Gender. Collaboration across the UN system on gender has grown in the context of system-wide preparations for the Beijing Conference and its aftermath. The focus has been on the advancement of women and on implementing the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. (See also Box 2.12, Inter-agency collaboration on gender equality and empowerment of women.)

Reproductive health and population. To advance the right to health in vulnerable populations, the UN system has established an inter-agency project, Strengthening Voices for Reproductive Health, which works to support governments and their partners in improving the quality of reproductive health care through empowering communities, particularly women and young people. The project is being carried out by an interregional partnership among ILO/STEP, UNICEF and WHO, under the leadership of UNFPA. It focuses on increasing users’ demand for quality services through rights-based, gender-sensitive participatory mechanisms, which strengthen women’s voices to dialogue with health-service providers.

Indigenous peoples. An informal contact group on indigenous peoples was established in the early 1990s, after the adoption of the ILO’s Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention and the UN’s pioneering work in this field. As a follow-up to the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, the UN established the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2001 to coordinate relevant systemwide actions. The Permanent Forum has now completed the first three years of its mandate, with a unique structure, composed in equal parts of government representatives and representatives of indigenous peoples. The Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues assists the Permanent Forum in its work. 3.

Children. Through collaboration with a wide range of actors, the UN system has made progress in building a worldwide culture of protection of children and youth. It has contributed to raising national standards, in areas ranging from children and armed conflict, to combatting the sale of children, child prostitution, pornography and violence against children. Current efforts emphasize building systems of protection through improved legislation, attitudinal change and children’s own knowledge and skills.

Migrants. Considerable work has been ongoing within and between parts of the UN system, in close collaboration with regional institutions, to protect migrants and their families. A growing awareness exists of the threats to human rights and dignity from the increased trafficking of migrants, resulting in an increase in modern-day slavery. Coordination among different parts of the system focuses on both the management of migration and on ways to combat trafficking.