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.
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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 advocates for protective measures in governments to provide a safe environment for children. Responses taken by UNICEF towards the fight against child protection include the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Millennium Declaration. These responses taken by UNICEF use legal systems and a given set of standards that governments must respect with regards to the human rights of its children and citizens. The governments and individuals of states cannot take away or violate the rights of its people.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an important measure towards UNICEF’s fight against child protection. The principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are legally binding, making it unlawful if a state does not adhere to its protocols. “The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights. ” Governments of states have now taken responsibility to guarantee and protect children’s rights.
National governments are obligated to implement all the policies and standards of the convention, and must be accountable for their actions if there are cases of children’s rights being disregarded. The convention covers all the basic human rights from the right to survival and protection from violence to the right of a child to grow and develop. UNICEF makes sure that there are standards being met with regards to education, health care and other legal and social services, and that governments are committing to these efforts.
UNICEF makes it clear that violence against children is not justifiable, and states must implement and uphold policies and programs to insure the safety and nonviolence among children. This reassures the binding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which acknowledges that states have the obligation to ensure accountability in all cases of violence. The UNICEF’s worldwide efforts and initiative to elevate the status of children and give them a voice is a detrimental part of improving the world as a whole.
Children are the key to the future. The children of today are going to be tomorrow’s leaders and important figures. Also, in order to fight and reduce the conditions of poverty in the world, children should be looked upon as the first step. Poverty is the root cause of children being denied their rights as a human. Poverty leads to a less protective childhood environment, and less resources for education and health concerns. It hinders the ability of a child to grow and develop.
In the end, “poverty is transmitted from one generation to the next. If there are any intentions of breaking the increasing sequence of poverty, then investments by governments and other private sectors must spent towards children’s health, education and overall development. Investing in the health and safety of the worlds youth can lead to great returns in the future. In the end, the decline of world poverty starts by implementing standards and institutions for the well being of the nations youth.
The tasks and goals of UNICEF cover an enormous focus ranging from child education and equality, to child protection and development. These issues entail many programs and much funding, which is why UNICEF is closely connected to many other organizations. Other organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the International Labour Organization are some of the many organizations which are closely connected to UNICEF.
These organizations all come together to tackle numerous issues such as disease control, better education and nutritional practices, implementing children welfare services, providing food and health to areas in the developing world and many other functions. UNICEF teams up with numerous other organizations to offer humanitarian aid and development to assist children in impoverished countries. UNICEF also works with the International Red Cross on emergency relief assignments in places like Cambodia which has experienced a domestic upheaval , as well as working to make child rights constitutional in Brazil.
UNICEF partners with United Nation agencies and governments to provide support and assistance to children during emergency conditions. During the first weeks of crisis, UNICEF works to assess the situation that children and women are experiencing, provide necessary immunizations and nutrition, support mother-child feeding and monitoring, provide sanitary and safe drinking water, prevent sexual abuse and exploitation, and resume education. In order to facilitate proper assistance, UNICEF has set up an Office of Emergency Programmes (EMPOS), which coordinates UNICEF’s partnership with other agencies, and provides staff support.
Within the EMPOS resides UNICEF’s Operations Centre which serves as a 24-7 information gathering center in order supervise staff, monitor world events, and insure safety of all UNICEF members. UNICEF has successfully provided humanitarian aid and helped improve the welfare of children all around the world. For instance, UNICEF has helped keep peace in Sri Lanka while educating the youth. While Sri Lanka suffered civil war and violence for over a decade, the UNICEF helped to educate children non-violent ways to resolve conflicts and disputes by launching the Education for Conflict Resolution.
UNICEF trained principles, teachers and pupils to use innovative techniques to emphasize passivity and nonviolence. In addition, UNICEF aided in achieving community-based health care in Indonesia. In 1973, Indonesia suffered from more than 10 million of its children under five years-old being undernourished. UNICEF countered this epidemic by supplying Indonesia with nutritional first aid packages for the villages, which provided scales to weigh babies as well as rehydration salts and iron supplements. A network of village health posts were formed, here mother could bring their infants for nourishment or go to meetings and receive important information regarding the health of their children. This is much like Mother Centres, which were created under UNICEF in Central and Eastern Europe. This provides woman with a social network to communicate and deal with issues such as poverty. It also provided education to girls and mothers regarding health concerns and gender discrimination. However, UNICEF has also encountered efforts that proved to be unsuccessful.
For example, while providing humanitarian aid to the people of Sudan during the civil war, the agency poorly managed the aid operation. UNICEF offered aid to the Sudan people, but failed to make sure the aid was distributed to the Sudan population. As a result, corrupt officials were taking most of the aid, leaving the people and children with little to no resources. Weak management of this massive relief operation led to an unsuccessful distribution of aid for the citizens of Sudan.
