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45.8 million people in slavery, according to global estimates
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45.8 million people in slavery, according to global estimates

(25 November 2016) Nearly 46 million people around the world are reported to be experiencing some form of modern slavery, according to the latest global estimates produced by the Global Slavery Index. The Global Slavery Index 2016, compiled by the Walk Free Foundation, provides an estimate of the number of people in modern slavery as well as steps taken by governments to tackle the issue in 167 countries. Data shows 58 per cent of those living in modern slavery are in five countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan. Speaking at an Innocenti Seminar this week, Jacqueline Joudo Larsen of the Walk Free Foundation said providing accurate and rigorous data on the reality of modern slavery was crucial in effecting policy. “I think numbers play an important role in bringing attention to the issue and it does bring with it an urgency to policy response,” she said. “Our challenge is to get that number as correct as we can based on research. That’s where we’ll have the best impact.”  The Index also measures government action against modern slavery and comes with key policy recommendations for businesses and governments. Research shows that in some countries with high GDP rates, including Qatar and Singapore, policy responses are poor. The governments taking the least action overall include North Korea, Iran and Eritrea while the countries with the strongest responses include The Netherlands, the U.S. and the U.K. Strong political will, a strong civil society and adequate allocation of resources were defined as key components for effective national programmes to combat modern forms of slavery. Katharine Bryant, research manager at Walk Free Foundation told Innocenti staff gathered at the Seminar it was important for more countries to gather data directly from those who had experienced some form of modern slavery in order to better inform the research.“Very few countries take active steps to learn from survivor’s experiences, with regards to victim support or as participants in the criminal justice system. It’s really important that survivors of slavery are given the opportunity to feed in what the responses should be so that the research becomes more meaningful.”The Walk Free Foundation and UNICEF Innocenti researchers met this week in order to discuss opportunities for incorporating a child rights approach into the Global Slavery Index research. “Innocenti and the Walk Free Foundation would like to explore possible collaboration around modern slavery including methodological refinement and incorporating a better child lens to the instrument, as well as exploring areas of common interest such as child marriage, child labour, migration, wellbeing, trafficking and violence prevention more broadly,” said Kerry Albright, chief of research facilitation and knowledge management at UNICEF Innocenti. To produce the Global Slavery Index, random sample surveys were conducted in 25 countries. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with over 28,000 respondents in 52 languages using standardised instruments. Data was compiled from research instruments that represented 44 per cent of the global population in collaboration with Gallup. 
Understanding child experiences boosts effort to end violence
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Understanding child experiences boosts effort to end violence

(21 November 2016) Physical and emotional violence are pervasive and largely accepted aspects of children’s lives, according to a set of recently published studies. Interviews with children and their caregivers over nearly a decade in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Viet Nam provide researchers with important new insights on the way violence impacts children as they grow up. The new findings have been published in the “Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence” series of working papers produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti in collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Young Lives research initiative. The papers comprise the latest evidence to emerge from UNICEF’s Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children.“Violence is pervasive in children’s lives – impacting them in the family, in schools, and in the community – and this research, based on interviews with the same children over many years, paints a clearer picture of the intergenerational transmission of violence,” said Catherine Maternowska, UNICEF Innocenti’s lead researcher on the project.