitments by European leaders to support refugees and migrants – commitments that should now trigger urgent action by all EU Member States to fully protect children.

Child refugee crisis in Europe will only grow if humanitarian needs in Syria and the region are not met, warns UNICEF
NEW YORK, 10 September 2015 – The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe will only worsen if greater efforts are not made to end the protracted conflict in Syria and address the humanitarian needs of the millions affected by the violence, says UNICEF today.

United action needed now for child refugees: UNICEF
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 5 September 2015 – Europe has a brief window of opportunity, before winter approaches, to protect and care for the tens of thousands of children seeking refuge, UNICEF said today.

“Today it’s young people’s turn to talk”
NEW YORK/BERLIN, 11 May 2015 – Today, just before the heads of state and government of the world’s leading industrialised nations meet in Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, 54 girls and boys aged 14 to 18 from the G7 states, some EU Member States and a number of developing countries are at the Federal Chancellery to present their ideas and demands and discuss how to solve the world’s most pressing problems with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal Youth Minister Manuela Schwesig.

Media Advisory: J7 International Youth Summit
NEW YORK, 6 May 2015 - J7 International Youth Summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and UNICEF Germany, ahead of the G7 Summit in Germany.

From space, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti sings #Imagine
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION/ROME, 22 December  2014 – From the vast distance of space, Italian astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, today joined the UNICEF #IMAGINE campaign, adding her voice to an expanding global chorus of John Lennon’s anthem to peace and hope, Imagine. 

Pneumonia prevention and care available for every child is key to defeat world’s #1 infectious killer of children
LONDON, UK, 12 November 2014 - Every day, more than 2,500 children under age five die of pneumonia, which is close to one million each year. This is nearly 1 in 6 of the total deaths in that age group. Today, the world commemorates the sixth annual World Pneumonia Day by calling on leaders to increase universal access for pneumonia prevention and care in order to end preventable child deaths by 2030.

2.6 million more children plunged into poverty in rich countries during Great Recession
ROME/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 28 October 2014 – A new UNICEF report shows that 2.6 million children have sunk below the poverty line in the world’s most affluent countries since 2008, bringing the total number of children in the developed world living in poverty to an estimated 76.5 million.

8 Million Europeans lend their voices in support of children in emergencies together with the EU and UNICEF
ROME Italy, 2 October 2014 –  ‘Voices of Children in Emergencies’, a joint campaign of the EU and UNICEF for children in emergencies was introduced to EU member states in Rome today during an informal meeting of the working group on humanitarian assistance of the EU Council. The ceremony was hosted by the Italian EU Presidency, taking place at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation.

Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony first to feature a Commonwealth-wide fundraiser for children
LONDON, 22 July 2014 – International singing superstar Nicole Scherzinger and cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy are two of the star-studded names who will appear in a global fundraising first at the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony on 23 July to help UNICEF save and change the lives of millions of children across the Commonwealth.

European parliamentarians mark third year of Syrian conflict and mobilize for children of Syria
STRASBOURG, France, 12 March 2014 - Leading Members of the European Parliament today joined ‘No Lost Generation’, the global initiative launched by UNICEF and other organisations to mark the third year of the Syrian conflict, with a call on world leaders to support the children of Syria.

EU and UNICEF boost their partnership to improve child and maternal health and to save more children
NEW YORK, 4 February 2014 – The European Union announced today that it has allocated €320 million ($431 million) through UNICEF to improve the health and nutrition of children and women in 15 developing countries and to help speed progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

EU Parliamentarians agree to prevent a lost generation of Syrian children
BRUSSELS, 28 January 2014 - Members of the European Parliament today committed to continue the European Union’s work in supporting children in emergencies, including efforts led by UNICEF to prevent a lost generation of children in Syria.

'Breaking Views with UNICEF' hits the airwaves
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa/NAIROBI, Kenya/FLORENCE, Italy, 16 January 2014 - UNICEF today launched a groundbreaking new TV series: Breaking Views with UNICEF. The series of 26 interviews will air on prime time television from Thursday 16 January, on E News Channel Africa, ENCA, across East and Southern Africa, and on BSkyB in the UK.

Olympiacos FC and UNICEF join forces to immunize children
PIRAEUS, Greece, 21 October 2013 - Olympiacos FC and UNICEF today launched their partnership to immunize children in countries that urgently need support. The aim of the partnership is to raise funds and awareness, both in Greece and globally, for UNICEF’s ‘100% Campaign’ to immunize children not currently reached by vaccination programmes.

