UN Authority Figures

UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Board: Zimbabwe

"Zimbabwe's children and their parents pick up single corn kernels spilled on the roadside by trucks ferrying maize corn." Malnutrition in Zimbabwe's children and the recent cholera outbreak that has claimed thousands of lives are largely blamed on the policies of President Robert Mugabe. (BBC, December 14, 2008)

Mission of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF): "UNICEF is mandated by the UN 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. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children. UNICEF mobilizes 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. 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. UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority." (UN Children's Fund web-site, "UNICEF's Mission Statement")

Term of office: 2008-2010

Zimbabwe's Record on Children:
"The education system experienced its worst year on record....[G]overnment officials...hijacked a truck carrying 20 metric tons of food donated by the international community and destined for children at 27 schools in eastern Zimbabwe...Child abuse, including incest, infanticide, child abandonment, and rape continued to be serious problems during the year. Police statistics showed that child rape tripled between 2005 and 2007...The traditional practice of offering a young girl in marriage as compensatory payment in interfamily disputes continued during the year...Rural children were trafficked into farms or cities for agricultural labor, domestic servitude, and commercial sexual exploitation, often under the false pretenses of job or marriage proposals..." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Zimbabwe)