UNICEF Full Form is United Nations Children’s Fund. It is a UN organization which defends, promotes and protects rights of children. It is also one of the intergovernmental organizations that work to protect disadvantaged children in the world. UNICEF strongly believes in children having the following rights: Education, Adequate nutrition, Participate in all eligible activities, Protection, Clean water , Good Health, etc.
With its strong presence in over 190 countries, UNICEF is the leading advocate in the world that takes care of children’s rights. UNICEF has its headquarters in New York which takes care of the entire administration and management.
Above all these, UNICEF has formed over 36 committees in order to raise funds by selling UNICEF cards and various products. Some of the care provided for children includes vaccination and protection in addition to influencing policies and laws to benefit children. UNICEF was also called as United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.
UNICEF Full Form – Additional Information
Developing countries have been long sufferers of some of the major problems, afflicting the human society as a whole and need much assistance. While developed countries have mastered much of their needs with the help of technological power and societal development, developing countries still lag behind in many aspects and therefore, special assistance needs to be provided to them until they reach a point of self-reliance.
When the United Nations was conceptualized and established, certain objectives were kept for immediate consideration. The ravages of two world wars have deeply affected developing societies, most of them were colonies of powerful developed nations. It had become important to provide financial reliefs to these countries, which have been most affected by the wars. It was for this purpose that UNICEF was established on 11 December 1946.
UNICEF is one the most active agencies of the United Nations and its contributions have been recognized much in the global society. However, this will not be enough to appreciate the purpose of this organization. In order to fully understand the purpose and internal machinery of this organization, there are ten things that everyone must begin with.
History of UNICEF:
History is reflective of many things. While contemporary situation indicates the best of anything, history can throw light on some aspects that are relevant and important for the appreciation of something. Every Organization that we know has a purpose and history that brings out its true nature. Like any other organization, UNICEF has a history that must be read before one dwells on the most technical aspects of the organization.
On 11, December 1946 the United Nations General Assembly gave way to the creation of the UNICEF. The real motive back then was to provide emergent humanitarian aid to children from countries adversely affected by the World War II. The after effects of the war have greatly affected children and rendered many homeless, without any social and financial assistance.
Herbert Hoover and Maurice Pate were two key founders of the fund. Until 1953, UNICEF did not enjoy a permanent status and it was only in the year 1953 that UNICEF gained a permanent position in the United Nations. It is headquartered in New York, the United States and it endeavors to provide humanitarian aid to mothers and children particularly from developing countries.
Promotional and funding programme of UNICEF:
UNICEF cannot work on willpower and determination; even these two need funds to be successfully showcased before the world and therefore, UNICEF undertakes certain fundraising events to continue with its noble cause and do good to the most vulnerable sections of the society.
UNICEF marks its presence in about 191 countries across the globe and organizes promotional events in each country for the purpose of promotion and fundraising. Let us take the Trick-Or-treat For UNICEF, which is a promotional event regularly organized in countries like Canada, the United States, etc. It is organized during Halloween Night and what would be better than doing some good while celebrating.
Another event is selling of UNICEF products. Many of us would be aware of UNICEF greetings cards that are sold in popular marketplaces and have become quite a trend. UNICEF collaborates with NGOs to carry out the sale of greeting cards in their respective countries of operation.
In an attempt to improve general awareness about children rights, UNICEF declared the year 1979 as the “Year of the Child” and even organized a concert that was attended by some notable celebrities across the globe like David Sussex. Clearly, UNICEF does not carry out its objectives passively; it ensures it is able to provide full active support to people and organizations, which will ultimately help in realizing its objectives.
Sponsoring activities of UNICEF:
One of the ways of promoting its objectives to the world that UNICEF adopts is sponsorship. Sponsorship is the market’s powerhouse and it can do a lot, which civilian awareness drives cannot. UNICEF, realizing the importance of sponsorships, has entered into many sponsorship agreements with big corporations.
In the year of 2006, FC Barcelona entered into an agreement with UNICEF and it was agreed that the former shall donate a handsome sum of millions of euro to the organization for a period of five years. The donation was to be made every year. Throughout the agreement, FC Barcelona came out with UNICEF logo in its merchandise.
Another agreement was made with Hammarby IF, which is a Swedish Club that contributed funds to UNICEF and did quite much like what FC Barcelona did to its merchandise.
Another club called Sydney FC, came into a sponsorship agreement with UNICEF, whereby it also agreed to raise funds for UNICEF and promote its objectives through its merchandise. Its primary purpose was to raise funds for Asia-pacific region.
Ambassadors to UNICEF:
Today the world look up to popular faces and much of the things become famous because of the overall effect these popular faces have in the advertisement industry. UNICEF understands that in order to reach the world more easily, it must spread its objectives by means of ambassadors, who shall be known for certain contributions they have made in certain fields and are respected for that. There is a big list of celebrities, who have been associated with UNICEF as ambassadors.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors are advocates of the objectives of the UNICEF and work on its behalf. Every member nation has a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador appointed to represent UNICEF. For example, in August 2015 Ace Tennis player Novak Djokovic was appointed the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Amitabh Bacchan was named the ambassador in the year 2005, Jackie Chan in the year 2004, etc.
