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Philippines conducting national survey of child internet use

(11 September 2017) UNICEF Philippines, in collaboration with researchers at De La Salle University, is currently undertaking a national survey of child internet use based on the ‘Global Kids Online’ cross-national research toolkit methodology. The research follows a successful pilot study in 2016. A total of 144 field researchers are carrying out data collection across the country. In order to ensure young children's engagement, emphasis was placed on hiring young researchers with whom children would find it easier to establish rapport.In some cases, the fieldwork researchers have to undertake great efforts to reach secluded areas. For ensuring their safety, as well as to have a gender balance, there is a buddy-system in place in which one male and one female interviewer work and travel together. In terms of equipment, each team member received a waterproof bag for the tablet and printed surveys as back-up.[Read the Global Kids Online Research Synthesis, 2016]“We are trying to do fieldwork site visits and monitor the progress of the fieldwork and the work of the survey interviewers,” said Maria Margarita Ardivilla, of UNICEF Philippines. “This is important so that we can get an understanding of the perspective on the ground and help to address issues as they arise.”“This provided a space in which the field researchers and the members of the Research Board can process and talk about concerns from the field which proved to be an enriching experience for everyone involved. As some of the enumerators work under hard circumstances trying to reach hard to access places, seeing core members of the Research Board boosted their morale.” Researchers are taking a phased approach to the study: the preparatory phase (then undertaken with the University of the Philippines and the Philippines National Institutes of Health) included working on the research protocol and obtaining ethical approval; the second phase entailed conducting the pilot study in 2016; and the final third phase now includes conducting a nationally representative study with children aged 9-17 and their parents.Considering the sensitivity of some of the questions, particularly related to child sexual exploitation, all researchers received an extensive 4-day training prior to commencing the fieldwork. Training sessions were organized by the De La Salle University’s Social Research Development Centre where the research team, including UNICEF, Council for the Welfare of Children and Stairway Foundation, discussed and practiced utilization of standardized, accurate, sensitive and safe techniques for implementing the survey. The training programme included: 1) children’s rights and child safeguarding principles and protection protocols; 2) development and personality of children; 3) a participatory approach to reviewing the Global Kids Online toolkit, the tablet use and questionnaire application, including interview techniques; 4) discussion of key issues related to children’s internet use; 5) ethical considerations when conducting research with children; 6) role plays; and 7) a mock survey. UNICEF Philippines also required a Research Advisory Board to be created by the academic institution where members are from critical national agencies such as the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Justice and Information and Communications Technology from government, NGOs, and sectoral representatives from the youth and LGBT organizations.A school girl takes a ‘selfie’ with her smartphone at St. Francis of Assisi School, while other students check their smartphones after classes in the Central Visayas city of Cebu, Philippines. The study aims to cover as many regions as possible, but some ongoing conflicts pose challenges for the team. The declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao initially raised concerns on whether social preparation and the actual survey would be affected, and whether the personal safety of the data collectors could be ensured. Having addressed the challenges, the fieldwork in Mindanao was able to commence but red flags remain in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). This is a fragile region with pockets of armed conflicts and the team is currently seeking dispensation from the Ethical Review Board of De La Salle University to allow the inclusion of the ARMM as a site for the study. During the time of writing, it was reported to UNICEF Philippines that the De La Salle University continued the field survey in Mindanao with facilitation where some of the randomly selected areas had a 100% response rate. Notably, in Metro Manila, children living in gated communities also proved hard to recruit, despite intensive social preparation.At present, 2,250 child respondents are identified to be surveyed. The quantitative survey will be followed by a qualitative workshop for results validation and to afford children the platform to express in more depth their experiences and thoughts about their opportunities and risks in the digital environment.The Global Kids Online survey in Philippines is made possible through the technical support of UNICEF Innocenti, London School of Economics, and the shared programmatic commitment on child online protection of UNICEF Philippines and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.(The original version of this article was written by Maria Margarita Ardivilla of UNICEF Philippines and published on 17 August 2017 on www.globalkidsonline.net. It has been edited slightly for re-publication here.)
