The big picture of Mauritania

Nearly half of the world’s population, almost 3 billion people, are under the age of 25. Among the total population of adolescents, 1.3 billion are in developing countries and over 500 million of them are adolescent girls.

Adolescence is a period of transition between childhood into adulthood and for analytic purposes can be segmented into three stages: early (10-13 years of age), middle (14-16), and late (17-19) adolescents. This is a critical time in life because the experiences, knowledge and skills acquired in adolescence have important implications for an individual’s prospects in adulthood. UNICEF places particular attention to reaching the most disadvantaged and marginalized adolescents, protecting their rights in every situation including conflict, post-conflict and emergencies.

UNICEF’s mandate to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child necessitates that all children under 18 are included in its programming. UNICEF’s organizational priorities identify adolescents as a cross-cutting issue, impacting critical areas of UNICEF’s work. Adolescents play a central role in contributing to young child survival programmes, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, helping to create a protective environment against violence, exploitation and abuse, and macro policy development to increase social investment in issues that affect children and adolescents.

UNICEF is committed to building partnerships that promote meaningful participation of children and adolescents in programmes and decision-making processes that affect their lives.

UNICEF works with and for adolescents to involve them as partners in policy and programme development. In doing this, UNICEF seeks to ensure that the views of girls and boys are taken into account in the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of policies and programmes that affect their lives in accordance with their evolving capacities, including during conflict and crises.

Achieving sustainable change requires collaborative efforts and partnerships among UN Agencies, governments, private sector, international agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community groups and youth organization and networks. These strategic alliances will promote sustained and scaled-up investments to increase coverage of evidence-based programming interventions with and for the development of adolescents as a central strategy to achieve the global targets of the Millennium agenda.