Message from UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore to staff

03 June 2020

NEW YORK, 3 June 2020 – “For over 70 years, in communities around the world, UNICEF has stood up for the right that every child has to equality, health, education, opportunity, safety and dignity.

“These rights belong to every child and every person in the world equally, no matter who they are or where they live.

“We recognize that when a person is not treated with respect, dignity and equality because of their race, we all lose a piece of our humanity.

“The protests happening right now in America and across the world are recent examples. Over the last week, tens of thousands of people — especially young people — have taken to the streets around the world to shine a light on inequalities and injustices.

“Protesters are demanding an end to the racism, discrimination and inequality that oppressed people have faced for generations, in every society.  

“They’re calling for an end to the vicious cycle of hatred and violence that so often fuel and result from it.

“Most importantly, they’re reminding us that each and every day, we all have a choice to make: to choose solidarity over silence.

“Today, UNICEF is speaking out to re-affirm our commitment to racial and social justice.

“We remain committed to helping governments build systems that work for all people.

“But in our daily lives, each one of us has a role to play in ending racism, discrimination and violence.

“By speaking up when we see someone being treated unfairly because of their race.

“By teaching children that humanity has no colour – that dignity belongs to every person.

“Nelson Mandela once counselled that “love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“By treating people with the respect and dignity they deserve, we take one more step towards a better, and more fair and peaceful, world for all.”


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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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