Each year, UNICEF Germany grants the “UNICEF Photo of the Year Award” to photos and photo series that best depict the personality and living conditions of children all around the world.
UNICEF patroness Eva Luise Köhler presents the award annually in late December in Berlin.
The winner of the first prize gets, in recognition of his/her work, a photo reportage in the German magazine GEO. The prizes are awarded by an independent jury under the chairmanship of Klaus Honnef, Professor of Photography.
The “UNICEF Photo of the Year Award” has been presented in Germany since 2000. Thanks to the support of Citibank Germany and GEO magazine, the contest is able to invite entries from all around the world.
The contest features the best photographers from around the world. They document the living conditions of children under extreme circumstances such as war, poverty, mental suffering or the aftermath of natural disasters. At the same time, they also show the children during happy and joyful moments.
“High-quality photography shows both beauty and the things that really matter. The aim of this award is to help us increase the awareness of children’s suffering and also of their hopes and dreams“, says Dr. Jürgen Heraeus, Head of UNICEF Germany. Images can tell us much better than words where children suffer and where they are neglected or exploited. They show the unique way in which children experience the world, they show their tears, joys and challenges. Without much ado, they let us know why we must think of these children and how we can help them.
International experts are invited by the German committee of UNICEF e.V. to encourage young photographers to hand in five to ten images depicting the living conditions of children. Applying photojournalists need to be recommended by an internationally renowned photography expert. Such nominations are mandatory for participants to enter the contest.
The contest results will be put online parallel to the award ceremony. The best images from recent years will be presented at the photo fair “Photokina”, which takes place in Cologne, Germany every two years.