09 March 2023

UNICEF's fight against sexual exploitation and abuse

Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) is an unacceptable breach of fundamental human rights and a deep betrayal of UNICEF’s core values: care, respect, integrity, trust and accountability., Definitions, SEA refers to all forms of inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature committed by United Nations (UN) personnel, including personnel of entities associated with the UN, against recipients of assistance and other members of local communities. Sexual exploitation refers to any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential…, Zero-tolerance policy, In every context in which UNICEF operates, whether in emergency or non-emergency settings, people trust development and humanitarian workers to assist and protect them. The vast majority do so with professionalism and integrity. However, some aid workers abuse their position of power through the sexual exploitation and abuse of those who depend on…, Prevention and response, UNICEF continuously strives to better tackle sexual exploitation and abuse, and to improve the safety of the people we serve, especially in settings where the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse rises. Our goal will always be zero victims of sexual exploitation and abuse, but we know that sexual violence is ubiquitous. It is harder to address an…, Report SEA, Should you become aware of credible information regarding an alleged incident of sexual exploitation or abuse, please report it directly or through the head of UNICEF’s office to  UNICEF’s Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI). If you are uncertain about whether an alleged incident is considered sexual exploitation or abuse, or…
07 September 2022

What are panic attacks?

A panic attack is an intense feeling of fear and anxiety. It often happens if people feel anxious about something happening in their life or have experienced something difficult or stressful. Panic attacks can feel very frightening, especially for children, but they can usually be stopped with treatment. It’s important to know that a panic attack…, What is a panic attack?, A panic attack is a feeling of fear and anxiety that can overwhelm us quite suddenly and is usually accompanied by intense physical symptoms such as lightheadedness, shortness of breath and a racing heart. Many children feel a sense of terror during an attack, like something bad is about to happen. These feelings can occur even when there is no…, What causes panic attacks?, It is not always clear what causes panic attacks in children or adults. What we know is feeling anxious about something or experiencing something difficult or stressful can cause a panic attack. These situations include: Anxiety caused by a difficult experience at home or school Stress about things like exams, friendships or relationships The…, Panic attacks in children and adolescents, Panic attacks often begin during adolescence, although they may start during childhood. Attacks can lead to severe anxiety, as well as affecting other parts of a child's mood or functioning. Some children begin to avoid situations where they fear a panic attack may occur. Adolescents might use alcohol or drugs to reduce their anxiety. If not…, Signs and symptoms of panic attacks, If your child experiences a panic attack, they might feel out of control with what’s going on around them, scared that their body is in danger or even like they are dying. Our bodies can react in different ways to panic attacks. Some of these reactions include:  Breathlessness, quick breathing or finding it hard to breathe  Light-headedness or a…, Ways to help your child cope, Knowing what triggers an attack is the first step in attacking panic. Ask your child how they feel and what is making them feel anxious or stressed. Are there certain situations or places that cause them to feel panicky? This knowledge can help your child think about what they can do to cope with those situations.  During a panic attack, your…, When to seek professional help, In severe cases of panic attacks, the child or adolescent may be afraid to leave home. If you notice your child showing persisting symptoms of panic attacks, it is time to seek help from your healthcare provider. Children and adolescents with symptoms of panic attacks should first be evaluated by their family doctor or pediatrician. If no other…
06 September 2022

What is depression?

All children feel low or down at times, it’s a natural part of growing up. But these emotions can be worrisome when felt intensely over long periods of time, particularly if they affect your child’s social, family and school life. Although it's hard for anyone to feel optimistic when they're depressed, depression can be treated and there are…, What is depression?, Depression is one of the most common types of mental health conditions and often develops alongside anxiety. Depression can be mild and short-lived or severe and long-lasting. Some people are affected by depression only once, while others may experience it multiple times. Depression can lead to suicide, but this is preventable when appropriate…, What causes depression?, Depression can happen as a reaction to something like abuse, violence in school, the death of someone close or family problems like domestic violence or family breakdown. Someone might get depressed after being stressed for a long time. It can also run in the family. Sometimes we may not know why it happens. >> Learn more about stress and…, Depression in children and adolescents, Depression can show up in children and adolescents as prolonged periods of unhappiness or irritability. It is quite common among older children and teenagers, but often goes unrecognized. Some children might say they feel “unhappy” or “sad”. Others might say they want to hurt or even kill themselves. Children and adolescents who experience…, Signs and symptoms of depression in kids, Depression can feel different for different children. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of depression: Physical: Tiredness or low energy, even when rested Restlessness or difficulty concentrating Difficulty in carrying out daily activities Changes in appetite or sleep patterns Aches or pains that have no obvious cause Emotional and…, Ways to help your child cope, Here are some things you can do to support your child if you think they may be depressed: Find out what’s happening: Ask them how they’re feeling and listen openly without judgment or advice. Ask people you trust who know your child, like a favourite teacher or close friend, to find out if they’ve noticed anything that might be worrying them or…, When to seek professional help, As depression can only be diagnosed by a qualified expert, it's important to seek help from your health care provider who may refer your child to a mental health expert or psychiatrist. If the mental health expert thinks your child would benefit from treatment, the options might include some form of talk therapy – where they learn how to manage…
06 September 2022

What is stress?