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‘Cash plus’ interventions have potential for greater impact than cash alone

(5 September 2017) New Innocenti Working Paper: “How to Make ‘Cash Plus’ Work: Linking Cash Transfers to Services and Sectors”, sets out to evaluate what factors contribute to more successful ‘cash plus’ programme outcomes.  The paper asserts that while cash transfers alone have contributed to numerous positive impacts in reducing poverty and promoting well-being, the provision of cash alone falls short in achieving long-term positive impacts on nutrition, learning, and morbidity. ‘Cash plus’ programmes aim to rectify this impact gap by complementing cash transfers with additional inputs, services, and linkages to other services in order to more effectively achieve successful outcomes and ensure long-term sustainability. The new working paper is a collaboration between the Centre for Social protection, Institute for Development Studies, the Transfer Project, the University of Ghana and UNICEF.‘Cash plus’ programming evolved from the theory that while cash transfers can be effective alone in the most ideal circumstances, the effect of cash transfers can be constrained by behavioural mediators, such as financial security, or broader moderators, such as quality or availability of health services.  Cash transfers alone, for example, may not prompt effective behavioural change to ensure successful outcomes for better nutrition, education, or health – these moderators may need their own additional inputs in the form of infrastructure support to improve the quality and availability of services to recipients.  Complementing cash transfers with programmes to improve access and quality of services aims to address these gaps to augment the effects of income.  Complementary inputs for ‘cash plus’ can include the provision of information, such as educational training or nutrition seminars for new mothers on best practices for feeding their children, as well as the provision of support, such as psycho-social counselling, and the facilitation of access to services, such as health insurance, or strengthening the quality of existing services and linkages.[Ghana LEAP 1000 Impact Evaluation: Overview of Study Design]The study aimed to identify criteria for successful ‘cash plus’ initiatives as well as challenges in development and delivery of such programmes, specifically targeting the health, nutrition, and education sectors.  The study reviewed the emerging evidence assessing the impact of ‘cash plus’ versus stand-alone cash and examined case studies in three countries:Livelihoods Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme in Ghana,Chile Solidario scheme in Chile,Integrated Nutrition Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) pilot project in EthiopiaTia Palermo, social policy specialist at UNICEF Innocenti and co-author of the working paper, discussed how ‘cash plus’ programming in Ghana augmented existing transfers to include vulnerable mothers and children. “Innocenti is leading a study evaluating the LEAP programme extension studying pregnant and nursing mothers in Ghana. What we found is that these programs were not reaching households with young children since the previous program targeted the mostly vulnerable elderly population. In order to reach these households, the ‘cash plus’ programme, which included cash transfers ‘plus’ free access to healthcare, was extended to pregnant women and mothers of children under one year old in order to achieve greater impact on child stunting in the first 1000 days,” she said. “This is particularly a problem in Ghana.” One aim of the LEAP ‘cash plus’ programme was to improve basic household consumption and nutrition and access to health care services. A need for complementary health insurance was identified after evidence of LEAP beneficiaries using their cash transfers to pay for high health insurance premiums, and often the cash transfers weren’t enough to cover that. The ‘cash plus’ intervention supplemented the cash benefit with free access to health insurance in Ghana. Previously, this wasn’t something impoverished mothers had access to in Ghana.  The three case studies identified key factors that were likely to contribute to more effective ‘cash plus’ programmes:Policy-level factors: including the importance of political champions in advocating for cash plus programmes and the establishment of formal agreements;Programme-level factors: including the need for awareness and engagement on behalf of all parties involved, such as the availability of a skilled workforce and better resources;Supply-side-level factors: including greater investment in availability and quality of services;Fit-for-purpose interventions: meaning additional components should appropriately match their intended purpose and also take into account local considerations.The paper concludes that the assessment of the three case studies indicates that effective implementation of ‘cash plus’ components has contributed to more successful programme outcomes. Where cash alone fails to address non-financial and structural barriers, ‘cash plus’ has the potential to contribute to greater, more sustainable impacts, overall. Through ‘cash plus’ programmes, the most vulnerable households living in poverty can be targeted beyond financial limitations.While ‘cash plus’ proves to be a promising intervention for social protection, more innovative monitoring and evaluation is called for, especially to understand the impact of the many variations of ‘cash plus’ programming as well as identifying ways to examine the impacts of additional components in isolation from the cash benefit, as well as to gain more insight into how greater impacts can be achieved.Download the working paper here. For more information on cash transfer programmes and ‘cash plus’ studies, please visit our webpage on Social Protection & Cash Transfers and follow our partner project: Transfer Project. Follow @UNICEFInnocenti and @TransferProjct on Twitter for real-time updates on cash transfer social protection programmes.  
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WHO, UNICEF global estimates for water, sanitation and hygiene for the SDGs

(28 August 2017) Some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.The Joint Monitoring Programme report, Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 Update and Sustainable Development Goal Baselines, released last month, presents the first global assessment of “safely managed” drinking water and sanitation services. The overriding conclusion is that too many people still lack access, particularly in rural areas.[During World Water Week: 29 Aug - 1 Sept, UNICEF will be drawing attention to the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene in emergencies; for more information follow UNICEF coverage here]“Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege of only those who are rich or live in urban centres,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization. “These are some of the most basic requirements for human health, and all countries have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access them.”Billions of people have gained access to basic drinking water and sanitation services since 2000, but these services do not necessarily provide safe water and sanitation. Many homes, healthcare facilities and schools also still lack soap and water for handwashing.  