Communication and Advocacy
We communicate and advocate to realize the rights of every child, especially the most marginalized, in South Asia
More and more countries in South Asia are moving towards upper-middle income status. As such, driving change for children will rely less and less on direct service delivery in the coming years and decades, and more on more on building child-centred policy environments.
As the region grows and transitions, and as more stakeholders compete for attention in an increasingly information-saturated region, it will be critical to ensure that child rights remain a topmost concern of decision-makers and partners. Continuous advocacy with partners and children themselves will therefore be essential to ensure all boys and girls in South Asia grow up in safe and clean environments, and are healthy, well nourished, and educated.
A key cohort with extraordinary potential to continue shaping the region’s child rights’ agenda for decades to come are the region’s adolescents and children (616 million). Ensuring the voices of South Asia’s increasingly civic minded and digitally connected children and young people are heard and taken seriously has the potential to influence the trajectory of the region and its policies for children.
The ongoing digital transformation of South Asia is opening a range of opportunities for its citizens, especially for younger generations, though efforts must be accelerated to improve digital access and literacy among girls and marginalized groups to ensure they are not left behind.
South Asia – especially Bangladesh, Pakistan and India - is where the next billion internet users are expected from. It is already the second most digitally connected region in the world - 46% of the South Asian population are internet users. The pandemic saw spikes in the growth of the internet and social media use, with mobiles now becoming the first screen for accessing the news, as opposed to TVs. Much of the region’s expected digital growth will be driven by children and young people.
The shifting social-political and economic dynamics in the region are opportunities to drive long-lasting policy change for children.
Our vision is to:
Increasingly leverage our unique convening power to bring together leaders around the child rights agenda.
Leverage evidence generation to drive bold, data-driven public advocacy and communications, with a focus on strategic media engagement.
Adopt an increasingly audacious, audience-led approach to building digital reach and engagement, including providing families with the information they want, where they want it.
Tap into the demographic dividend and harness the power and authenticity of youth-led advocacy.
Engage and connect the intrinsic passion, commitment, and talents of UNICEF personnel.
What UNICEF is doing
Advocacy with decision-makers on increased action for children and shifting public perceptions, sentiment, and policy in South Asia
ROSA’s Regional Office Management Plan 2022-2025 puts clear emphasis on data and evidence generation, as the foundation to influencing decision-makers and other stakeholders in South Asia moving forward.
UNICEF generates and leverages data for children and its bold public voice to engage directly with decision-makers to effect positive change for children at the upstream level, and supports and enables children and young people to conduct their own advocacy.
Strategic collaboration with media to expand quality reporting on children’s rights
UNICEF works with media to highlight the disproportionate impact on children of conflict, pandemic surges and climate-related disasters, while underlining the need to protect children’s health, education, nutrition, protection and access to safe water and sanitation.
UNICEF proactively engages with journalists through:
Regional and global press releases and statements on emergencies and humanitarian crises, as well as the release of new data and research on children.
Regular story ideation and data interpretation
Thought-provoking OpEDs and exclusive media interviews
Digital influence and engagement with digital communities
UNICEF South Asia runs 5 social media channels - reaching over 2.5 million daily. Entertaining content taps into new youth audiences and engages them in lifesaving behaviors which can help protect them and their peers, while decision-makers and media are reached with new data and analysis.
Global Advocacy Priorities
To engage decision makers and the public to create demand for stronger and more resilient health systems that deliver equal access to primary health care, full immunization and good nutritional support
To ensure all students return to the classroom and have tailored support to catch-up on lost learning, focusing on foundational literacy and numeracy and closing the digital divide.
To secure investment and action to support families and communities to bring an end to neglect, abuse and childhood traumas that drive poor mental health and life outcomes.
Water & Climate
To work with and for children to tackle environmental degradation and climate change, so they have access to clean water, clear air, and a safe and sustainable environment.
Last update: August 2022