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Core Commitments

for Children

are the core UNICEF policy and framework for humanitarian action


Strategic Result

Adolescents have equitable access to services and programmes and are systematically and meaningfully engaged



  • Age- and gender-responsive services and programmes addressing the priority needs of adolescent girls and boys are available, accessible and used

1: Access to information and services


Adolescent girls and boys have safe access to gender-responsive and inclusive services and programmes that promote their participation and respond to their rights and needs 

  • Training and capacity-building for adolescent girls and boys, including skills development, are available, accessible and undertaken across sectors

  • Adolescents are supported and promoted as agents of change

2: Capacity development


Adolescent girls and boys have equitable access to capacity-building opportunities, including skills development to make informed decisions on issues related to their lives, and be effective agents of change within their communities

  • Community-based mechanisms/platforms are functional for the systematic engagement of adolescents in the design and implementation of programmes

3: Adolescent engagement and participation


Adolescent girls and boys are engaged in the design and implementation of humanitarian programmes and peacebuilding initiatives


See 2.2.7 Community engagement for behaviour and social change

Key Considerations


  • Advocate to integrate the specific needs and priorities of adolescents in all sectors of humanitarian action.

  • Advocate for allocation of adequate resources for services and programmes for adolescents, especially the most disadvantaged.

  • Advocate for adolescents to be agents of change and advocates for peace and social cohesion. 

Coordination and Partnerships 

  • Partner with adolescent/youth-led organizations, networks and groups to build their capacities and to deliver services and programmes.  These organizations, networks and groups should be identified and mapped as a preparedness measure.

  • Promote adolescent/youth-led initiatives and innovations for better preparedness and response.

Quality Programming and Standards

  • Actively seek and identify the most marginalized and disadvantaged adolescents, support efforts to address discrimination and improve equitable access to services and information.

  • Design and adapt humanitarian programmes that are inclusive, age- and gender-appropriate with and for adolescents (e.g. 10-14, 15-19).

  • Refer to the IASC Guidelines on Working with and for young people in humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises, and to the Adolescent Kit for Expression and Innovation to support programmes for adolescent boys and girls.

  • Work with GBV actors and coordination mechanisms to reduce risks of GBV of adolescent girls and ensure provision of care for survivors of GBV. Equip and train personnel to understand the specific GBV risks faced by adolescent girls and how to refer them to services safely and confidentially. If there are no GBV actors available, train staff on the GBV Pocket Guide.

Linking Humanitarian and Development

  • Apply a life-course approach to maximize investments across two decades of a child’s life across the humanitarian-development continuum.  For instance, enhancing maternal, infant and child health in turn positively impacts adolescents, as well as future parents.

  • Identify or create opportunities for adolescents to meaningfully participate in building social cohesion and peace within their communities and their societies.

  • Strengthen the ability of decision-makers, systems and institutions to engage with adolescents and to respond to their priorities and aspirations.

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