Institutional facilities of the UNICEF:
UNICEF carries some of the most important functions for the development of the human society. These functions are fundamental for reaching optimum levels of security and development in human society and therefore, UNICEF has established certain facilities that focus on these areas and strive to promote individuals and organizations that have collaborated with it.
The oldest facility of the UNICEF is the UNICEF World Warehouse. Situated in Denmark, it is a warehouse for UNICEF products and emergency items that are secured for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It stores some of the necessary items like medicines, food supplants, water bottles, etc. These items are denominated as deliverable goods.
With the aim of assessing global issues pertaining to the social, economical and physical development of children across the globe, the UNICEF has established UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. The Centre is situated in Florence, Italy. It conducts researches on issues relating to children and promotes policies, which according to it, are driven towards positive development of children. It advocates children’s rights.
Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility:
There is a very disapproving impression about Corporates, as many environmentalists and other activities consider them as money-hungry centers. While much of it does reflect the contemporary situation where many corporate personalities often attempt to evade obligations that are imposed upon them, a lot has been done to ensure that corporate social responsibility becomes embedded in the machinery of any corporate.
Corporate Social Responsibility ensures that companies invest their resources in areas of education, poverty alleviation, women and children rights, environmental development, etc. UNICEF collaborated with Save the Children and the United Nations Global Compact to promote the formulation of business principles containing developmental aims for children.
Collaboration with corporate world:
The corporate world may not be the right the place for UNICEF to hang out, considering prevalent apprehensions against the self-centric, money minded nature of corporates. However, UNICEF knows that funding is needed and corporates can be great helpers in this area. In fact, collaborating with corporate might even create a better business environment.
UNICEF has collaborated with multinational and regional companies in order to support its dream of an empowering environment for children and mothers. The organization has received support from Montblanc, which assists UNICEF in promoting education.
UNICEF has also collaborated with an international company called Merck & Co. to alleviate maternal mortality, which has particularly affected developing nations. It recently announced its “Merck for Mothers” that is an awareness drive on the issues and also provides financial assistance.
National committees of the UNICEF:
UNICEF has established National Committees in about 36 countries that are characterized as NGOs. Independent and empowered, these committees are agencies of the UNICEF that function primarily to generate funds from private sectors.
The contribution of these National Committees is immense, considering the fact that UNICEF functions on voluntary funding and approximately one-third of its funds come from these committees. These committees relieve the core bodies of UNICEF from funding work and allow them to concentrate on policy-making and relevant discussions. National Committees have been established in Turkey, the United States, Poland, Hong Kong, Belgium, Andorra, etc
Controversies in the kitty of UNICEF:
Despite its noble efforts to help most vulnerable sections of the society, UNICEF has been embroiled in controversies and these controversies were not one-day controversies that would have disappeared from the domain of public debates easily. UNICEF has its own share of controversies and some of them are dealt in this section.
The most infamous controversy to have caught UNICEF in its bondage is the NSA Surveillance controversy. This controversy shook not only UNICEF but the world. The controversy is said to be a major setback to the pervading principles of individual privacy and nations’ sovereignty. When Edward Snowden revealed the documents on the United States’ virtual surveillance, the documents indicated that surveillance targets included UNDP, UNICEF, etc.
Another controversy that affected UNICEF for quite some time was that UNICEF was alleged to have provided heavy cash flow to developing countries to persuade them to close down their adoption programs that allow foreigners to adopt children from their country. There was scathing verbal criticism from International society and UNICEF was labeled as a villainous organization, with its own agenda to serve.
The effectiveness of the UNICEF as an organization has been challenged for quite some time. It has been often argued that much of the objectives of the UNICEF have not been even marginally realized. For example, UNICEF’s agenda had maternal mortality to decrease but reports indicated that no significant progress has been made in this regard. This greatly questioned the utility of UNICEF in the global scenario.
While there are many surveys conducted by UNICEF, the most comprehensive is The Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys. These surveys provide international statistics on children and mothers. The survey generally includes a questionnaire that is an indicator of relevant factors in issues relating to children and women. This survey is used in determining the much talked about Millennium Development Goals. Four rounds of the survey have been already conducted and the fifth one is scheduled to run to 2015.
Countries, which have conducted these surveys are Angola, Argentina, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Iran, Iraq, India, Mongolia, etc. These surveys have been used to highlight gray areas where countries have to work harder. Some of the data from the surveys have been used to draft Children modules, etc.
UNICEF clearly has many noble functions to discharge and these functions are fundamental in ensuring overall development of two of the most neglected and vulnerable sections of human society, children, and women. While wars have been long gone but the objectives of the UNICEF have not been still realized and therefore, the organization is still needed.
Though there have been controversies as to the effectiveness of the organization as a whole, it cannot be denied that UNICEF has contributed in bringing forth corporate social responsibility, children rights, and other relevant issues in the limelight. It is, however, time to gear up because the world is moving faster towards global crises and UNICEF must act before it is too late.