FCB and UNICEF strengthen their partnership for children in four countries
Barcelona, 10 May 2012 – In an event at the stadium of the legendary football team, Barcelona FC, the FC Barcelona Foundation and UNICEF today powered up their promise to improve the lives of millions of children through sport and education.

UK Government boosts funding for UNICEF to improve children's health and education
NEW YORK, 6 March 2011 – The UK Government will almost double its core funding for UNICEF, after a recent aid review found the agency highly effective in...

Public Library of Science Medicine series on water and sanitation sends wake up call to international health community
Media advisory

Spain commits €228 million for children
MADRID, SPAIN, 9 December 2009 – UNICEF and the Government of Spain today signed a special agreement that will provide some...

The Netherlands donates $23.5 million for safe water in Sudan
KHARTOUM/JUBA, 6 November 2009 – The Dutch Government has given $23.5 million to UNICEF in Sudan which will be used to provide safe...

2009 World Water Week: "Responding to Global Changes: Accessing Water for the Common Good”
STOCKHOLM, 16 August 2009 - Access to water is becoming more challenging every year due to a rising water demand and unreliable availability...

UNICEF launches kit to help young children caught in emergencies
GENEVA, 15 July, 2009 - A new kit to help meet the developmental needs of young children affected by emergencies was launched in Geneva...

UNICEF: J8 meets G8
ROME, L’AQUILA, July 9 2009 - Fourteen young people from countries attending the G8 today called on their respective leaders to get tough with...

Junior 8 Summit 2009 - Rome Declaration
Rome Declaration

Alternative rock band The Killers and MTV EXIT collaborate to raise awareness and increase prevention of human trafficking
NEW YORK/LONDON, 6 July 2009 – In an exclusive collaboration, MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) and alternative rock band...

Ex-child soldiers: from victims of war to protagonists of peace
ROME, 23 June 2009 – Two young people, former child soldiers, who have transformed their brutal life experiences toward helping the more than...

Young leaders head for Junior 8/G8 Summit in Rome
Media Advisory

WHO and UNICEF call for strengthened risk reduction measures to protect hospitals and schools from the impact of disasters
GENEVA, 18 June 2009 – The World Health Organization and UNICEF today called on governments to strengthen risk reduction measures in four key areas...

World Day Against Child Labour marks the need to tackle the worst forms of exploitation
GENEVA, 12 June 2009 – On the tenth anniversary of the World Day against Child Labour, UNICEF joins its partners in calling for action to...

IKEA and UNICEF lighten up children’s lives in the developing world
GENEVA, 28 May 2009 – Here’s a real sunshine story! Starting in June 2009, for every SUNNAN solar powered lamp sold in IKEA...

International Health Organizations Urge more Funding for Yellow Fever Vaccine Stockpile
GENEVA/PARIS/NEW YORK, 26 May 2009 – The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision is warning...

UNICEF: Education experts meet on Child-Friendly Schools
GENEVA, 28 April 2009 – Education experts from Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) are...

Landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to threaten children
GENEVA, 3 April 2009 – Landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) continue to pose an enormous threat to children worldwide, UNICEF...

Mia Farrow calls for humanitarian access and protection to be provided immediately in all areas of Eastern Congo
GENEVA, 15 December 2008: Actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow, who’s just returned from a three day visit to the Democratic...

The Government of the Netherlands grants $13.5 million to support a programming approach to early childhood development
Den Haag, 18 April 2008 - The Government of the Netherlands has announced a grant of $13,5 million, via UNICEF, to support a programme on early childhood development in selected countries.

Myung-Whun Chung, appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
PARIS, 7 April 2008 – Myung-Whun Chung, director of Radio-France’s Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the world’s most renowned conductors...

6 in 10 Africans remain without access to proper toilet: poor sanitation threatens public health
GENEVA, 20 March 2008 – Sixty-two percent of Africans do not have access to an improved sanitation facility -- a proper toilet -- which separates human waste from human...

UNICEF says ‘Thank You’ to IKEA customers and co-workers
GENEVA, 25 February 2008 – Between 3 November and 24 December 2007, IKEA donated 1 Euro for every soft toy sold in all its stores globally...

UNICEF appeals for $856 million to aid children and women in emergencies
GENEVA, 12 February 2008 - UNICEF launched its Humanitarian Action Report (HAR) 2008 today, calling on donors to provide $856 million to assist...

New guidelines to improve psychological and social assistance in emergencies
GENEVA, 14 September 2007 - International humanitarian agencies have agreed on a new set of guidelines to address the mental health and psychosocial needs...