“Understanding how violence affects children as they move through childhood, adolescence and later into young adulthood, gives us important insights into change in a child’s capacities and in the environments where they live, sleep, study and play”. The new papers reveal unique aspects of the way children from four very different corners of the world perceive and cope with violence. A number of issues also appear to be in common among them as well. Violence is clearly linked to economic shocks in the family, such as death, illness or loss of a job. In Viet Nam children perceived economic hardship as the cause of increased tension and stress leading to more exposure to violence at home. In Peru, children were more often exposed to exploitative child labor and instances of neglect when families had to cope with loss of economic resources.In all four countries, parents and children both articulated the perception that violence is an acceptable or even necessary tool for shaping good behaviour and values. In Peru, children subjected to violence expect to raise their children the same way. In Ethiopia, violence was viewed as an acceptable way to instill a culture of hard work and discipline. In India, violence was articulated by some as an acceptable way to deal with ‘transgressions’ committed by young women and girls. At the same time, children express how they suffer under these often-unbearable conditions. Violence, according to children across all four countries, is a normal consequence of failing to meet responsibilities in the home and at school—linking two important spheres in children’s lives. In India almost all children experienced corporal punishment in school. In Viet Nam, children feared being beaten by their parents for poor grades on school exams. In Ethiopia, violence was often experienced as a result of failing to perform agricultural chores properly. Experiences of violence change depending on age, gender and setting. In India girls and young women commonly experience sexual harassment referred to as ‘eve-teasing’ in public ranging from verbal taunts to groping. In Ethiopia, boys are far more likely to report instances of physical violence at home while girls reported insults and harassment by boys in the community. In Viet Nam, the strong social preference for boy children put women and girls at greater risk of violence.Qualitative research conducted by Young Lives addressed children’s well-being, their experiences of transitions (for example, changing schools), and their time-use and daily experiences. Multiple qualitative research methods were used including one-to-one interviews, group discussions and creative activities (such as drawings of a child ‘doing well’ or ’doing badly’), and body mapping carried out in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014.In Ethiopia between 130 and 150 interviews were conducted with children and caregivers in each round. In India some 400 children and caregivers were interviewed in each round. In Viet Nam 72 children and caregivers were interviewed in each round. In Peru 100 children and caregivers participated in the interviews.A highly important component of the Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence series is the documentation of children’s narratives over time, as children enter into adulthood. In some cases children participating in the study were married by the time of the most recent round of interviews was completed. These narratives provide powerful new documentation which can help direct more effective interventions. Ravi’s story from the India qualitative interviews provides a good example. As a small child, Ravi witnessed his father beating his mother and he attempted to intervene. He also went on to try and protect his sister from her violent husband. At age 13 Ravi told researchers: “When my mum and dad fight I feel very bad. When my dad beats my mum we try and stop him.” But as a married man, aged 21, Ravi is resorting to violence against his own wife. “When she tells lies she gets a beating. Every day. She won’t keep quiet. I get angry. If I go out somewhere, she will say: ‘Why did you take so long?’ ”According to Catherine Maternowska: “Stories like Ravi’s provide powerful data which helps us understand how and when we can effectively intervene to prevent violence. At age 12, when Ravi was very opposed to violence, a supportive violence prevention programme addressing the consolidation of gender norms before they set in could have possibly helped change his desire to use violence later in life.”The Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children undertakes research primarily in Italy, Peru, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe examining the way structural, institutional, community and individual factors interact to affect violence in children’s lives, with a particular focus on the risks and experiences of violence by gender and age. Complementing the study, a number of papers have been produced using the longitudinal quantitative and qualitative data produced by the Young Lives research initiative. Young Lives is an international study of childhood poverty, initiated in 2000, which has followed 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India (in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana), Peru and Viet Nam. This set of papers aims to understand various aspects of children’s experiences of violence, and the impacts of violence on children’s lives over time, across different settings.Read more on the Multi Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children. Listen to a recent interview with UNICEF Innocenti researcher, Catherine Maternowska on the drivers of violence against children or read her latest blog reflecting on the way research is changing the way Peru is fighting violence against children. 
