Did your child get an orange UNICEF box to solicit donations on Halloween?  If so, here are some things you should know about UNICEF:

UNICEF once did a tremendous amount of good, saving lives and improving health.  But in 1986, the organization shifted its emphasis from promoting survival to promoting rights -- to the detriment of the children and families involved. 

UNICEF keeps adoptable children in orphanages.

Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Bartholet told the Register that UNICEF and similar organizations are "the primary driving force for the elimination of international adoption."  The organization places a strong emphasis on a child's right to stay in his birth country.  This means thousands of children remain languishing in substandard orphanages, rather than being adopted by a Western family.  This chart from the NYT shows how international adoption rates have plummeted after the Hague Convention, which UNICEF pushed countries to adopt. 

 UNICEF promotes chemical and surgical abortion. 


As a matter of practice, UNICEF does not provide contraceptive supplies. UNICEF has never provided support for abortion and it continues to be the long-standing UNICEF policy not to support abortion as a method of family planning.

But a huge, deep-pocketed global organization like UNICEF does its work by partnering with other organizations, by funding drives to push legislation, and by pressuring various governments to adopt policies it deems favorable.

UNICEF recently sponsored the Global Maternal Health Conference, which promotes the distribution of "maternal-health commodities" including abortion equipment and drugs, and contraception.  The conference includes these things as part of an effort to decrease maternal mortality rates; but, says C-FAM,

While maternal mortality rates continue to fall – the recent Global Burden of Disease study cites a 47.2% drop in the global maternal death rate since 1990 – there is scant research to link this trend to liberalization of abortion laws.  Insistence on access to abortion as a human right rather than a medical necessity sidesteps this issue.

The titles of the conference talks frequently referred to “creating demand,” “improving demand” or “empowering women to demand” improved maternal health care products and services, phrasings which suggest that the agenda being driven by the attendees is not in line with what the women being targeted actually want.  One presentation, given by a representative of Population Services International, was titled “Creating the misoprostol market,” referring to the drug used for both postpartum hemorrhage and medical abortion.

In 2006, UNICEF joined other organizations in pressuring Nicaragua to keep abortion legal:

UNICEF joined agencies like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Development Fund in signing a letter to the head of the Nicaraguan National Assembly that asserted – incorrectly – that the legislation violated rights contained in various international documents such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, or CEDAW.

In 2009, UNICEF pushed for legalized abortion in the Dominican Republic.

And finally, UNICEF pushes to sexualize children.

This summer, according to C-FAM, UNICEF made a broad interpretation of two UN human rights treaties to include the rights of children ages 10 and up to "confidential sexual and reproductive health information and services."

UNICEF says that nations are bound by international law to recognize the right of children to sexually-related information and services without parental knowledge.

UNICEF's latest annual report revealed that it interprets two UN human rights treaties--on disabilities and children's rights--to include a child's right "to confidential sexual and reproductive health information and services during adolescence and into early adulthood." UNICEF defines adolescence as 10 to 19 years of age.

Neither treaty mentions such a right, but in 2009 the committee that monitors the Children's treaty began interpreting it such that children must have access “without parental consent” to “reproductive health education or services,” a term often used by UN staff to include abortion. In 2010 the Vatican upbraided the committee that monitors the treaty for misinterpreting it

So if your child wants to collect money for UNICEF, or if a trick-or-treater comes to your door asking for coins, just say, "No, thanks.  We support better charities."