Global Research on Ombuds for Children

The Role of UNICEF IRC

©UNICEF IRC/2007 - A clay model representing diversity, created by some of the children at San Rossore


Since 1989, the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre has supported the development of independent institutions and has represented a point of encounter for global efforts aimed at promoting these institutions. These efforts have focused in particular on undertaking research, acting as the Secretariat of the Global Network, and using knowledge and partnerships to provide technical assistance for the creation of new institutions and the strengthening of existing ones.

Research in this area was initiated in 1989 with the support of the first ombudsman for children in the world, Ms. Malfrid Grude Flekkoy from Norway, who published an analytical essay on the Norwegian experience of the Ombudsman for children.

Subsequently, two Digests were issued by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. The Innocenti Digest on the "Ombudswork for children" published in 1997 shares practical knowledge based on the experience of 16 countries. Innocenti Digest No. 8 on 'Independent Institutions: Protecting Children's Rights' of 2001 describes and analyses the main characteristics and functioning of independent children's rights institutions based on information from 27 countries.

Based on its longstanding knowledge and positioning on this issue, UNICEF IRC is able to bridge research, policy advocacy and partnerships for positive results, and act as a reference point on Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children.

IRC related publications:

A voice for children by Malfrid Grude Flekkoy, 1991
Ombudswork for children, Innocenti Digest no. 1, 1997
Independent institutions protecting children's rights, Innocenti Digest no. 8, 2001