UNICEF works for children in more than 190 countries. We believe that every child, no matter who they are or where they live, has the right to grow up safe, happy and healthy.

In 1989, governments worldwide promised all children the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. These rights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential. They apply equally to every child, regardless of who they are, or where they are from.

The Convention is the basis of all our work. UNICEF is the only organisation working for children recognised by the Convention.

It's the most complete statement of children’s rights ever produced and is the most widely-ratified international human rights treaty in history.

All UN member states except for the United States and Somalia have approved the Convention. The UK signed it on 19 April 1990 and ratified it on 16 December 1991. It came into force in the UK on 15 January 1992.