We live in a time of increased stress in the world. Like adults, many children are struggling right now. We’re going through many drastic shifts in the world, but there are many other things that can also lead to stress in children – negative situations at home, violence in schools or exams. Even positive changes like moving to a bigger house or…, What is stress?, Stress is a common feeling we get when we feel under pressure, overwhelmed or unable to cope. Small amounts of stress can be good for us and motivate us to achieve goals like taking an exam or giving a speech. But too much of it, especially when it feels out of control, can negatively impact our mood, physical and mental well-being and…, What causes stress?, Children don’t always experience stress the way adults do. Whereas work-related stress is common among adults, most children experience stress when they cannot cope with threatening, difficult or painful situations. These include: Negative thoughts or feelings about themselves Changes in their bodies like the beginning of puberty The demands of…, Stress in children and adolescents, Stress can be triggered in children when they experience something new or unexpected. For young children, tensions at home such as domestic abuse, separation of parents or the death of a loved one are common causes of stress. School is another common reason – making new friends or taking exams can make children feel overwhelmed. As children grow…, Signs and symptoms of stress in kids, When the body is under stress it produces hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that prepare us for urgent action – also known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. This can have many effects on a child’s mind and body, such as: Physical Shallow breathing, sweating and a racing heart Headaches, dizziness and difficulty sleeping Nausea, indigestion or…, Ways to help your child cope, When children are feeling stressed, parents can play an important role in helping them find ways to cope. Like adults, children sometimes need to be reminded to be kind to themselves. Spot the triggers: Help your child recognize and begin to track the times they felt stressed and look for patterns in how they reacted. What was happening at the…, When to seek professional help, If your child is finding it difficult to cope, consider meeting with a trained expert who can help. Talk to your family doctor or a counsellor for advice. They should be able to advise you on available treatment, such as time with a psychologist who helps people to manage stress and establish positive mental health habits. Don’t be afraid to seek…
11 August 2022

UNICEF: History of a logo

UNICEF logo 1946, 1946, UNICEF is created by resolution 57(I) of the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946 to provide supplies and assistance to children after World War II. Originally known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF starts as a temporary relief fund of the United Nations. As such, it is entitled to use the UN…, 1953, In October 1953, the United Nations General Assembly extends UNICEF’s mandate indefinitely to assist vulnerable children. As a UN agency with a distinct mandate, UNICEF develops its own visual identity.  UNICEF’s first logo features a child drinking a cup of milk, which reflects the organization's main activity at the time: delivering milk to…, 1960s, As UNICEF’s focus expands to include the wider needs of children, the organization’s logo changes as well. In the 1960s, ‘a child drinking milk’ is redesigned as ‘a mother lifting up a child’. This is also linked to the UN adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, which defines children’s rights to protection, education,…, 1975, A standard global logo is issued, which retains the ‘mother and child’ emblem as the dot on the ‘i’ of ‘unicef’. This is the first version of the UNICEF logo to be registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization.     UNICEF logo 1978, 1978, While the key elements of the 1975 logo are retained, the typeface is revisited to align with some prevailing visual trends of the time.     UNICEF logo 1986, 1986, In 1986, coinciding with UNICEF’s 40th anniversary, the logo changes again: the typeface becomes Futura bold and the colour goes from black to PMS Reflex Blue. UNICEF issues The Identification Graphic Standards Manual, the organization’s first Brand Book.  The logo features UNICEF’s name, in lower case and heavy typeface, alongside the ‘mother and…, 2001, In 2001, the UNICEF logo as we know it today is introduced ─ along with guidelines for its use on multiple platforms. The colour is changed from PMS Reflex Blue to PMS Process Cyan. The undiluted colours of the new UNICEF brand colour palette (cyan, yellow, pink and violet) are meant to evoke the vibrancy of children.  The logo is stylized and…, 2008, UNICEF’s tag line becomes ‘unite for children’. Previously, this call to action had been used for UNICEF’s campaigns, in addition to ‘unite against AIDS’ and ‘unite for peace’.  The transition of ‘unite for children’ from a campaign tag line to the brand signature emphasizes UNICEF’s advocacy role in support of the Millennium Development Goals and…, 2016, In 2016, ‘for every child’ is adopted as the organization’s brand strategy and becomes part of the logo. ‘For every child’ echoes UNICEF’s universal mandate to protect the rights of children everywhere – and embodies the organization’s mission to give greatest priority to the most disadvantaged children.  Modularity is a key component of this new…
07 February 2022

How to talk to your children about COVID-19 vaccines

News about COVID-19 vaccines is flooding our daily lives and it is only natural that curious young children will have questions – lots of them. Here are some tips for helping to explain what can be a complicated topic in simple and reassuring terms.  , 1. Make sure you’re up to date yourself, Before talking to your children about COVID-19 vaccines, it is important that you understand them yourself. A great place to start is our conversation with Dr. Mike Varshavski.   >> What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines  , 2. Ask and listen, Invite your child to share what they have heard about COVID-19 vaccines and listen to their responses. It is important to be fully engaged and take any fears they have seriously. Be patient, the pandemic and misinformation has caused a lot of worry and uncertainty for everyone. Let them know that they can always talk to you or another trusted…, 3. Be honest with them, Children have a right to know what is going on, but it should be explained to them in an age-appropriate way. Keep in mind that kids take their emotional cues from adults, so even if you are worried for your little one knowing that they might be uncomfortable, try not to overshare your fears with your child. Play can be a helpful tool for working…, 4. Answer their questions, Here are some kid-friendly responses to keep in your back pocket for questions your child may have about COVID-19 vaccines: What is a vaccine? A vaccine is like a shield that protects you from an illness. How do vaccines work? Vaccines teach your body how to fight off illnesses. They do that by putting a tiny piece of the germ that causes the…