Peru makes strides in understanding drivers of violence against children
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Peru makes strides in understanding drivers of violence against children

(8 August 2016) A new report has revealed insights into the scope of physical, psychological and sexual violence affecting children in Peru. Produced by the Government of Peru with support from UNICEF, the findings are intended to support improved national violence prevention efforts. The Spanish language report, Understanding for Prevention: Summary of violence against children and adolescents in Peru, was led by Peru’s national Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations with support from UNICEF Peru and several other government and academic partners. The study feeds into the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti’s Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children on-going in Peru as well as in Italy, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe. Key findings from a nationally representative survey show that about 70 per cent of adolescent boys and girls report experiencing physical or psychological violence at home during their lifetimes, while about half of all boys and girls have experienced peer-to-peer violence in schools. Three out of four children in Peru aged 9 – 17 report having experienced emotional violence at home or in school. According to other data in the Cuzco Region up to one in five females had experienced sexual violence in their lifetimes, while equal percentages of adolescent girls and boys reported experiencing sexual violence in their lifetime. “These findings highlight the need for targeted research, policy and programming responses for prevention of violence,” said Mary Catherine Maternowska, who leads the Innocenti study for UNICEF. The Understanding for Prevention report employed a comprehensive investigation of reliable quantitative and qualitative data sources. Peru’s 2015 National Survey of Social Relations of over 3,000 children and adolescents in all parts of the country provides a robust quantitative national data sample. The Young Lives Longitudinal Study of Childhood Poverty contributes further understanding about violence based on cohort data from 4,000 Peruvian children who were followed from infancy to age 19. In addition, over 100 published and unpublished research articles on violence against children in Peru were analyzed and 60 violence prevention interventions carried out by government and private institutions were mapped and assessed.Maternowska notes that the study views violence affecting children not merely as an issue of personal behaviour, but as a complex social phenomenon.“Violent behavior is influenced by a host of ecological factors.  Parents’ and children’s levels of education, the quality of interpersonal relationships with the family to the family’s social connections to the community and a community’s social norms concerning the discipline and supervision of children can conspire against children in different ways in different cultures. Even more distal issues, like a family’s financial security can determine the types and intensity of violence.” The report focuses on violence occurring in different forms and in different settings. Physical, psychological and sexual violence are quantified and analyzed on the basis of age, gender and setting such as home, community and school. This allows Peruvian policy makers to organize more appropriate and better targeted interventions. In 2015 the Peruvian Parliament passed a law prohibiting corporal punishment against children in all settings, including the home, citing data from UNICEF’s Multi Country Study as having contributed to this historical moment.  Results from Understanding for Prevention are currently being used to calculate Peru’s overall Burden of Violence—a rigorous approach to estimating the impact of violence in Peru across multiple sectors (health, education, gender, social policy, etc.). A Burden of Violence study highlights the proportion of negative outcomes that could be reduced if violence was prevented.Additional findings highlighted in the report:The relationship between violence in childhood and poorer educational outcomes is profound and complex, affecting children across and between settings where they live, sleep, play and learn.  Violence tends to be normalized—or widely accepted—passed down from one generation to another.  Many violent mothers and fathers were themselves physically and psychologically abused in childhood, and they repeat those behaviours with their children who, in turn, use violence to resolve their own conflicts.Exposure to domestic violence can be psychologically harmful to children, and is often associated with physical violence against children and neglect. Alcohol abuse is highlighted in the literature as a risk factor for spousal violence.Girls who experienced physical violence at home were nearly twice as likely to have failed a course in the last year, or to have ever repeated a grade in school. Boys who experienced psychological violence, or were verbally threatened at home, were over three times more likely to have ever been expelled from school.Violence in schools, including physical and verbal abuse by teachers and peers, is the number one reason children give for disliking school. This is probably associated with grade repetition and slow progression through school. Children physically beaten in school at age 8 are 10 per cent more likely to have repeated a grade by age 12 than those who were not beaten. Entender para prevenir: Violencia hacia las niñas, niños y adolescentes en el Perú is a multi-sectoral publication of Peru’s national Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables (MIMP) in cooperation with Perú Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática (INEI). It was produced by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of Peruvian government, researchers and practitioners with support from the Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú. External international support was provided by UNICEF Office of Research—Innocenti with technical support from the University of Edinburgh. 
