UNICEF is a world-renowned organization that strives to give a voice to those who go unheard: the children of the world. UNICEF or the United Nations International Emergency Fund was originally created in 1946, following World War II, in an effort to provide assistance to the European children who faced starvation and disease. It was through these efforts that UNICEF began to present itself as one of the nations leading advocacy groups for children’s rights. Then, in 1953, UNICEF was given permanent status by the General Assembly. UNICEF made its mark by assisting the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in the creation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1959, which ensured a child’s right to shelter, education, healthcare, and protection. In 1965, UNICEF added to their ever-growing list of accolades with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 for “the promotion of brotherhood among nations.” Following this, the organization began to devote its time to promoting proper medication and sanitation for children worldwide. These efforts included encouraging women to breastfeed their children, promoting a breast milk substitute, and helping children obtain proper vaccinations. Throughout their years of service, UNICEF has grown to serve over 190 countries and has developed focus areas to ensure child survival and development, basic education and gender equality, child protection, and HIV/AIDS prevention in children. Each country’s UNICEF office carries out the organizations missions and objectives with help from its government, with its regional offices offering assistance whenever it is needed. The head management of UNICEF and its overall administration reside in the organizations main office in New York. UNICEF has 36 National Committees, which promote the rights of children throughout the world and raises national awareness of issues related to the protection of human rights for children. The Committees also collects funds and develops partnerships and affiliations of UNICEF with other organizations and institutions around the world. All the work and programs of UNICEF are monitored by a 36 member Executive Board. The Executive Board ultimately controls the financial basis of the organization, and reviews its policies and procedures. The Board is elected by members of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and primarily serve three terms. UNICEF focuses on making sure children survive their adolescent years and develop into young adults. This is an extremely difficult task due to all the diseases that effect children in less developed countries. While diseases such as malaria and pneumonia will kill millions and millions of young children, these diseases are preventable. Over half of the millions of children that die from these diseases are preventable. UNICEF is using its research and funding to develop low cost innovative technologies to produce vaccines and antibiotics to these developing countries to ensure children can live a full and healthy life. In addition, UNICEF tries to ensure that children have access to basic education so that children can learn about these preventable diseases, along with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Just implementing organizations which channel basic information to these children can be a successful tool in ensuring that these young children live a healthier and safer life. Education is a human right which every child should be given the right to, and UNICEF is making strides toward achieving this goal.
Not only does UNICEF work to facilitate children’s knowledge and learning, but it also works to develop a protective environment for children as well. Hundreds of children in the world face exploitation and are subject to violence. Whether it be exploitation from the labor force or institutions, to brutality and abuse from conflict within communities, children need some form of protection in society. Children have the right to survival and development, and UNICEF...
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