UN Authority Figures

U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Board: Cuba

Photo: BBC
"The government maintained a dossier on every child from kindergarten through high school..." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Cuba)

Mission of the U.N. 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." (U.N. Children's Fund web-site, "UNICEF's Mission Statement")

Term of office: 2009-2011

Cuba's Record on Children:
"Underage prostitution...[is] a problem...The government maintained a dossier on every child from kindergarten through high school, which included a record of the child's participation in political activities, such as mandatory marches. Full participation in political activities, such as membership in the Union of Pioneers of Cuba, a regimented youth organization used by the government for political indoctrination, was essential to advance in the school system...Child prostitution was a problem, with young girls engaging in prostitution to help support themselves and their families...the government required children to work in various situations." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Cuba)