Impact of armed conflict on education: new evidence from Ivory Coast
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Impact of armed conflict on education: new evidence from Ivory Coast

(18 November 2016) A recent Innocenti Seminar presented evidence from a new study on the impact of armed conflict on children’s education and mortality. The study gathered data from Ivory Coast, a country that has been deeply affected by armed conflict since 2002. Despite the global commitments to ensure full and complete access to free quality education for every girl and boy, recent trends in universal enrolment registered a regression with around 58 million out-of-school children in the world, out of which 36 per cent living in countries that have been affected by conflict. Idrissa Ouili, Assistant Professor at High Institute for Population Science (HIPS) University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, statistician and economist with several years of experience in population policies, poverty, education, family planning and reproductive health issues, presented new evidence from Cote d’Ivoire about the impact of armed conflict in children’s education in an internal seminar at UNICEF Innocenti.The aim of the study, Armed Conflicts, Children's Education and Mortality: New Evidence from Ivory Coast, conducted in 2015 was to explore the impact of armed conflict on three different outcomes during the Ivorian armed conflict from 1999 to 2011: 1) school enrolment (probability of being enrolled in school); 2) school attainment (number of years of schooling for individuals enrolled in school); 3) under five child mortality.Using several sources of data, including the Côte d’Ivoire Demographic and Health Surveys, as well as data from pre-conflict and post-conflict surveys, Professor Ouili compared different cohorts of children who had one of more years of life affected by conflict, with groups of children that were not affected by conflict. Results show that in the group of children aged 6-18 in 2011, armed conflict decreased school enrolment by 10% compared with a group of same age in 1998; in the group of students aged 18-36 in 2011, those who were in schools during the conflict period experienced at least one year drop-out of schooling in average, compared with a group of same age in 1998. Lastly, in children aged 5-16 in 2011 armed conflict increased under 5 mortality rate by 3% compared with a group of same age in 1998.Professor Ouili is one of the four young African fellows coming to UNICEF Innocenti in 2016-2017 as part of a programme funded by SIDA. Fellows are collaborating with researchers in the Social and Economic Policy Unit at Innocenti and with country evaluation teams on specific research questions around the impacts of cash transfers on health, education, or multidimensional poverty utilizing Transfer Project data.Each fellow visits the UNICEF Innocenti for 2-3 weeks, during which time researchers also present a seminar on some of their past research. The remainder of the approximately 12-month fellowships are conducted from their home base. 
Cash transfers key to tackling poverty and hunger in Africa
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Cash transfers key to tackling poverty and hunger in Africa

(5 November 2016) Social cash transfers are enabling some of Africa’s poorest families to substantially increase food consumption and increase school enrollment, new evidence from UNICEF Innocenti and its partners shows.  In a new book, From Evidence to Action: The Story of Cash Transfers and Impact Evaluations in Sub-Saharan Africa - launched in Johannesburg on November 15 – UNICEF, FAO, and other partners showcase the impacts cash transfer programmes have had in eight Sub-Saharan countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).“Cash transfers are enabling the poorest families to substantially increase food consumption and improve overall food security,” said Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala, Regional Director for UNICEF in Eastern and Southern Africa.“While cash alone is not enough to solve all problems, it is increasingly helping families avoid negative coping strategies, such as taking children out of school, or selling off assets.”At the “Critical Thinking Forum,” organized by South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper to launch the book, government and UN representatives discussed what’s working and what challenges remain with national social protection programmes across the region.Evidence shows how there is an increase in secondary school enrollment as a result of cash transfers which allow families to purchase school uniforms and other supplies. Evidence shows that cash transfers did not result in increased expenditure on alcohol and tobacco – a commonly held concern. In Zambia, evidence showed an increase of farmland and expenditure on hired labour by 36 per cent. A significant portion of the evidence presented in the book is based on research conducted in the field by UNICEF Innocenti.The new evidence finds that government-run cash transfer programmes are expanding across the continent, with national social protection strategies often including a cash component. While cash transfers in Africa tend to be provided unconditionally (direct and predictable transfers without strings attached), many countries do include programme messaging to encourage school enrolment and periodic health and nutrition checks for children.For several years, there have been concerns that beneficiaries would waste money as a result of the cash transfers, however UNICEF and FAO gathered evidence across a ten year period through the Transfer Project, which clearly indicates that the majority of recipients are utilising cash transfers to better the living standards of their families, especially children.Gathered evidence has also fostered strong collaboration among policymakers, development partners and researchers and led to improved social cash transfer policies and practices in Africa.Watch the video below to see how researchers are measuring the impact of cash transfers reducing child malnutrition in Ghana.
