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CHILD Protection & Child Rights » VII. International Mechanisms » United Nations » UN Agencies


UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund, popularly known as UNICEF, is an agency dedicated to helping the world realise the rights of children. Though UNICEF headquarters are in New York, the organisation has multiple country and regional offices. UNICEF works in all areas concerning children such as promoting girl rights, providing care for people affected by HIV/AIDS, immunization of children, child protection in times of conflict and peace, assistance in times of disaster, and aim at improving the life of every child.

WHO - The World Health Organisation (WHO) is directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations. The mandate of WHO is to support and improve Public Health Systems around the world by promoting health development, fostering health security, strengthening health systems, engaging in research, mediating partnerships, and bring about reforms in health systems. WHO also sets our norms and standards of health and health services that are to be followed by respective stakeholders, internationally. WHO dedicates a portion of its efforts to child and adolescent health and development as well as looks into issues of children's environmental health. It has also outlined child growth standards to be used as indicators for child health.

UNIFEM - The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) is dedicated to advancing women's rights and gender equality. Established in 1976, UNIFEM works with organisation worldwide to generate a movement for change. UNIFEM aims to end violence against women and girls, advancing gender justice, reducing the prevalence of HOV/AIDS in women and girls and securing the economic and social rights of women and girls.

UNHCR - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), established in 1950, aims to protect refugees and mediate solutions for refugees problems in the world. The agency works for refugee rights. The UNHCR gives priority to the care and protection of forcibly displaced children. UNHCR works to protect child rights by facilitating family reunification, providing access to education on a non-discriminatory basis, providing access to health care and psycho-social support, conducting demobilization, disarmament and reintegration programmes for children associated with armed forces and armed groups, awareness-raising activities on gender issues and children's rights and taking action against sexual and gender-based violence


UN-HABITAT - The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) is the United Nations agency for human settlements. The agenda of UN HABITAT is to promote safe and environmentally friendly town and cities plans that provide shelter for all. The agency helps countries understand and problem solve urban issues. The agency creates knowledge through research, finances settlements and creates strategic partnerships with the various governments to ensure people's right to adequate housing and shelter. With regard to children UN-HABITAT works their rights to housing and protection of street/homeless children.

UNODC - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was established in 1997 through a merger of two institutions in the United Nations: the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention. The purpose of UNODC is to assist countries combat sale of illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. It also specially deals in trans-national crimes, which cross borders between various countries, like child trafficking. In assisting the office carries out research about drugs and crimes to create better policies, normative work helping countries ratify international treaties, and field based projects such as alternative development projects, illicit crop monitoring and anti-money laundering programmes.

UNFPA - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) promotes the right of every human being to a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using populations data to create programmes and policies to tackle poverty, to ensure people's access to necessary reproductive health services, to eliminate HIV/AIDS, and promote gender equality. UNFPA strategies aim at reproductive health, women's empowerment, and population and development strategies which all allow for people to make free and informed child bearing choices as to number, spacing and timing.

ESCAP - The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP works towards socially and environmentally sustainable, macroeconomic policy and development. ESCAP is dedicated to eliminating child sexual exploitation and abuse in the region. They also work on community-based life skills interventions to reduce youth vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and substance use.

FAO - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a space for countries to discuss and debate policy. They help developing countries modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices so as to ensure good nutrition for all. FAO recognises the relationship between food and education in developing countries and promotes school meal programmes. The School Garden Project of the FAO aims to promote schools to grow their own nutritional products so as to ensure children receive the nutrients they need for development. FAO has various publications regarding children and nutrition. FAO works with the World Food Programme (WFP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to fight world hunger, especially during emergencies