This puts the health of all people – but especially young children – at risk for diseases, such as diarrhoea.As a result, every year, 361,000 children under 5 years die due to diarrhoea. Poor sanitation and contaminated water are also linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid.“Safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene are critical to the health of every child and every community – and thus are essential to building stronger, healthier, and more equitable societies,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “As we improve these services in the most disadvantaged communities and for the most disadvantaged children today, we give them a fairer chance at a better tomorrow.”Significant inequalities persistIn order to decrease global inequalities, the new SDGs call for ending open defecation and achieving universal access to basic services by 2030. Of the 2.1 billion people who do not have safely managed water, 844 million do not have even a basic drinking water service. This includes 263 million people who have to spend over 30 minutes per trip collecting water from sources outside the home, and 159 million who still drink untreated water from surface water sources, such as streams or lakes. In 90 countries, progress towards basic sanitation is too slow, meaning they will not reach universal coverage by 2030.A girl pumps water from a borehole provided by UNICEF in Borno State, Nigeria.Of the 4.5 billion people who do not have safely managed sanitation, 2.3 billion still do not have basic sanitation services. This includes 600 million people who share a toilet or latrine with other households, and 892 million people – mostly in rural areas – who defecate in the open. Due to population growth, open defecation is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania.Good hygiene is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease. For the first time, the SDGs are monitoring the percentage of people who have facilities to wash their hands at home with soap and water.  According to the new report, access to water and soap for handwashing varies immensely in the 70 countries with available data, from 15 per cent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa to 76 per cent in western Asia and northern Africa.Additional key findings from the report include:Many countries lack data on the quality of water and sanitation services. The report includes estimates for 96 countries on safely managed drinking water and 84 countries on safely managed sanitation.In countries experiencing conflict or unrest, children are 4 times less likely to use basic water services, and 2 times less likely to use basic sanitation services than children in other countries.There are big gaps in service between urban and rural areas. Two out of three people with safely managed drinking water and three out of five people with safely managed sanitation services live in urban areas. Of the 161 million people using untreated surface water (from lakes, rivers or irrigation channels), 150 million live in rural areas.(This article originally appeared on www.unicef.org on 12 July 2017) 
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Trafficking in humanitarian emergencies: A largely unattended threat to children

(23 August 2017) CALL FOR COMMENT AND EXCHANGE ON EXPANDING RESEARCH EFFORTS A new UNICEF Innocenti blog sheds light on important evidence and knowledge gaps related to human trafficking in humanitarian settings. One of the most neglected issues in emergencies, trafficking is usually viewed as a pre-existing problem and not as a direct consequence of conflict or natural disaster.
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Uncovering drivers of violence against children in Swaziland

(3 August 2017) A comprehensive qualitative study exploring the drivers of violence affecting children in Swaziland aims to shed light on why violence against children is happening and to make recommendations on what can be done to prevent it. The National Study on the Drivers of Violence against Children in Swaziland report, launched 18 May 2017, identifies key drivers linked to increased risk of violence against children1 – including gender inequality and entrenched social norms preventing disclosure of family ‘secrets’ – and lays out policy recommendations focusing on improving legal frameworks and creating safe protective settings for children.The study follows the Research to Policy and Practice Process (R3P) methodology developed by UNICEF Innocenti’s ongoing Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children, and improves upon it with the collection of new qualitative data on contributing factors of violence affecting children.  The study was carried out by the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with The University of Swaziland, UNICEF Swaziland and with support from the Swaziland Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. The report is a follow-up to the ground-breaking 2007 quantitative national study on violence against children in Swaziland.According to national survey data, violent discipline in the home, which includes physical punishment and psychological aggression, affects more than 88 per cent of all children in Swaziland. The study findings also reveal that sexual violence and bullying affects 38 per cent and 32 percent of children in Swaziland, respectively. The study found that children experiencing one type of violence were more likely to experience other types of violence. One staggering statistic to emerge from the data revealed that for every girl child known to Social Welfare as having experienced sexual violence, there are an estimated 400 girls who have never received help or assistance for sexual violence. The research study assessed different levels of risk at the individual, interpersonal, and community levels. Individually, risk factors varied little across settings. Age and gender were linked to increased vulnerabilities in girls because of biological changes. Orphans and children with disabilities were found to be more vulnerable to all types of violence. Food insecurity and living with three or more other families during childhood years was found to be associated with increased risk for violence in girls as well.Key risk factors for violence affecting children at the interpersonal level include the presence of domestic violence in the home, the quality of relationships between parents and children, financial stress and family structure, as well as the Swazi family and community normative concept of ‘tibi tendlu’, which translates to ‘family secrets.’ The widely accepted notion of keeping family matters private to protect the family or community over the individual was repeatedly cited as a driver of violence and was also found to be a factor dissuading individuals from intervening when they suspect a child is abused. Lack of reporting violence affecting children was also found to be related to a general lack of confidentiality in communities, where some have even faced retaliation after reporting childhood violence.Swaziland is one of the first countries to link drivers of violence to strategies that are highly likely to be effective at preventing violence. The government has established a Multi-Sectoral Task Team (MTTV) to follow up on recommendations and to work with key stakeholders on prevention.The study identifies five key factors that drive violence across all levels of society:Gender norms and inequality,Economic and social policies that increase poverty and inequality,The HIV/AIDS epidemic,Formal and informal systems that inhibit disclosure, access and follow-up on violence experiences and,Family and community norms around ‘Tibi Tendlu’ or secrets.According to the report, these five drivers had the greatest impact on children’s individual vulnerability, on the quality of relationships in the home, school and community, on the capacity of adults to care for children and on community and institutional responses to violence. Based on findings from the study, key policy recommendations were made corresponding to the seven priority strategies found in WHO’s INSPIRE framework.  