Core Commitments

for Children

are the core UNICEF policy and framework for humanitarian action




  • In line with UNICEF’s child safeguarding policy and ethical and safety standards:

  • Communication strategies are implemented in a coherent manner at country, regional and global levels

  • Information is released rapidly and regularly in anticipation of, and during the immediate aftermath (within 24 hours) of new emergencies or new developments in protracted crises

  • Key messages and updated facts are regularly shared with external audiences through media, digital channels and multi-media assets supporting audience engagement and resource mobilization

1: Communication 


Accurate information on the situation and needs of children, women and their communities and UNICEF’s response are shared in a timely manner

  • Advocacy strategies are actioned in a coherent manner at country, regional and global levels to address priority child rights issues and critical programming or policy gaps

  • Reliable data and child-specific information are regularly collected and used safely and ethically to influence decision-makers

2: Advocacy 


Advocacy is conducted at country, regional and global levels to protect the rights of children, women and their communities, promote adherence to international laws and standards, facilitate principled humanitarian access and the delivery of programmes, and promote child-friendly policies and practices


See 1.4.2 Humanitarian advocacy

Key Considerations

  • By mobilizing external stakeholders, advocate for the protection of children through greater political, human and financial support; improved humanitarian access; adherence to international laws and standards; and accountability for perpetrators of child rights violations.   

  • Advocate for the respect, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of children, women and their communities even in the absence of an ongoing programmatic response, especially when there is evidence of child rights violations.  The decision on how and when to speak out or otherwise advocate shall always consider the best interest of children and be informed by a thorough risk assessment. 

  • Demonstrate the impact of staying and delivering for children and their communities in challenging humanitarian situations.

  • Ground advocacy strategies in evidence, policy analysis, political intelligence, power analysis, protection and gender analysis, partnerships and audience insight.

  • Engage and meaningfully empower children and adolescents in emergencies as advocates and agents of change, helping them to raise their own voices to advocate their views, concerns and solutions. 

  • Maintain ethical standards in the best interest of the child, to protect them when engaging children and young people as advocates, and when creating stories and reporting on children. Advocate for ethical reporting on children by media in line with UNICEF’s Guidelines for Journalists Reporting on Children and UNICEF’s child safeguarding policy. 

  • Support and promote research that generates high quality and relevant evidence to inform and guide advocacy for children in humanitarian settings, in accordance with guidance on ethical evidence generation and data protection.

See 1.4.9 Ethical evidence generation and data protection

  • Implement joint advocacy with the UN, international and local civil society, governments or others, where feasible, at country, regional and global levels. 


[105] General Assembly Resolution A/RES/71/1, 2016.

[106] All actions concerning refugees are guided by the 1951 Refugee Convention and its protocol. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement outline the protections available to internally displaced people.

[107]  These frameworks include: Global Compact on Refugees; Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration;

 Global Action Plan to End Statelessness: 2014 - 2024; Guidance Note of the Secretary General: The United Nations and Statelessness.

[108] Ensure complementarities between the cluster system and other coordination models, including the Refugee Coordination Model and

the Camp Coordination Camp Management, and when necessary refer to the Joint UNHCR-OCHA note on coordination in mixed situation.

[109] Ibid.

[110] See section 2.1.2 above, overarching commitment on coordination.

[111] Community and family-based care, rather than institutionalization such as shelters, should be prioritised.

[112] UN General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/64/142), Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

[113] Including education, healthcare, nutrition, child protection, mental health and psychosocial support, water and sanitation, shelter, civil registration, leisure, legal aid, social protection, independent representation and guardianship for unaccompanied children.

[114] In accordance with MoUs and other strategic cooperation agreements at country, regional and global level, including with UNHCR and IOM.

[115] Refer to UNHCR (2016) Durable Solutions – Preliminary Operational Guide and IOM (2019) Reintegration Handbook – Practical guidance on the design, implementation and monitoring of reintegration assistance.

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