San Rossore 2007 Conference explores a new global vision for children and women
SAN ROSSORE PARK, Tuscany, Italy, 19 July 2007 – UNICEF joined forces with the Tuscany Region today at a conference in San Rossore under the theme: “Children and Women: Fulfilling their rights, developing their talents, advancing the Millennium Agenda.”

Irish Aid announces new Strategic Partnerships with United Nations’ development agencies
Dublin, 3 April 2007 – Conor Lenihan TD, Minister of State for Irish Aid and Human Rights, today announced new strategic partnerships with key UN development agencies. He was joined at the announcement by the Director of Emergency Programmes for UNICEF, Dan Toole.

WHO and UNICEF tackle problem of missing essential medicines for children
GENEVA,  10 August 2006 — The first international Expert Consultation on Paediatric Essential Medicines, jointly held by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, today delivered a plan to revise existing essential medicine formulations to include the right dose and presentation for children.

Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director on death of WHO chief Dr. Lee Jong-wook
NEW YORK, 22 May 2006 - "Dr. Lee was truly a champion for children’s health.  We mourn his loss and extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, loved ones and colleagues.
“Dr. Lee will be remembered for his intelligence, creativity and extraordinary commitment to improving health around the world.
“He was a great man, a brilliant leader and a wonderful friend.  He will be greatly missed.”

UNICEF commends Fuji TV for award
LUCERNE, NEW YORK,  28 April 2006 – UNICEF applauded Fuji Television as the Japanese network was honoured at the Bal d’Or tonight and will officially receive the Rose d’Or Charity Award tomorrow night for corporate philanthropy in recognition of 33 years of fundraising on behalf of UNICEF.

Criminal charge in child soldier case a milestone in protecting children
Friday’s arrest of Thomas Lubanga by the International Criminal Court, on a charge of conscripting and enlisting children and actively using them in hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, sends an important message that the international community will not tolerate the use of children in armed conflict, UNICEF said. It shows the high priority that the international community gives to combating crimes against children.

15 Years After Innocenti Declaration, Breastfeeding Saving Six Million Lives Annually
GENEVA/FLORENCE, 22 November 2005 – Six million lives a year are being saved by exclusive breastfeeding, and global breastfeeding rates have risen by at least 15 per cent since 1990, says a report released on the 15th anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding.

FAQ: “Smurfs: What’s it all about?”
In case you haven’t heard: UNICEF in Belgium has created a unique and attention-getting video message about the impact of war on children.  The 30 second TV ad – to be run free by Belgian broadcasters in the late evening hours – is part of a campaign by UNICEF in Belgium to raise awareness about the many ways conflict destroys children’s lives.

UNICEF calls Pope John Paul "great friend of children"
MANILA / NEW YORK, 2 April 2005 - UNICEF said the world's children lost one of their greatest friends today as the organization mourned the passing of Pope John Paul II.

UNICEF applauds UK pledge of £1.4 billion to educate girls in developing countries
LONDON, 26 January 2005 - UNICEF today thanked the United Kingdom for its visionary commitment to the education of girls in developing countries with its strategy to advance the work that one day will give all children a basic education.

Pledge! Fox Kids, UNICEF drive for girls' education
Friday, 4 April 2003 - Fox Kids Europe (FKE), the leading pan-European integrated children's entertainment company, today announced the launch of an online campaign to collect pledges in support of UNICEF's Go Girls! Education for Every Child campaign, a major part of UNICEF's '25 by 2005' initiative to get more girls into school in 25 priority countries by 2005. (Press release)

UNICEF thanks Italian government for 1.8 million euro donation
NEW YORK, 18 June 2004 – UNICEF today thanked the Italian government for a 1.8 million euro donation aimed at putting an end to female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), a procedure that is still performed on some 2 million girls each year.

UNICEF and H&M in partnership for girls' education and HIV/AIDS awareness
UNICEF today announced a new partnership and thanked the global fashion company H&M for its donation of $1.5 million toward UNICEF girls’ education programmes worldwide and HIV/AIDS prevention programmes in Cambodia. The donation will be given over a three-year period.

Manchester United on UN Lawn to support UNICEF’s work to end child exploitation
NEW YORK, 29 July 2003 – Surrounded by aspiring young soccer stars, manager of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson and four players will lead a soccer clinic today on the UN Lawn. The event celebrates the United for UNICEF partnership, which raised more than £1 million to support UNICEF’s programmes around the globe since 1999.

Elizabeth Gibbons delivers speech to House of Commons on child poverty report
"There are those who argue that poverty and its discontents have always been with us and always will be. Yet today, the persistence and global scale of poverty - and the grotesque inequality that underlies it – is widely recognised not only as a moral outrage, but a growing threat to world peace and stability...." (21 October)




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