WHO experts to update recommendations on breastfeeding in maternity facilities
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WHO experts to update recommendations on breastfeeding in maternity facilities

(4 November 2016) On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative, the World Health Organization is convening the second meeting of the WHO Guideline Development Group – Nutrition Actions 2016-2018 in Florence, Italy, 7 – 11 November 2016. The WHO Guideline Development Group, together with other WHO expert advisory panels and a multi-disciplinary team of experts from all parts of the world will formulate final draft recommendations on new born and infant nutrition, taking into account existing evidence as well as diverse values and preferences, costs and feasibility.(4 November 2016) The Innocenti Centre is an appropriate venue for the review of the guidelines based on new evidence, and for an update on the WHO recommendations on breastfeeding in maternity facilities.The Ospedale Degli Innocenti, which today houses UNICEF Innocenti and the Istituto Degli Innocenti, is the spot where, almost 600 years ago, child care – and breastfeeding practice itself – for the most vulnerable children, became a civic priority for the community of Florence. In 1990 UNICEF and WHO adopted in Florence the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding 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.The Ten Steps 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 to take into account the experiences from the first 15 years of implementation and the guidance on infant feeding among mothers infected with HIV.This year, for five days, the Innocenti Centre will be again at the heart of the discussion to finalize the global guidelines for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in maternity facilities and to scope the vitamin A supplementation guidelines. 
Global Kids Online research partnership is launched; research synthesis on child internet use published
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Global Kids Online research partnership is launched; research synthesis on child internet use published

(2 November 2016) Today UNICEF Innocenti and the London School of Economics launch the Global Kids Online (GKO) research partnership at the Child Lives in the Digital Age seminar at UNICEF headquarters.
Dialogue among faiths helps shape more effective child protection practice
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Dialogue among faiths helps shape more effective child protection practice

(2 November 2016) The role of Islamic theology in shaping child protection practice was recently discussed in an internal  UNICEF Innocenti seminar led by Patrick O’Leary, professor at the Griffith University in Brisbane and currently Senior Fellow at UNICEF InnocentiPatrick O’Leary, an internationally recognized researcher with experience in the field of child protection, gender based violence and the long-term impact of child sexual abuse, is currently studying child protection in Islamic contexts. His work challenges traditional ideas on the contributions that Islamic tradition has made in determining child protection frameworks, approaches and practices. According to O’Leary’s seminar remarks (see embedded slides below), child protection is an integral concept in Islamic thought, and Islamic teachings on raising children have shaped child care in Muslim communities for centuries. However, limited integration of Islamic knowledge in most current child protection practice jeopardizes awareness about why some interventions may be ineffective. Likewise, lack of mutual understanding may also prevent religious communities and leaders from being aware of the causes of abuse and formal legal provisions on child protection. O’Leary’s Innocenti seminar focused on convergent and divergent positions between the Western rights-based perspective and Islamic teaching regarding child protection policy and practice. Underlining the aspects on which Islamic jurisprudence aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - even in advance on Western law in some cases – O’Leary shared: “The idea that children have rights in Western society is very recent and appeared only in the twentieth century. Much older under Islamic law than under international law”.In addition to convergent concepts, O’Leary also highlighted areas where differences exist.  Acknowledging that in some cases differences were rooted in the epistemological divide, including the principle of individual as subject of rights (in Western jurisprudence) versus the primacy of the collective or best interests of the community (Shariah law). O’Leary stressed the need for more dialogue among cultures and faiths on the protection of children. He argues this is critical to the work of international child rights agencies, and that the development of relevant research and knowledge is essential to understanding of appropriate practices within Muslim families, particularly in child protection systems. He also emphasized how the convergence between Islamic values and Western child protection models could have a double positive role. Increased awareness could counteract the spread of Islamophobia while challenging monolithic Western models, particularly when some potentially beneficial Islamic childcare practices may be considered incompatible, or even dangerous, from a Western rights-based perspective.Child Protection with Muslim Families from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
