Humanitarian Advocacy

"Advocacy is understood to constitute deliberate efforts, based on demonstrated evidence, aimed at persuading decision makers to adopt policies and take actions to promote and protect the rights of children and women in humanitarian situations. It aims to communicate the legitimacy and primacy of their perspectives and helps to address critical humanitarian programming or policy gaps. Advocacy for children and women:

  • Constitutes an integral part of humanitarian action.

  • Should be context-specific and, when possible, evidence based, and should target the full range of stakeholders, including governments, policymakers, international organizations and non-governmental entities.
  • Should be based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and other international legal instruments, peace agreements, and other commitments made by governments and nongovernmental entities.
  • Yields the best results when undertaken on a collective basis and in partnership with others.
  • Leads to specific actions targeted to attract greater political, human and financial support; facilitates better humanitarian access; promotes adherence to international laws and standards; and leads to accountability for perpetrators of child rights violations. In a humanitarian situation, the absence of advocacy may have a direct impact on the ability of UNICEF and its partners to deliver services.

UNICEF, in collaboration with its partners, will take due account of the possible adverse effects of engaging in advocacy strategies on staff security, country programmes and vulnerable populations." (CCC, 2010)


Policy and Standards

Advocacy L3 SSOPs, UNICEF, 2012
Programme Policy and Procedure Manual, 2.5.3, UNICEF, 2011
MTSP, p18, UNICEF, 2005
UNICEF Mission Statement, UNICEF, 1996