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What does UNICEF do?
UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) defends the Convention on the Rights of the Child, acting to assure equality for those who suffer discrimination, particularly girls and women.
UNICEF works with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. The organisation promotes girls’ education and works to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people.
UNICEF also acts to provide relief during emergency situations and wherever children are threatened. The organisation believes no child should be exposed to violence, abuse or exploitation.
One of the issues UNICEF is fighting at the moment is the trafficking of children. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, the actor Jackie Chan met children in Myanmar who had been trafficked and are now receiving help to recover:
“Children are not for sale. For the sake the world’s children, we must work hard to stamp out these damaging and criminal practices. It is very important that young people know how to protect themselves. Simple things, like knowing not to trust anyone who promises you a dream job in another country; never going to an unknown place alone; knowing your parents’ and your own full name and age; and being able to explain where you live, help children guard against traffickers.”
How can you get involved?
On UNICEF’s Voices of Youth website you can find out how other young people are getting involved, learn about the issues that affect young people and join discussions.
UNICEF was established on 11 December 1946 by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in countries devastated by World War II.