United Nations Children’s Fund
3 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017. USA
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) is mandated 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. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.
UNICEF is guided by the Mid-Term Strategic Plan 2006-2009, extended until the end of 2011, which prioritizes promotion of gender equality and programming to protect children from violence.
Areas of Focus
UNICEF works on different manifestations of gender-based violence, depending on the particular country or context. These include: female genital mutilation/cutting, early marriage, trafficking, sexual exploitation, sexual violence, domestic violence, and violence in schools. UNICEF has been particularly focused on violence against women and girls in armed conflict. UNICEF engages in capacity building and development of holistic strategies to end gender-based violence, as well as the training of staff and partners. UNICEF’s strategy to end gender-based violence includes continuous support to the strengthening of law enforcement on violence, sexual exploitation and trafficking of children; work with judicial systems to prevent re-victimization of children and adolescents victims; strengthening of child protection systems at national and local levels to prevent, protect and care for children victims of violence, abuse and exploitation and work with education and health sectors to raise awareness on how to detect and report violence, exploitation and abuse of children.
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development(Commitment)
UASC Tool Kit(Guidance/tool)
INSPIRE Handbook and Indicators Compendium(Guidance/tool)
Protection, Support and Services for Victims/Survivors Under the Spotlight Initiative, UNICEF worked on Outcome 4 (Services) in 8 African countries and 3 Latin American countries. The capacity development of service providers such as multisectoral service organisations, police, judiciary, social workers, schools and health was the major feature of UNICEF’s engagement.
Prevention, Including Awareness-Raising and Advocacy Under the Spotlight Initiative, UNICEF worked on Outcome 3 (Prevention) in 8 African countries and 3 Latin American countries. Community engagement was the main activity. Social norm change was also promoted through education-related activities and media advocacy. Youth engagement was carried out through U-report too.
Data Collection, Analysis and Research Under the Spotlight Initiative, UNICEF worked on Outcome 5 (Data) in 4 African countries. For instance, UNICEF Nigeria supported the roll-out of the CP IMS Primiero to ensure interface of the GBV IMS and CP IMS.
Support for Legislative Development Under the Spotlight Initiative, UNICEF worked on Outcome 1 (law and policy) in 5 African countries and 1 Latin American country. For instance, UNICEF Zimbabwe provided technical support for the review of key legislations such as penal code and domestication of protocols.
The UNiTE Group for the Americas and the Caribbean, including 9 agencies -PAHO, UNDP, OHCHR, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, ECLAC, WFP and UN Women- and the IDB and the OAS, developed 12 Key Messages to Eradicate Violence Against Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean. This unprecedented effort led by UN Women, systematized the lessons learned from all the publications and knowledge produced in the context of the UNiTE Campaign in the last 7 years. These messages were launched in the framework of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, which took place in Montevideo in October of 2016. Thereafter, the messages were the basis for the celebrations of November 25th at regional and country level.
As part of UN Women’s collaboration with Phase II of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C, to strengthen the inter-linkages between VAWG and harmful practices such as FGM/C, and address the root causes of such form of violence, UN Women has finalized and published the policy paper titled “Female genital mutilation/cutting and violence against women and girls: Strengthening the policy linkages between different forms of violence”, with the support of a technical advisory group in February 2017. The paper – which is accompanied by an also published background paper - explores policy and programming interlinkages and considers entry points in the areas of (i) national legislation, (ii) prevention strategies, (iii) response for survivors, and (iv) data and evidence, for increased coordination and collaboration to advance the objectives of ending FGM/C and other forms of VAWG, in particular intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. It is intended for multiple audiences, including those directly involved in policy development, planning and implementing initiatives, those providing technical support, and advocates for ending all forms of VAWG, including FGM/C. A training module on gender and FGM/C, to accompany the UNFPA-UNICEF Manual on Social Norms and Change will be finished in March 2017.
In Belarus, in partnership with UNFPA, UNICEF and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, IOM provided tools and technical assistance to NGOs to improve national capacity to counteract and prevent domestic violence, especially against women and children. This project launched a Pilot Seminar on the relationship between domestic violence and trafficking in women and children. Counter-trafficking NGOs, judges, prosecutors, law-enforcement officials and representatives of the border troops of Belarus participated in this event. The seminar has brought the attention to and initiated a dialogue among the relevant actors on this topic. It established a forum for relevant parties to work together and improve various legal and support provisions for victims of trafficking and domestic violence. Overall, ten NGOs, 75 NGOs’ staff members, 45 law-enforcement officials and over 40 other specialists received training as part of this project. The project also referred at least 700 victims of domestic violence for specialized assistance.
In 2015, an agreement between UNICEF and the Child Soldiers Initiative was reached to second a child protection adviser to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom). As part of a new cooperation arrangement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), UNICEF participated in the training in Zaragoza, Spain (October 2015), which resulted in a pre-deployment training of 32,000 NATO troops and civilians on practical field-oriented measures in preventing, monitoring and responding to violence and violations against women and children. This led into the integration of child protection in NATO-led operations, and establishing a violations alert mechanism when deployed in peace-keeping operations.
In 2015, the Central African Republic saw an increase in the number of reported cases of sexual exploitation and abuse involving children by United Nations personnel or by foreign military personnel associated with a United Nations mandate, rising to 28 cases from 9 reported cases in 2014. 1)In response, UNICEF implemented a Notification Alert to senior management to strengthen the reporting of child rights allegations and incidents, this contributed to improving timely reporting and monitoring of cases. 2)UNICEF increased the scale up assistance and support to victims, through medical care, psychosocial support, and legal assistance, complemented with provision of food, clothing and hygiene kits. UNICEF also provided training to partners from the Ministry of Social Affairs and the NGOs providing care to victims, an important step in expanding response capacity within the country. 3)In order to avoid stigma and media attention and in the best interest of the child, UNICEF worked with NGOs to relocate the victims to different neighborhoods. This work has been critical not only for providing support to child victims of sexual exploitation and abuse, but also as an entry point for strengthening a broader programmatic approach to prevention and response to gender-based violence in emergencies.
UNFPA is a member of IASC and in contexts where the IASC Cluster Approach has been activated, UNFPA and UNICEF are mandated to co-lead the GBV Area of Responsibility. As co-lead, UNFPA is accountable for working closely with national authorities, partners and communities, to ensure that minimum standards are in place to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in emergencies.