Our Values

Our values distinguish UNICEF from others, and typify the way we work. These values embody the qualities and the strengths that those we work with and for attribute to UNICEF and that lead them to believe in us, and in what we do. 

  • Passionate and principled
  • Influential and visionary
  • Innovative and credible
  • Transparent and accountable
  • Global and authoritative
  • An agency that “gets things done”

Passionate and principled

We believe that the survival, protection and development of children is essential to human progress. Our touchstone in all that we do is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We strive to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children. 

UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities. Through our country programmes we work to promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political, social, and economic development of their communities.

Influential and visionary

UNICEF mobilises political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a "first call for children" and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families. We work in partnership with governments, the private sector and non government agencies to effect real change for children and their families.

Innovative and credible

UNICEF has helped develop simple, affordable, and innovative solutions to complicated problems. We have developed birthing kits to help women have safe deliveries, oral rehydration salts to treat dehydration in children caused by diarrhea, portable school-in-a-box kits to create classrooms almost anywhere, and solar-powered cold storage units to transport vaccines to remote villages. All of these innovations are now in standard use by many humanitarian organisations, helping to save millions of children's lives. 

Transparent and accountable

UNICEF uses its contributions wisely and is trusted as one of the most efficient non-profit organisations in the world. Every dollar UNICEF spends on low-cost, highly effective, sustainable solutions leverages $10 of value in the field. We are committed to our donors and to utilising their donations as efficiently as possible. 

Global and authoritative

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. We operate in 190 countries. With a global presence and one of the largest supply networks in the world, UNICEF delivers far-reaching programmes that help children survive and thrive. 

With more than 60 years of experience saving children's lives, UNICEF has an extraordinary level of technical expertise. This is backed by a network of highly skilled field staff, and teams of professionals in disease prevention, education, emergency response, human rights, logistics, public health and politics.

An agency that ‘gets things done’

Regardless of the complexities, politics, or the cultural issues at play, UNICEF gets things done. We work at all levels of society, with families and communities, country-wide and across regions. We have direct access to policy makers and local organisations, and work with them to create lasting positive change in each of our focus areas. 

We are always one of the first on the scene in a crisis. In coordination with United Nations partners and humanitarian agencies, UNICEF makes its unique facilities for rapid response available to our partners to relieve the suffering of children and those who provide their care.

So trusted is the UNICEF name that in recent years, UNICEF and its partners have been able to negotiate ceasefires in conflict areas so children could be immunised against deadly diseases.