Under implementation and enforcement of laws emphasis is placed on aligning national education and child protection Acts and banning corporal punishment in all settings. Under norms and values recommendations focus on fostering national dialogue on violence, addressing harmful gender norms and scaling up positive discipline programmes in schools. Within safe environments efforts should directed toward increasing the number of guidance counselors in schools and strengthening community based child protection structures. In the parenting and caregiver support strategy area emphasis is placed on improving parenting and family strengthening skills and awareness of caring for orphans. Under income and economic strengthening recommendations focus on building entrepreneurial skills, scaling up cash transfers and vocational training. In the response and social services strategy area effort should be directed at strengthening case-management, reporting and referral mechanisms and building up child helplines and one-stop service centres. Finally, in education and life skills recommendations call for wider provision of life skills and increasing capacity of teachers for preventing violence. [For a full summary of the recommendations from the study, click here.]Dr. Deborah Fry, a programme director and senior lecturer on child protection at the University of Edinburgh coordinated the study in Swaziland, in consultation with UNICEF Innocenti.  As principal investigator of the study, Fry believes the findings of the report will help persuade policy makers to move forward in efforts to lower risks of violence in Swaziland. “It’s hard to know where to act and what to prioritize to help prevent violence in the first place, so this model is good at identifying which issues are actual drivers of violence,” she said. “Identifying the root causes helps to develop better programs and policies.”Now that the drivers of violence have been established, Fry is confident about Swaziland’s commitment to do something about it. “What’s special about Swaziland is the huge commitment from all different government ministries, which has been a driver for the success of the study and is very promising for future efforts to be made going forward.”Of the key recommendations made from the study, Fry identified implementation and enforcement of laws as especially important. “I hope that this study will be the tipping point to finally passing the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act, which includes the extension of the definition of rape to male victims as well as updating and consolidating the law on sexual offences,” she said. “There is a national violence law, but is hasn’t been enforced. We also hope this evidence will help government commit to using the study findings to help form a national strategy for violence prevention. Download the report summary findings 1. Drivers refer to factors at the institutional and structural levels that create the conditions in which violence is more or less likely to occur. Risk and protective factors reflect the likelihood of violence occurring due to characteristics most often measured at the individual, interpersonal, and community levels.. In Swaziland, key drivers include gender inequality and entrenched social norms interacting with risk and preventive factors at the community level and within households. Identifying these factors helps Swaziland move to targeted evidence-based recommendations for continually improving legal frameworks and creating safe protective settings for children.     
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Babies and mothers worldwide failed by lack of investment in breastfeeding

(1 August 2017) No country in the world fully meets recommended standards for breastfeeding, according to a new report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Global Breastfeeding Collective, a new initiative to increase global breastfeeding rates.The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, which evaluated 194 nations, found that only 40 per cent of children younger than six months are breastfed exclusively (given nothing but breast milk) and only 23 countries have exclusive breastfeeding rates above 60 per cent.Evidence shows that breastfeeding has cognitive and health benefits for both infants and their mothers. It is especially critical during the first six months of life, helping prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia, two major causes of death in infants. Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer, two leading causes of death among women.“Breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start in life,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “Breastmilk works like a baby’s first vaccine, protecting infants from potentially deadly diseases and giving them all the nourishment they need to survive and thrive.”The scorecard was released at the start of World Breastfeeding Week alongside a new analysis demonstrating that an annual investment of only US$4.70 per newborn is required to increase the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding among children under six months to 50 per cent by 2025.Nurturing the Health and Wealth of Nations: The Investment Case for Breastfeeding, suggests that meeting this target could save the lives of 520,000 children under the age of five and potentially generate US$300 billion in economic gains over 10 years, as a result of reduced illness and health care costs and increased productivity.“Breastfeeding is one of the most effective – and cost effective – investments nations can make in the health of their youngest members and the future health of their economies and societies,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “By failing to invest in breastfeeding, we are failing mothers and their babies – and paying a double price: in lost lives and in lost opportunity.”The investment case shows that in five of the world’s largest emerging economies—China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria—the lack of investment in breastfeeding results in an estimated 236,000 child deaths per year and US$119 billion in economic losses.Globally, investment in breastfeeding is far too low. Each year, governments in lower- and middle-income countries spend approximately US$250 million on breastfeeding programs; and donors provide only an additional US$85 million.The Global Breastfeeding Collective is calling on countries to:Increase funding to raise breastfeeding rates from birth through two years.Fully implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly resolutions through strong legal measures that are enforced and independently monitored by organizations free from conflicts of