The Innocenti Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices

©UNICEF /2004 - Senegal: Ourey Sall (on the left) and her assistant, during a public declaration ceremony, UNICEF/2004


UNICEF and partners have increasingly recognized the importance of social norms and their effect on the survival, development and protection of children. Much effort has been made to understand how and why harmful social practices that compromise the realization of children's rights persist and are perpetuated by families and communities in spite of being a risk to children health, education and development. Understanding the factors that perpetuate harmful social practices and how these factors interact with transformative processes are critical to understanding why and how communities can move towards the abandonment of such practices.

Through a number of Working Papers, the Innocenti Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices, confirms that, despite marked differences between and within countries, the process leading to the abandonment of harmful practices has common transformative elements. The Working Papers define and examine these key elements so that they can be applied in programmes to support abandonment processes that promote human rights and respect the values of communities.

The following Innocenti Working Papers of the Special Series are now available:
The evidence analyzed in the Innocenti Working Papers of the Special Series is being summarized in the Innocenti Insight, A Multi-country Study on the Social Dynamics of Abandonment of Harmful Practices, planned to be released before the end of 2009. The study analyzes experiences in five countries (Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, and Sudan) where abandonment of FGM/C and other harmful practices is reaching significant scale. It provides new insights on the social dynamics of change and how they need to be considered in the planning and implementation of policies and programmes.

The Innocenti Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices is a joint initiative of UNICEF Headquarters in New York, UNICEF Country Offices (Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Senegal), academic partners, development partners together with the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. The project was made possible thanks to a generous contribution from the European Commission and to other contributions, which are specified in the acknowledgements of each publication.

Innocenti Special Series


Documents

  • Arab African Youth Declaration on FGM/C - Arabic version

  • Arab African Youth Declaration on FGM/C - English version

  • Dakar final declaration to end FGM/C - English version

  • Dakar final declaration to end FGM/C - French version