Campaign with us
for a safer world

For children everywhere

What does it mean to campaign with Unicef?

From the global refugee crisis to air pollution in the UK, children around the world are at the greatest risk when there’s danger.

We campaign to stand up for children’s rights, but we can only do it with your support. Whether it’s signing petitions, telling your MP to act, sharing our stories with your friends or raising awareness locally, these are the actions that win campaigns and help keep children safe.

Campaigners Duncan and Jum at the Welcome Refugees march in September 2016. Unicef 2016 Fields

"Everybody can help. It's all about getting enough numbers involved," said Unicef UK Campaigner, Duncan. "You may be one person but collectively we have an influence."

Does campaigning work?

At Unicef, we’ve done more to influence laws and policies to protect children than anyone else – we know that campaigning can make a difference.

Earlier this year, the UK Government announced that the UK will sign the Safe Schools Declaration – a political commitment which protects schools, students and teacher from attack in areas affected by conflict. We have been calling for the Government to sign up to the declaration since the run up to the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, and thanks to the support of over 170,000 members of the public, ambassadors, business leaders, and hundreds of schools across the UK we are delighted to see that this change has been achieved for children. With this declaration in place, not only does this send a clear message out to Governments about the importance of education in emergencies, but also more children affected by war will be able to learn and play in safety.

Thanks to Unicef campaigners, millions of children living in emergencies around the world are able to continue learning, like 10-year-old Qasem.

Children make their way to school alongside a busy road. Photo: Unicef/2018/Sutton-Hibbert

What are we
campaigning on?

And how can you get involved?

Protecting children from toxic air

You can’t see it but in the UK there is a dangerous threat to children’s health: toxic air. One in three children are growing up in parts of the UK with hazardous levels of toxic air, which has a devastating impact on their health. 

Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of toxic air because their bodies are in critical stages of development yet the harmful levels of air pollution in the UK are predicted to remain for another decade.

Find out more about our work protecting children from air pollution

Current national action on toxic air lacks ambition and direction, leaving children at risk of serious harm. The government admits that toxic levels of pollution are likely to continue for another decade, but there is no plan to protect children in the meantime. Without specific commitment and funding to reduce children’s exposure to harmful pollutants, they remain dangerously vulnerable.

Until healthy air quality levels are reached across the UK, the government has a responsibility to protect children from the harmful effects of toxic air. That’s why we’re calling on them to:

  1. Commit to targets that reduce toxic air in the UK to the legal levels recommended by the World Health Organisation.
  2. Create a national action plan across UK Government Departments, including those with responsibility for the environment, health and transport.
  3. Set up a Little Lungs Fund for Local Authorities to pay for changes to keep children safe from toxic air where they live, learn and play.

Add your name today and show the Government that we all care about every child’s breath under threat.

Why is air pollution a threat to children's health?

Add your name to protect children from deadly toxic air

Take action

Reuniting refugee children with their families

Around the world, whole communities are on the move and children are the worst affected. Right now, children are being forced to make dangerous journeys to Europe to reach their family in the UK.

We have been calling on the UK Government to change the definition of family within the UK’s refugee family reunion law to allow unaccompanied children to safely join their parents, grandparents, adult siblings, aunts and uncles in the UK, rather than making these dangerous journeys to reach Europe.

There has been progress, and the Government has committed to negotiate with the EU to remain in Dublin III after Brexit. However, while we welcome a negotiating position, we still do not have safe and legal routes for refugee children to join their family in the UK. The UK can easily fix this by amending the Immigration Rules – a simple change to UK law – rather than needing to wait for the EU.

We’re continuing to work with the Government to make this change.

Share this video to stand with refugee and migrant children and help give them hope for a happy future.