Investing in a safe, healthy and productive transition from childhood to adulthood is critical

Adolescents – defined by the United Nations as those between the ages of 10 and 19 – number 1.2 billion in the world today, making up 16 per cent of the world’s population. As children up to the age of 18, most adolescents are protected under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet, their vulnerabilities and needs often remain unaddressed.

Neither young children nor adults, adolescents lack the services that respond to their distinctive needs. Interventions for children very often focus on the younger ages; adolescents ‘age out’ of paediatric health care, for example, and they are often unreached by programmes for adults.


Adolescent well-being encompasses many dimensions and UNICEF monitors several adolescent-specific indicators in the following vital areas: