UNICEF Ireland

UNICEF Ireland
UNICEF Ireland
Abbreviation UNICEF Ireland
Formation 1962
Type Non-governmental organisation
Legal status Active
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Peter Power
Parent organization
Website http://www.unicef.ie

UNICEF Ireland, also known as the Irish National Committee for UNICEF, is one of 36 UNICEF National Committees based in industrialised countries.

The National Committees raise funds for the organisation's worldwide emergency and development work.

UNICEF Ireland advises the Irish Government and other bodies on policies and legislation which support the above programmes and commitments under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

UNICEF is not funded by the UN. Instead, it relies on voluntary donations to fund its work for children worldwide. UNICEF Ireland raises funds for these programmes through donations, the sale of cards and gifts, partnerships with companies and special events. UNICEF Ireland is a registered charity.[1]

UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors

UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors have the ability to focus the world’s attention on the needs of children, helping them to reach a wider audience, allowing them to further highlight the work they undertake to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children around the world.

All of their ambassadors dedicate time and energy to UNICEF Ireland in a variety of ways; visiting field projects throughout the world, speaking to the media about what they have seen, or lobbying and raising money on their behalf.

UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors are Munster and Ireland rugby player Donncha O'Callaghan,[2] Rory McIlroy,[3] Stephen Rea, Cathy Kelly,[4] Gaelic sports stars Joe Canning and Dermot Earley,[5] Dustin the Turkey and Liam Neeson.[6]


UNICEF Ireland’s first “Believe in Zero” campaign took place from 24 October-6 November 2010. During these two weeks, UNICEF Ireland's goal was to raise over €1,000,000 simply by getting every adult in Ireland to donate €1 each to UNICEF.[7]

Convention on the Rights of the Child

The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a comprehensive human rights treaty which enshrines specific children’s rights in international law. These rights define universal principles and standards for the status and treatment of children worldwide.[8]

The Convention spells out a specific role for UNICEF, in its capacity as the UN body responsible for the rights of children. UNICEF is required to promote the effective implementation of the Convention and to encourage international cooperation for the benefit of children. UNICEF is also entitled to be represented when each country’s implementation of the Convention is considered by the Committee every five years.[9]

UNICEF in Ireland

In Ireland, UNICEF works to promote the rights of all children living in Ireland, regardless of race, religion or nationality and is a member of the Children's Rights Alliance.[10]

Change the Future Report Series

In 2011, UNICEF Ireland is publishing a series of four reports that present the findings of primary research carried out among Irish teenagers in late 2010. The series of reports entitled “Change the Future” will be released periodically by UNICEF Ireland in 2011 and will come together to paint a holistic picture on teenage well-being in Ireland, in the words of young people themselves. The First Report focuses on ‘happiness’ and explores general themes around teenage well-being throughout the country.[11][12]

Corporate partners

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary contributions and the support from corporate partners makes a significant contribution to its work. Companies that currently have a corporate partnership with UNICEF Ireland include Aer Lingus, Fyffes, IKEA, Topaz Energy and Pampers.[13][14][15]

Change for Good

In 2009, Tesco used “Change for Good” as advertising, which is trade marked by UNICEF internationally for charity usage but is not trademarked for commercial or retail use which prompted the agency to say "it is the first time in UNICEF’s history that a commercial entity has purposely set out to capitalise on one of our campaigns and subsequently damage an income stream which several of our programmes for children are dependent on”.They went on to call on the public “who have children’s welfare at heart, to consider carefully who they support when making consumer choices”.[16] [17]

2011 Chief Executive dismissal

In July 2011, former UNICEF Ireland executive director Melanie Verwoerd said she was “deeply shocked” to have been sacked from the charity because of the publicity surrounding her relationship with Gerry Ryan.[18] Three top Hollywood stars Liam Neeson, Vanessa Redgrave and Roger Moore expressed their sadness over the dismissal.[19] However, all three Goodwill Ambassadors are continuing to support UNICEF.[20]

Peter Power, a former Fianna Fáil minister for Overseas Development, was appointed Executive Director in December 2011.[21] The charity will not reveal how much Power is paid, which is at odds with internationally accepted best practice for the information charities should disclose about their spending.[22]


  1. http://www.revenue.ie/en/business/authorised-charities.html
  2. http://www.munsterrugby.ie/news/5883.php
  3. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/rory-mcilroy-appointed-unicef-ireland-ambassador-15119215.html
  4. http://www.harpercollins.ca/author/authorExtra.aspx?authorID=50013093&displayType=interview
  5. http://www.breakingnews.ie/sport/canning-and-earley-unveiled-as-unicef-ambassadors-473744.html?TB_iframe=true&height=450&keepThis=true&width=850
  6. http://www.rte.ie/ten/2011/0329/neesonl2.html
  7. "No Child should ever die from a preventable cause... Every day 22,000 do.". UNICEF Ireland. UNICEF Ireland. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  8. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm
  9. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm
  10. http://www.childrensrights.ie/?q=alliance-members/alliance-members
  11. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0402/1224293650103.html
  12. http://www.tv3.ie/news.php?video=34289&locID=1.2
  13. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/neeson-in-town-looking-for-change-177466.html
  14. http://www.herald.ie/opinion/columnists/marisa-mackle/help-save-babies-now---or-ill-cry-1567177.html
  15. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/nice-try-but-donncha-fails-to-brush-off-makeover-2627356.html
  16. Irish Times
  17. Independent
  18. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0725/1224301315484.html
  19. http://www.iol.co.za/tonight/news/international/a-list-envoys-lament-damaging-loss-1.1107537
  20. http://roger-moore.com/i-have-not-withdrawn-from-unicef/
  21. RTE News: Former FF minister gets UNICEF role
  22. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/statebacked-charities-refuse-to-reveal-chief-executive-pay-3153435.html
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