a child's plush toy amid rubble

At an event to mark the occasion and to launch the 25th anniversary study, UNICEF's Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, said the mandate has achieved concrete results for children: "For example, since 2000, at least 170,000 children have been released from armed forces and armed groups, many having survived multiple violations – including abduction or sexual violence." The UN should continue to prioritize helping these children, who have suffered terrible violence, she added. "We should seize all opportunities to increase visibility and awareness of the terrible impact of conflict on children. We should be courageous in taking steps to end impunity and advance accountability for children in situations of armed conflict."

little girl in shelter, smiling

Ho Van Huy in central Viet Nam is happy to be drinking clean water. After storms and floods in the region affected nearly 2 million people in January, UNICEF provided emergency supplies, including water filters, to affected communities. Smiling is contagious and these happy children from around the world are sure to put a smile on your face! Find out what's been making them smile this year.

wounded child with prosthetic legs

Grave violations of children’s rights in conflict are on the rise around the world, warns UNICEF. From Afghanistan to Yemen, and Syria to northern Ethiopia, thousands of children paid a devastating price as armed conflict, inter-communal violence, and insecurity continued. The first three months of 2021 saw a slight decrease in the overall number of verified grave violations; however, verified cases of abduction and sexual violence continued to rise at alarming rates - by more than 50 and 10 per cent, respectively, compared to the previous year.

Map of the world with the words: The Changing Childhood Project

We are living through an era of rapid and far-reaching transformation. As the world has changed — becoming more digital, more globalized, and more diverse — childhood is changing with it. The Changing Childhood Project — a collaboration of UNICEF and Gallup — was created to explore these shifts, and to better understand what it means to be a child in the 21st century. UNICEF asked young and older people in 21 countries what is it like to grow up in today’s world? And how do generations view the world differently? Dive in and discover the changing nature of childhood.

mother holding toddler

At least 300,000 children were newly infected with HIV in 2020, or one child every two minutes, UNICEF said in a new report.

youth activist Gitanjali Rao

If news headlines get you down sometimes, I’ve got the antidote: it’s youth activist Gitanjali Rao.  

At just 15, Miss Rao was Time Magazine’s first Kid of the Year in 2021 – in recognition of her success in solving problems through science. 

She was in Geneva for the Youth Activists Summit, which is where UN News’s Daniel Johnson caught up with her.

Big changes start small. The impact of COVID-19, climate change and conflict affect us all. Don't give up on adults, only together can we change the world.


More about UNICEF's work.

child with Zika hugged by siblings

The number of children with disabilities globally is estimated at almost 240 million, according to UNICEF’s most comprehensive statistical analysis to date. “This new research confirms what we already knew: Children with disabilities face multiple and often compounding challenges in realizing their rights,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. The report includes data from 42 countries and covers more than 60 indicators of child well-being – from nutrition and health, to access to water and sanitation, protection from violence, and education. 

girl on beach holding school book

“When there are floods, we take our shoes and socks off and put them in our school bags,” says Fathimath. “We have to wade through the water to our classrooms.” Fathimath’s school is on a small island about a 45-minute boat ride from Male, the capital of Maldives – and just 30 metres from the ocean. The only thing protecting the school from rising sea levels are a handful of coconut palms, some of which have already collapsed into the sea, and a line of sandbags packed under the school’s main gate. Even with this precaution, the area still floods a few times a year, covering the school courtyard.

What did you dream of becoming when you were a child?

An astronaut?
A firefighter?
A veterinarian?

Today, 160 million children are trapped in child labour. Most of them in agriculture.

We need to #StopChildLabour so all children can work on their dreams.

Portrait of a boy wearing a rain coat.

The UNICEF report presents the Children’s Climate Risk Index, which uses data showing new global evidence on how many children are currently exposed to climate hazards, shocks and stresses. 

girl's face

How parents can start the mental health conversation with their kids #OnMyMind

child with eggplant

Who says children shouldn’t play in the kitchen? Cooking healthy food starts young in this Touch Smell Taste cooking class in Rome. The hands-on cooking lab, led by Naheda Slayih and supported by volunteers, invites visually impaired children to learn how to become young chefs and have a good time too.

Producers: Megan Williams, Charlotta Lomas, Anais Hotin, Marina Sánchez Castelo, Nina Coates.
Presenter: Megan Williams.
Photo: ©FAO/Cristiano Minichiello.

children's book illustration

The story is a sequel to ‘My Hero is You: how kids can fight COVID-19!’, published in April 2020. The new storybook can be used by parents and teachers in conjunction with a guide entitled ‘Actions for Heroes.’