UNICEF Photo of the Year 2013

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. The award of the prize “UNICEF Photo of the Year” will be decided upon by an independent jury.

The contest

Each year, UNICEF Germany and GEO Germany (from the publishing house Gruner +Jahr AG & Co KG) grant the “UNICEF Photo of the Year Award” to photos and photo series that best depict the personality and living conditions of children worldwide in an outstanding manner. Only professional photographers are eligible for this contest and they have to be recommended by internationally renowned photography experts. Every two years the best photos of the contest are presented at the photographic industry fair “Photokina” in Cologne titled “Children. The presence of the future”. The award ceremony and press conference of the “UNICEF Photo of the Year 2013” will take place on March 4 in Berlin.

„Good photos break the arbitrary flood of images. They make us pause for a moment and look closely”, says Dr. Jürgen Heraeus, Chair of UNICEF Germany. “The photos of the contest do not just illustrate reality but take us to the world of children. Some photos describe their plight, their desperation and others show their happiness and dreams. Documenting what it means to be a child reminds us of our common global responsibility to care and advocate for their rights.”

The participants

Since 2000 renowned photographers from all over the world have taken part in the contest. Photographers from more than 70 nations and all five continents have so far been awarded. With individual photos or photo series they document the living conditions of children who are in difficult circumstances such as war, material and emotional distress, after natural disasters. However, they also portray moments of happiness, joy of living and facets of their different everyday lives.

Country of the lost children. © Matias Costa/Freelance photographer

Bild 1 von 13 | "Country of the lost children" by Matias Costa/Freelance photographer

© Matias Costa/Freelance photographer
Siviani on the sofa. © Meredith Davenport/Freelance photographer

Bild 2 von 13 | "Siviani on the sofa" by Meredith Davenport/Freelance photographer

© Meredith Davenport/Freelance photographer
Forgotten Refugees of the World. © Jan Grarup/Politiken/Noor

Bild 3 von 13 | "Forgotten Refugees of the World" by Jan Grarup/Politiken/Noor

© Jan Grarup/Politiken/Noor
Bound to El Norte. © Don Barletti/Los Angeles Times

Bild 4 von 13 | "Bound to El Norte" by Don Barletti/Los Angeles Times

© Don Barletti/Los Angeles Times
Darfur in Flames. © Marcus Bleasdale/VII

Bild 5 von 13 | "Darfur in Flames" by Marcus Bleasdale/VII

© Marcus Bleasdale/VII
Street children in Odessa. © David John Gillanders/Freelance Photographer

Bild 6 von 13 | "Street children in Odessa" by David John Gillanders/Freelance Photographer

© David John Gillanders/Freelance Photographer
The Kashmir Earthquake. © Jan Grarup/Politiken/Noor

Bild 7 von 13 | "The Kashmir Earthquake" by Jan Grarup/Politiken/Noor

© Jan Grarup/Politiken/Noor
Child brides. © Stephanie Sinclair/VII Network

Bild 8 von 13 | "Child brides" by Stephanie Sinclair/VII Network

© Stephanie Sinclair/VII Network
Surviving in Haiti. © Alice Smeets/Out of Focus

Bild 9 von 13 | "Surviving in Haiti" by Alice Smeets/Out of Focus

© Alice Smeets/Out of Focus
Deadly superstition. © Johan Bävman/Freelance Photographer/Moment

Bild 10 von 13 | "Deadly superstition" by Johan Bävman, Freelance Photographer/Moment

© Johan Bävman/Freelance Photographer/Moment
Vietnam: The legacy of war. © Ed Kashi/VII

Bild 11 von 13 | "Vietnam: The legacy of war" by Ed Kashi/VII

© Ed Kashi/VII
Ghana: Waste export to Africa. © Kai Löffelbein/University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover

Bild 12 von 13 | "Ghana: Waste export to Africa" by Kai Löffelbein/University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover

© Kai Löffelbein/University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover
Syria: Children between the lines. © Alessio Romenzi/Corbis Images Agency

Bild 13 von 13 | "Syria: Children between the lines" by Alessio Romenzi/Corbis Images Agency

© Alessio Romenzi/Corbis Images Agency

Winners 2000-2012: Click on a picture to enlarge.

A recommendation from an internationally renowned photography expert is the prerequisite for taking part in the competition. The award is announced annually. Participation in the contest is not possible without a nomination. The winner receives a reportage photography assignment for GEO.

The jury

The award of the prize “UNICEF Photo of the Year” will be decided upon by an independent jury headed by Professor Klaus Honnef, art historian and publicist.

Jury UNICEF-Photo of the Year

The jury (from left to right): Prof. Klaus Honnef, Jury Chairman & Art Historian and Journalist, Reinhard Schlagintweit, Honorary Member of the German Committee of UNICEF, Maria Mann, Director of International Relations & Business Development, epa - european pressphoto agency, Prof. Rolf Nobel, Head of the Faculty of Photography, University of Applied Sciences for Design and Media, Hannover, Bernd von Jutrczenka, Director Picture Service dpa, Christian Pohlert, Senior Picture Editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Ruth Eichhorn, Senior Picture Editor of GEO Magazine, Lutz Fischmann, Managing Director of Freelens e.V.

© UNICEF Germany

Well-known photo experts from the field of photo journalism and fine arts form the jury. The jury is independent of UNICEF and the nominating experts. It selects photojournalistic reportages and documentations that render outstanding services to aesthetical and journalistic quality as well as respect for children and their living conditions. All entries are anonymized shown in the jury session.

The nominating photo experts

Among the nominating photo experts are representatives of news agencies such as EPA (European Press Agency), Thompson-Reuters as well as photo agencies such as VII, Marketphotoworkshop, Drik, Majorityworld, Facing Change, Getty Images, Corbis, Noor, laif, Focus and many more. Additionally, there are experts from renowned academies of photography and well-known photographers. They are characterized by international expertise as well as high awareness of ethical standards of photojournalism. All nominating experts have pertinent contacts to photographers working worldwide and are well-known for high-level education and promotion in the field of international photojournalism.

Special thanks in 2013 to the nominators Sheryl Mendez, Patrick Brown and Sherry Dougherty.

Information on copyrights

"UNICEF Photo of the Year" is a UNICEF project. The intellectual property rights and rights of use to the images used on this website are reserved to the photographers.

The images available for download may only be used for media reporting purposes in relation to the project "UNICEF Photo of the Year" and for the general advancement of UNICEF and its activities. Any image used may not be altered and may only be published together with the appropriate credit to the photographer.

Any use of the images hosted on the UNICEF website other than as described in the foregoing paragraph requires the express written permission of the photographer.

All unauthorized use of the images is strictly prohibited and will lead to the appropriate legal action being taken.