With all the focus and aid the UNICEF provided among its universal operations, sufficient funding was a key component to its success. The budget of UNICEF was provided primarily through government contributions and donations, along with private donations from numerous interest groups. However, without U. S. involvement and funding, UNICEF would not be as successful as it is today. The United States generous contributions to UNICEF portrays the United State’s worldwide investment in children.
Within the last fiscal year (2009), the United States Congress voluntarily contributed 130 million to UNICEF, which is critical to UNICEF’s budget. The U. S. fund for UNICEF consisted of just about a million individual donors along with other organizations and well-know businesses providing contributions to the fund. With the United State’s advocacy and large funding of UNICEF, it allows the organization improve its measures of child survival and development internationally throughout the world.
Since its conception in 1946 UNICEF has consistently ranked among the world’s strongest charitable organizations. Over these past decades UNICEF has established one of the top charitable business models. In 2008 UNICEF reported total revenues at $453,900,000 yet its administrative and fundraising expenses were less than $42,000,000 thus allowing UNICEF to spend over $400,000,000 on its various international relief efforts. Unlike other charities that face administrative and technical walls, UNICEF is able to use $. 90 of every dollar raised on the world’s most desperate children.
In addition to its preeminent business model UNICEF has also perfected its fundraising techniques spending only six cents per every dollar raised. As a result of its successful fundraising and financial planning UNICEF received top ratings for its efficiency and organization. While UNICEF maintains itself as a top charity its greatest strength lies within its ability to change. Unfortunately the disasters of the world rarely come with a warning thus requiring organizations to create effective and rapid response programs for such things as natural disasters and wars.
Emergency response has become one of UNICEF’s greatest strengths and it has become a world leader in the development of newer, more effective response strategies. UNICEF has also been able to successfully change with the tide of power throughout the world’s hotspots; which tend to be the most desperate. UNICEF, because of its connection with the United Nations, has been able to maintain regional offices and treatment centers throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Southeastern Asia. Since 1946 UNICEF has been a constant light for the children of the world.
It has established itself as on the top international charities. As a result of its concrete business model, efficient fundraising, and ability to change UNICEF will undoubtedly continue to provide relief for all children in need. UNICEF’s success has also created some drawbacks that should be expected with an ever-growing organization. UNICEF’s success has led it towards a results-based management style. Results-based management can be inefficient for it only cares about the bottom line and not necessarily about the means to get the bottom line.
This can lead to such inefficiencies as over-spending and a lack of precision in order to get things done quicker. In addition, due to UNICEF’s size, it has become a victim of the bureaucracy and the complexities of a large corporation. Time and money is frequently wasted on simple internal processes that become complex due to a drawn out power structure. UNICEF’s weaknesses lie within its ability to grow. Like any private or government institution UNICEF must continue to adapt and evolve to the constant changes occurring in the 21st century.
While conditions are improving for children, there are still millions of children dying each day, especially in areas of the world where there is insufficient leaderships. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the worlds worst catastrophe, and some feel that UNICEF has done enough work to help the countries in Africa that are greatly effect by it. Wendy McElroy, who believes UNICEF’s focus is all wrong, contributes some of its failures to the fact that UNICEF leaders always tend to be American.
This, she states, tends to result in the organization to convey and lean towards American interest. However, UNICEF’s strong organization and track record will undoubtedly aid itself in correcting its flaws in the coming years. UNICEF has agencies in more than 150 developing countries with the goal of helping children survive and reach their adolescent years. It looks to implement programs and policies to overcome the everyday obstacles that children is the world struggle to overcome, ranging from discrimination, violence, inequality, poverty and disease.
UNICEF has made fundamental strides in child survival and development with the use of low cost health programs, resulting in child deaths being reduced by 20 percent in the last three years. Also, UNICEF is “the world leader in vaccine supply and immunization,” helping to protect the world’s youth from preventable diseases. This alone has helped to prevent the deaths of more than 2 million children in the world each year. The promotion of basic education is also a detrimental aspect of UNICEF.
UNICEF has helped Afghanistan build more than three thousand schools to educate more than 140,000 children. These are just a few examples of UNICEF’s policies that have helped save millions of children’s lives. However, even with UNICEF’s aid and successes, more than an estimated 9. 2 million children will die this year, many due to preventable diseases. UNICEF has taken significant measures to shed light upon the issues that effect not only children, but many others throughout the world. This alone has brought about change to millions who suffer in the world today.
Protecting the world’s youth who do not have the ability to help themselves is a key step in maintaining a bright and prosperous future, since today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. The vision and goals of UNICEF have stayed consistent since its formation in 1946, always striving towards helping reduce hunger, increase vaccinations and treatments, and ultimately protect the rights of children. UNICEF is in no way a perfect organization, but its policies and programs have constructed a world in which children can further develop into the leaders of tomorrow.
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