interest.Enact paid family leave and workplace breastfeeding policies, building on the International Labour Organization’s maternity protection guidelines as a minimum requirement, including provisions for the informal sector.Implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in maternity facilities, including providing breastmilk for sick and vulnerable newborns.Improve access to skilled breastfeeding counselling as part of comprehensive breastfeeding policies and programmes in health facilities.Strengthen links between health facilities and communities, and encourage community networks that protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.Strengthen monitoring systems that track the progress of policies, programmes, and funding towards achieving both national and global breastfeeding targets.Breastfeeding is critical for the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals. It improves nutrition (SDG2), prevents child mortality and decreases the risk of non-communicable diseases (SDG3), and supports cognitive development and education (SDG4). Breastfeeding is also an enabler to ending poverty, promoting economic growth and reducing inequalities.In 1990 UNICEF and WHO adopted the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding in Florence to ensure that all facilities with maternity services fully implemented the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding to support and encourage breastfeeding for new born infants which first appeared in a joint statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF in 1989 on Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: the Special Role of Maternity Services. The Steps as well as the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes became the foundation for the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in 1991.In 2009 BFHI was updated taking into account the experiences from the first 15 years of implementation and the guidance on infant feeding among mothers infected with HIV. In 2012, the 194 countries of the World Health Assembly committed to a target of increasing the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life from a baseline of 37 per cent to 50 per cent by 2025. About the Global Breastfeeding Scorecard - The Scorecard compiles data from countries all over the world on the status of seven priorities set by the Global Breastfeeding Collective to increase the rate of breastfeeding. The 23 countries that have achieved exclusive breastfeeding rates above 60 per cent are: Bolivia, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Micronesia, Federated States of Nauru, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, São Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Zambia.About the Global Breastfeeding Collective - Co-led by UNICEF and WHO, the Global Breastfeeding Collective’s mission is to rally political, legal, financial, and public support for breastfeeding, which will benefit mothers, children, and society. This press release was originally published on www.unicef.org/breastfeeding  
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Children on the move from Africa do not aim for Europe, UNICEF study shows

(26 July 2017) Children on the move into Europe from Africa take the decision to leave home on their own and do not initially intend to go to Europe. For the majority the systematic trauma and abuse they witnessed or suffered in Libya caused them to flee to Europe and take the terrifying Central Mediterranean sea route, according to a new study (download right) commissioned by UNICEF and carried out by REACH. As many as 75 percent of the refugee and migrant children interviewed in Italy as part of the study, took the decision to embark on the journey alone. The journey itself can take a staggering two years or more for children. One of the key reasons children give for leaving home was violence at home but also deprivation and conflict. Child marriage was also reported as the main reason for leaving by 1 in 5 of all girls interviewed. Children’s journeys to Europe were often fragmented and their destination changed along the way.“What is striking about this study is it shows for the first time that there are overwhelmingly far more reasons that push children to leave their homes, than has been previously understood, and fewer pull factors that lure them to Europe,” said Afshan Khan UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. The aim of the study is to provide decision makers, partners and governments with evidence on what drives children to flee their countries and homes. The interviews were conducted in the two main gateways into Europe – Italy and Greece – with a total 850 children, between the ages of 15 and 17 years old.  UNICEF Innocenti has recently begun a new research project Children and Migration: Rights and  resilience which emphasizes child rights-sensitive inquiry to explain the intricate dynamics not captured by more general research. The latest version of UNICEF Innocenti's Research Watch has also focused on child migration bringing together top world experts to discuss the research agenda for migrant and refugee children.Refugee and migrant children in Italy unanimously reported their time in Libya as the most traumatising part of their journey on land. Almost half of them (47 per cent) reported to have been kidnapped for ransom in Libya, and one in four children (23 per cent) reported to have been arbitrarily arrested and held in prison without charges. The majority come from various countries in sub-Saharan Africa but some are from as far afield as Bangladesh.“For those who did aim to come to the continent, the allure of Europe was the chance of furthering their education, respect for their rights and getting ahead in life. However once they reach Europe the reality is sadly quite different and their expectations are shattered,” said UNICEF’s Afshan Khan. Mohammad, 17, (left) from Kafuta, Gambia sits by a pond in a park in Pozzallo, Sicily, Italy, during a walk around town to take a break from their accommodations at the asylum seeker reception center, known as a Hot Spot. In Greece the survey showed that one in three parents or caretakers said that seeking education for their children was the main reason they left their countries for Europe. However the survey of refugee and migrant children revealed that lengthy procedures and confusion about their rights have led to many children dropping out of the Italian and Greek reception systems, losing out on education and exposing them to high risks of abuse and exploitation.Of the 12,239 children who arrived in Italy in the first six months of this year, 93 percent travelled alone.As outlined in the study, the profiles of children arrived in Italy and Greece vary significantly. Children in Italy tend to have made the decision to migrate individually (75 per cent of interviewed children) and are mostly unaccompanied, boys, aged 16 to 17. In Greece, children tend to have taken a joint decision within their family and arrive with family members (91 per cent of interviewed children), at an almost equal level between boys and girls, and from all age groups. At the recent G20 and G7 summits, UNICEF urged governments to take action to protect child refugees and migrant as part of its six-point plan of Action for Children Uprooted which calls for the protection of every child uprooted by war, violence and poverty. The plan calls on governments to:Protect child refugees and migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, from exploitation and violence;End the detention of children seeking refugee status or migrating, by introducing a range of practical alternatives;Keep families together as the best way to protect children and give children legal status;Keep all refugee and migrant children learning and give them access to health and other quality services;Press for action on the underlying causes of large scale movements of refugees and migrants;Promote measures to combat xenophobia, discrimination and marginalization in countries of transit and destination.(This press release was originally published on the www.unicef.org press centre)
