What is UNICEF?

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

The organisation is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.

UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress. It is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities.

UNICEF's work is carried out in more than 190 countries through country programmes and National Committees. Some 88 per cent of the organisation's approximately 7,200 posts are located in the field. There are eight regional offices and 126 country offices worldwide, as well as a research centre in Florence, a supply operation in Copenhagen and offices in Tokyo and Brussels. UNICEF headquarters are in New York.

What does it do?

UNICEF is currently focused on the following areas:


  • Child Survival and Development
  • Basic Education and Gender Equality (including girls' education)
  • Child protection from violence, exploitation, and abuse,
  • HIV and AIDS and children, and
  • Policy advocacy and partnerships for children’s rights.

The organisation works on the following issues: adolescence, communities and families, emergencies, evaluation and good practice, gender equality, health, life skills, statistics and monitoring, nutrition, procuring supplies for children, research and, finally, ‘rights and results’.

For more information, visit: http://www.unicef.org/whatwedo/index.html

Where does UNICEF get its funding?

In 2001, 64 per cent of UNICEF income came from governments. Much of the remaining 36 per cent came from funds raised by National Committees for UNICEF and from the sale of greeting cards and products. (UNICEF National Committees are non-governmental organisations that promote children’s rights, raise funds, sell UNICEF greeting cards and products, create key partnerships and provide other support).

United Nations Children's Fund


Key information

Operation level:
Works with age groups:
Organisation type:
United Nations agency


Organisation mandate

, Children 0 - 18


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CRIN does not accredit or validate any of the organisations listed in our directory. The views and activities of the listed organisations do not necessarily reflect the views or activities of CRIN's coordination team.