Social policy

Vulnerable children need access to quality, integrated social protection systems, and to participate in society and realize their rights.

UNICEF SOP / 2015 / Eyad El Baba


Growing rates of poverty and unemployment in the State of Palestine have made it increasingly difficult for many Palestinians to maintain minimum standards of living, with many people unable to afford basic commodities, including food, clothing and housing. Other needs, such as health care, transportation and education are also increasingly difficult to access.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics’ 2017 household monthly consumption patterns survey, for example, shows that 29 per cent of individuals in the State of Palestine suffered poverty. The State of Palestine is, however, experiencing demographic growth patterns that provide opportunities and potential for citizen mobilization and a strong vibrant working force. Concurrently, this also brings several challenges that require strong public services to provide future generations with the skills and capacities needed to achieve success in the labor market, and to ensure that children and youth have the space needed to participate in society and to realize their rights.



The overall purpose of the UNICEF State of Palestine’s Social Protection and Inclusion Programme (SPI) is to ensure that more vulnerable children have access to quality, integrated social protection systems and are better able to participate in society and realize their rights.

This is addressed through two primary streams: 1) Ensuring the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and other institutions have increased capacity to design and implement evidence-based social policies and social protection reforms; and 2) Key actors and civil society, including children, adolescents and their families, are more aware of the needs of Palestinian children and are engaged in promoting the full realization of child rights through child participation.

UNICEF’s policy and programming work in social protection is underpinned by its support to the MoSD’s research studies. These studies inform the sector reforms currently undertaken by the MoSD, which include the introduction of case management systems and the strengthening of legal rights for care and support services for children and adults with disabilities. UNICEF’s work is also informed by the reporting process for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of Discriminations Against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which are implemented with support from UNICEF and other government, civil society and UN institutions.