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Quick summary of latest Innocenti Research Digest | Adolescence, #6

(13 July 2017) The latest edition of Innocenti Research Digest | Adolescence includes compelling research, resources, news and events that address the issue of gender from many perspectives that will benefit the work of colleagues within and outside of the UN, on behalf of the world’s 1.2 billion adolescent girls and boys. We are pleased to make the digest available for the first time in three languages – English, French and Spanish. This article provides a condensed selection of the research, resources, news, event, online courses included in the digest. To access the full contents of this highly useful publication visit here.LATEST RESEARCH Building the Foundations for Sustainable Development: a Case for Global Investment in the Capabilities of Adolescents, Sheehan, P. et al., The Lancet, April 2017.   Cost-benefit analyses show that global investments in adolescent’s capabilities can result in high economic and social returns. Child and Adolescent Health from 1990 to 2015: Findings from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors 2015 Study ,The Global Burden of Disease Child and Adolescent Health Collaboration, JAMA Pediatrics, June 2017.   Trends in mortality and non-fatal health loss across 195 countries, show significant global decreases in child and adolescent mortality: from 14.18 million deaths in 1990 to 7.26 million deaths in 2015. Mapping the Knowledge and Understanding of Menarche, Menstrual Hygiene and Menstrual Health among Adolescent Girls in Low- and Middle-income Countries, Chandra-Mouli, V. and Patel, S., Reproductive Health, March 2017.   Unlike other normal bodily processes, menstruation is still surrounded by widespread stigma, lack of understanding and poor sanitary practices. The Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Very Young Adolescents Aged 10–14 In Developing Countries: What Does the Evidence Show? Woog, V. and Kågesten, A., Guttmacher Institute, May 2017.   Very early adolescence, defined as the years from 10 to 14, is a critical time to lay the foundations for positive sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Understanding the Linkages between Social Safety Nets and Childhood Violence: A Review of the Evidence from Low- and Middle-income Countries, Peterman, A. et al., Health Policy and Planning, April 2017.   A review of 14 impact evaluations of social safety nets (SSNs) finds they have the potential to reduce violence against children, but there remain large gaps in our understanding across typologies of violence, region and programme design. Children participate in a group counselling session, at the Dagoretti Child Development Centre, in the Mutuini area of the Dagoretti division of Nairobi, Kenya. State of the Evidence: A Systematic Review of Approaches to Reduce Gender-Based Violence and Support the Empowerment of Adolescent Girls in Humanitarian Settings, Noble E. et al., Trauma, Violence and Abuse, March 2017.   This systematic review examines the evidence base for programming that seeks to reduce violence against adolescent girls in humanitarian contexts. Pathways between Childhood Trauma, Intimate Partner Violence, and Harsh Parenting: Findings from the United Nations (UN) Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific, Fulu, E. et al., The Lancet Global Health, May 2017.   A recent UN multi-country study in Asia and the Pacific identifies significant, often gendered, pathways that connect childhood trauma, intimate partner violence (IPV), and harsh parenting. Girl Child Marriage as a Risk Factor for Early Childhood Development and Stunting, Efevbera Y. et al., Social Science & Medicine, May 2017.   Data from 16 countries across sub-Saharan Africa confirms that girl child marriage is a risk factor for early childhood development and health.Effects of Public Policy on Child Labor: Current Knowledge, Gaps and Implications for Programme Design, Dammert, A. et al., World Bank Group, Policy Research Working Paper, March 2017.   Anti-poverty programmes have strong potential to improve schooling outcomes and reduce child labour. Financial Education’s Contribution to Girls’ Economic Empowerment: A Global Review, Singh, J. and Schneiders, M., Aflatoun International, March 2017.   Education programmes on girl’s economic empowerment are more robust when they combine financial components with social and health components, such as social education, sexual and reproductive health education, and vocational training. Download policy brief [pdf] Las Violencias en el Espacio Escolar (Violence in School Spaces) Trucco, D. and Inostroza, P., Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), March 2017.   Learning outcomes are directly affected by levels of violence in schools, with peer victimization being the main source of classroom violence. A Systematic Review of Positive Youth Development (PYD) Programmes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, YouthPower Learning, April 2017.   This review documents the use and effectiveness of Positive Youth development (PYD) approaches in 97 programmes across 60 Low and Middle-income Countries. RESOURCESUNICEF Innocenti’s New Series of Briefs on How to Conduct Research with Adolescents – Developed by UNICEF, experts from Columbia University and the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, these seven evidence briefs provide a review of contemporary research methodologies for adolescent well-being in low-and middle-income countries. World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidance on Improving Adolescent Health – According to a new report by WHO Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!), more than 3,000 adolescents die every day from largely preventable causes, such as road injuries, respiratory infections, self-harm. UNICEF Report on Protecting Children on the Move from Violence, Abuse and Exploitation – In 2015-2016, at least 300,000 unaccompanied children and adolescents were recorded in over 80 countries.UNESCO Recommendations to the Education Sector on Early and Unintended Pregnancy – Evidence shows that the education sector has a critical role to play in preventing unintended pregnancy and ensuring pregnant and parenting girls can return to school. Child Fund Alliance’s Review of official development spending to end violence against children – The first official development assistance (ODA) review of its kind, reveals that only 0.6% out of a total $174 billion global ODA budget was allocated to ending violence against children (VAC) in 2015 – equating to less than $0.65 per child in recipient countries. Full report, Infographic and Executive Summary are available online.A teacher playing with young girls in UNICEF supported school in Jalozai camp, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.Young Lives’ Guide to Longitudinal Research – The Young Lives team provides insight into the methods and processes involved in carrying out a multi-country longitudinal study with young people. MEASURE Evaluation Guidelines on Best Practices for Adolescent- and Youth-friendly HIV Services – Developed by the USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation, these guidelines are informed by a review of 13 projects offering adolescent and youth-friendly HIV services. Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS) Toolkit – The GEAS toolkit includes research tools developed as part of an international study to understand the factors that predispose adolescents, aged 10-14, to sexual health risks. The tools include a parent/guardian questionnaire, a gender norms instrument, a vignette-based measure of gender equality, and a Health+ instrument. The Impact Initiatives’ Key Issues Guide on Research with Children and Young PeopleThis review draws on a synthesis of research outputs by the Economic and Social Research Council and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Key insights and recommended reading are shared on: livelihoods and aspirations; mobile technology; access to education; improving outcomes in food, nutrition and health choices.NEWSCall on G7 leaders to Better Protect Refugee and Migrant Children – On the occasion of the G7 world leaders’ meeting in Sicily on 26-27 May, UNICEF urged governments to adopt a six-point agenda for action in order to protect and guarantee the rights of children as they move. The Lancet launches a new journal on Child and Adolescent Health – The newly released monthly journal, Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, publishes research or evidence-based reviews that will directly impact clinical practice or child health across the disciplines of paediatrics, adolescent medicine, and child development. Full details on how to submit a paper hereNew Guidelines for Children in the Justice System released – Guidelines for treating young people who come into contact with the justice system have been released by the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates. Instructions cover all interventions of justice systems prior, pending or following judicial interventions.Menstrual Hygiene Day – Online resources available – On Menstrual Hygiene Day (28 May), organizations around the world promoted campaigns to raise awareness about good hygiene management for adolescent girls. A collection of campaign materials and resources on menstrual hygiene management can be found on the Menstrual Hygiene Day website.UNESCO Report on Youth and Violent Extremism in Morocco – A recent UNESCO report on violent extremism in Morocco urges national and international authorities to act jointly to prevent adolescents becoming victims of radical recruitment. Working groups made policy recommendations for addressing youth radicalization in schools and the media, providing jobs and economic opportunities, and increasing civic engagement. Call to Action on Violence and Child Pregnancy in Latin America and the Caribbean – The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women, known as the Convention of Belém do Pará, has launched the Hemispheric Report on Sexual Violence and Child Pregnancy.Innovative Research on Gender-based Violence (GBV) - Innovations aimed at preventing GBV were awarded special recognition by WHO and SRVI. EVENTSUnited Nations Youth-dedicated Days - In June the UN celebrates World Refugee Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. Adolescent-related UN actions and useful resources can be consulted on the respective websites. Then, 15 July is World Youth Skills Day, while 12 August is International Youth Day , focusing this year on peace building and social justice.International Society for Child Indicators Conference – This conference will discuss the latest child indicator research and implications. The theme is ‘Children in a World of Opportunities: innovations in research, policy and practice’. Organizers: McGill University, Date: 28-30 June 2017, Montreal. Registration‘Girl Up’ Leadership Summit – More than 300 girl advocates from around the world will convene for the sixth annual Girl Up Leadership Summit.Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum 2017 – This forum will showcase research and innovation on sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and child abuse and maltreatment. Organizers: Sexual Violence Research Initiative; Date: 18-21 September 2017. Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil RegistrationONLINE COURSESEngaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality Programming – This e-learning course will examine concepts of masculinity, patriarchy and intersectionality. Organizers: The Global Human Rights Education and Training Centre (HREA). Date: 11 October – 21 November 2017 Registration To read the full digest with additional resources, comment and information download [here].
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Knowledge for Children in Africa: 2017 Publications Catalogue

(11 July 2017) Every year UNICEF and its partners in Africa generate a wealth of evidence on the situation of children. Knowledge and evidence are essential to informing the development, monitoring and implementation of policies and programmes for the realization of children’s rights. The 2017 edition of the UNICEF Africa Publications Catalogue provides an up-date of the most recent knowledge and evidence publications undertaken by UNICEF in Africa.This second edition of the catalogue - representing the collective knowledge produced by UNICEF Country and Regional Offices across Africa - is a joint initiative undertaken by the Regional Offices of  Eastern and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa.Health workers in Uganda's Bukomansimbi District Health Headquarters discuss progress in public health data collection via the mTrac ‘dashboard’ website. The catalogue features 287 reports and studies that UNICEF and its partners are generating on the situation of children and young people. They capture some of the most advanced work to support efforts by children and young people to realize their rights to survival, development and protection.The publications cover a wide range of topics, which are organized under the following categories:Part 1: Highlights of Regional PublicationsPart 2: Publications by Thematic AreaChild Poverty and Socio-Economic DevelopmentChild Protection Children and Social ProtectionClimate Change and Energy AccessCommunication for DevelopmentEducation and Early Childhood DevelopmentFinancing for Development: Public Finance for ChildrenHIV/AIDSHumanitarian Action, Resilience and Peace BuildingMaternal, New-born and Child HealthNutritionWater, Sanitation and HygieneYouth and AdolescentsPart 3: Publications Indexed by Country and by Addis Ababa Action Agenda/Sustainable Development GoalsUNICEF Innocenti has contributed extensively to evidence generation efforts in Africa in the fields of social protection, family and parenting support, multidimensional child poverty, nutrition and food security, adolescent well-being, violence affecting children, child internet use among other research themes.Download full catalogue in related content column at right.
