17 February 2015

Not for sale: protecting children exploited for sex in Thailand

Saeng holds a picture he’s drawn of a woman dressed in designer clothes.
© UNICEF EAPRO/2014/Andy Brown
There are no circumstances in which using children for sex is acceptable. HIV Specialist for UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Shirley Mark Prabhu says: “The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been signed by all countries in this region, is very clear on this point. There is no such thing as a child prostitute. Any child under the age of 18 is a victim of sexual exploitation. It violates their rights to health, education and a childhood.”

23 December 2014

After the tsunami: a Thai fishing village, ten years on



Story by Andy Brown / Video by Jingjai N.

It’s been almost ten years since the Indian Ocean tsunami hit the Thai island of Koh Lanta on 26 December 2004, but talking about it still brings tears to Ampai’s eyes. “I often cry when I talk about the tsunami,” she says apologetically. “It’s always at the back of my mind, like a scar that doesn’t heal.”

Ten years after the tsunami, life is back to normal but memories remains fresh


Nong Bee stands in front of a photo of Phi Phi Island in the wake of the tsunami
© UNICEF Thailand/2014/Jingjai N

By Nattha Keenapan/Video by Jingjai N.

KOH PHI PHI, Thailand, 15 December 2014 – On a sunny day in November, local residents, children and young people gather at Baan Koh Phi Phi School to play and compete in Phi Phi Island’s football tournament. Playing football had always kept 23-year-old Kwanrudee Kaphokla (nicknamed Nong Bee) and her teammates close. But what kept them closer was the difficult times they shared after the tsunami devastated their island 10 years ago.

21 November 2014

Voices of children


“All children, including children with special needs, children with disabilities, and children from ethnic groups, should get equal rights and equal treatment.
Pongnarin Nonkam, 20
Acting president of the Children and Youth Council of Thailand
Story by Heamakarn Sricharatchanya / Photos by Sukhum Preechapanich

Bangkok, 21 November 2014 – Representatives of children from four regions take part in the national youth consultation held on 19 November 2014 at Indra Regent Hotel. They provide recommendations to parents, adults, general public, and the government on issues related child rights. Here are some of their recommendations:

31 October 2014

Ebola: finding patient zero


A family photograph of a new-born Emile, known as patient zero and his mother and father. Emile, his older sister Philomne, and his mother all died after contracting Ebola. (c) UNICEF/2014/Beukes


It is true that the further you are from the Ebola crisis, the more biblically paranoid you are about the disease. Going to the heart of where Ebola is thought to have originated in West Africa – a small picturesque forest village called Meliandou in Guinea – made me realize that.

24 October 2014

In Sierra Leone, getting back to school – on the airwaves


Moalem Siseh, 17, writes on a blackboard to help teach Uleymatu Conteh, 13, who is taking her school lessons by radio. The project aims to reach more than 1.7 million children in Sierra Leone who have no access to education because of the Ebola outbreak. © UNICEF Sierra Leone/2014/Romero

By Yolanda Romero

With schools closed throughout the country as a result of the Ebola epidemic, Sierra Leone is bringing the classroom into students’ homes through the use of educational radio broadcasts.

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 21 October 2014 – At the end of a labyrinth of small streets in Freetown’s New England neighbourhood lies the home of 13-year-old Uleymatu Conteh. Normally this morning she would have made her way to school dodging the motorbike taxis and the market women selling fruits, sweets and bread. Instead, she is sitting on the floor of her home, listening to the radio and taking notes while leaning against a wooden stool.

22 October 2014

Surviving Ebola in Sierra Leone – a child’s story



Amadou and his sister, Awa, at the family's home in Kenema, Sierra Leone . © UNICEF Sierra Leone/2014/Bindra


After losing her mother to the Ebola virus, a girl in Sierra Leone must raise her younger brother and sister on her own – and hold on to her own hope of returning to school.

By Anne Boher

KENEMA, Sierra Leone, 16 October 2014 – Four-year-old Amadou wakes up his sister, Mary, at 4:30 a.m. He has a headache and can’t sleep. He asks her where their mother is. It is the same question he has asked almost daily since he was discharged from the Ebola Treatment Unit in Kenema, almost two months ago.

16 October 2014

Friends of UNICEF Nichkhun and Paula urge public to help fight Ebola





Nickhun Horvejkul, Friend of UNICEF, is urging the public to help fight the Ebola outbreak. Make a donation today at http://www.unicef.or.th

BANGKOK, 14 October 2014 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today appealed to the Thai public for urgent donations to help fight the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.

07 October 2014

Ebola and its devastating impact on children

A social mobilizer teaches children about proper hand-washing in Conakry.
© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1522/La Rose

By Timothy La Rose

The village of Meliandou in Guéckédou, Guinea, where the recent Ebola outbreak is believed to have started, is probably one of the most difficult places to reach in the country. It is a two-day drive from the capital of Conakry, followed by a long walk through the dense rain-forest.

Along with child protection officers and partners, I recently went to Meliandou, to understand how Ebola was affecting children. What we found confirmed our suspicions—based on what the people we spoke to said, there would be hundreds, if not thousands of children who have lost a parent, grandparent, brothers and sisters or have been made orphans by this deadly disease.

02 October 2014

Ebola: leaving children orphaned in Sierra Leone


13 year-old Francis has lost his sister, parents and grandmother to Ebola.
(c) UNICEF Sierra Leone/2014/Dunlop
By Jo Dunlop

Popping his head out from behind the front door is Francis, a 13-year-old boy who welcomes me into a sparsely furnished home on the fringes of Kailahun town. The house is humble but sturdy, nestled on the side of one of the lush, gentle hills that characterize the landscape of Sierra Leone’s Eastern Province.