United Nations International CHildren's Fund (UNICEF)
The UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child. With the support of its partners, the UNICEF focuses on transforming this commitment into tangible actions, in particular for the most disadvantaged children.
In the Pacific, UNICEF staff work in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Kiribati, Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu are classified under the « Fragile States » category according to the definition of the World Bank / OECD. These 14 Pacific Island States ratified the United Nations Convention relating to children’s rights, yet only a third of them are well under way with the reporting obligations.
In many Pacific Island States, the legal framework for children protection is poor. The programme and protection services lack a strategic guideline and children’s vulnerability is not taken into consideration. Families and communities are more and more torn between traditional ways and modern education and discipline: The evidence collected with the support of the UNICEF in seven countries shows that physical castigation in households and communities, as well as high levels of intimidation at school are the main causes for concern. Given the high rates of domestic violence, an important number of children grow up exposed to violence and abuse, including in places which should be exempt from any form of violence. The rate of registered births vary significantly throughout the region, from less than 20 % in the Solomon Islands to more than 60 % in Kiribati and 90 % in Fiji. Several countries, amongst which Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Fiji, made significant progress in improving legal frameworks in favour of child protection.
Expected outcomes of the child protection programme 2013-2017:
- Ensure that children are more and more protected by law and better served by justice systems which protect them as victims, offenders and witnesses,
- Ensure that children are better served by well informed and coordinated child protection services which guarantee increased protection against violence, abuse and exploitation;
- Support families and communities in creating family and community environments for children that are exempt from violence, abuse and exploitation.
- Humanitarian actions and climate change
- HIV and AIDS
- Social inclusion
- Water and Hygiene
UNICEF headquarters for the Pacific are located in Suva, Fiji. There are also local offices in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
For more information, visit: http://www.unicef.org/pacificislands/