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First global estimates of food insecurity among households with children

(30 June 2017) Using FAO’s Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) to measure moderate and severe food insecurity in combination with data from the Gallup World Poll (GWP) survey, a new UNICEF Innocenti Working Paper, Prevalence and Correlates of Food Insecurity among Children across the Globe, presents the first global estimates of food insecurity among households with children under age 15, from 147 countries and four territories.  Of the 147 countries observed, 41 per cent of children under age 15 live with a respondent who is moderately or severely food insecure, with 19 per cent of those living with a respondent who is severely food insecure, and 45 per cent living with a respondent who reported not having enough money to buy food in the previous 12 months. These estimates represent approximately 605 million, 260 million, and 688 million children under age 15, respectively.To better understand how well the FIES captures different aspects of food insecurity, the study also tested FIES against the GWP food insecurity indicator (measured by “Was there ever a time in the last 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food?”), monetary poverty and the Negative Experience Index[1]. Trends in per capita income were also measured as a determinant of food security to observe how the relationship fluctuated during the Great Recession.[Read a recent Evidence for Action blog on the challenges of measuring food insecurity]The data demonstrates that food insecurity among households with children under age 15 is most prevalent in South Sudan, with 92 per cent of households with children experiencing moderate to severe food insecurity.  South Sudan was declared to be undergoing a famine in February 2017 and only recently, thanks to human aid, is no longer classified as undergoing famine, according to a BBC report. According to the UN-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), 1.7 million people in South Sudan are still facing emergency levels of hunger, one step below famine. As of May 2017, 5.5 million people were estimated in to be in food insecurity “Crisis”, with risk expected to rise to six million this month. After South Sudan, Liberia, Malawi, Burundi, and Sierra Leone have the next highest prevalence of food insecurity among households with children, each with more than 80 per cent of households with children facing moderate to severe food insecurity.  The countries recording the least food insecurity prevalence in the study were Japan, Bhutan, Singapore, Sweden, and the Republic of Korea, each with prevalence of food insecurity at or under five per cent. India represents the largest burden of food insecurity for children under 15, accounting for 17.16 per cent of all food insecurity measured across 147 countries, with nearly 104 million (For this part of the analysis, we used food security instead of food insecurity to better show the relationship) children under 15 in India registering moderate to severe food insecurity. Here, the study reveals that while the total number of children under 15 in India with moderate to severe food insecurity represents the highest burden in 147 countries and four territories observed, the prevalence of food insecurity in India is not as high compared to many other countries.Data visualization: Prevalence and Burden of Moderate to Severe Food Insecurity among Households with Children by Country View the Data Visualization.Prevalence is mapped in blue from light to dark, with greater prevalence of food insecurity indicated by the darker countries on the map.Burden is visualized for each country with a yellow bubble over the respective country, with greater burden of food insecurity indicated by larger bubbles.In the context of this study, prevalence is defined as the extent of food insecurity measured as a proportion of the population. Here, it measures households with children who are food insecure as a proportion of all households with children, for each country. Burden is the number of children under 15 who live in food insecure households in each country. This chart shows prevalence and burden of food insecurity measured by the study, clustered by region. The data demonstrates the prevalence of food insecurity in households with children under age 15 (solid blue line) is higher than prevalence in all households (dashed line). While the map visualizes burden of food insecurity in bubbles by size, this chart shows the burden by household type (with and without children).  Overall burden of food insecurity is shown by the clustered bars, with burden for households with children under age 15 (purple bars), households without children (blue bars), and the total number in millions making up the total burden for all food insecurity regionally. In all regions, prevalence of food insecurity among households with children is higher than food insecurity among all households.A woman and her children carry sacks of maize home from a small farm where they work in exchange for food, in the village of Chipumi, Malawi. The research also looks at income as a determinant of food security over time and demonstrates the relationship between household income per capita and food security (So the prevalence is among children who live in food insecure households, but the burden is the number of children U15) for all households and for households with children under age 15. The data reveal that prevalence of food security decreases after 2007 in all households following the onset of the Great Recession, while sensitivity of food security to income peaks slightly in 2008 and remains fairly constant until 2011, when sensitivity to income increases.This paper is a first step in quantifying the extent of food insecurity among households with children, on a global scale as well as regionally. It also aims to motivate continued global efforts to monitor and address progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger (SDG 2). Further research to better distinguish between food insecurity in adults and children is needed to better address mitigating child hunger.[1] The NX Index is in the core GWP questionnaire, and is a composite measure of respondents’ negative experiences from the day before the survey, relating to five feelings: physical pain; worry; sadness; stress; and anger.
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