Children worldwide gain benefits, face risks on the internet
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Children worldwide gain benefits, face risks on the internet

(2 November 2016) A majority of children say they learn something new online at least every week, but large numbers still face risks online, according to the Global Kids Online Research Synthesis Report 2015 – 2016 produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and the London School of Economics and Political Science. The Global Kids Online project, launched today at the Children’s Lives in the Digital Age seminar held at UNICEF Headquarters in New York, aims to build a global network of researchers investigating the risks and opportunities of child internet use. The Global Kids Online website makes high quality, flexible research tools freely available worldwide. Pilot studies utilizing the new toolkit among children aged 9 – 17 in Argentina, the Philippines, Serbia and South Africa have been published in the new report. The indicative findings show that children are gaining a range of online opportunities including learning, health information, social connections and new digital skills. However, the more time children spend online, the more risks they face. The findings also suggest that many parents lack the digital skills to support their children online. On average, 8 in 10 children surveyed in the report accessed the internet on smartphones. This supports their independent access to the internet, again bringing opportunities and risks.Speaking at the New York launch event Professor Sonia Livingstone from LSE observed: “As the internet reaches more children in more countries, it is vital to extend the evidence base to guide policy makers as they balance children’s rights to participation, provision and protection online.”A substantial minority of children have also had contact with unknown persons online. Most children do not go on to meet with such persons face to face, and they often have some prior connection with the person, however, more education around the issue is needed, the study shows. In some countries, up to two thirds of children have seen sexual content online and others reported harmful or hurtful experiences online. The main causes of harmful or hurtful experiences according to the children were internet scams, pop ups or harassment. The number of children reporting upsetting experiences online ranged from a fifth in South Africa to three quarters in Argentina. When children experienced something troubling online between a third and two thirds of them most often turned to their friends for support. Only five to ten per cent sought help from a teacher, and even fewer sought help from other professionals.“When we discuss policy related to child internet use, it is essential that children’s voices and opinions are taken into account,” said Sarah Cook, Director of UNICEF Innocenti. “Research with children allows us to create a more realistic portrait of the significant opportunities as well as the safety concerns for children online. Hearing children’s aspirations and concerns is vital for translating this knowledge into messages for policy makers.”Other findings reveal how a majority of children value the internet as a learning tool, yet, they rarely are able to use it at school or to receive guidance from their teachers on how to use the internet. Parents want to help their children but don’t feel they know enough about how to use the internet to guide them.Jasmina Byrne, child protection specialist at UNICEF Innocenti shared why it was important to take into account children’s digital experiences.“At the global level, evidence and research on child internet use can help build a consensus among international actors on international standards, agreements, protocols and investments in order to make the internet a safer and better place for children.”For more information, visit www.globalkidsonline.net 
New data underlines need for Tanzania’s social protection programme
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New data underlines need for Tanzania’s social protection programme

(21 October 2016) “Life has become so difficult; things are not easy because it’s hard to get a job, or even having something to do, with my standard 7 level of education,” a 19 year old youth recently recounted to researchers in Tanzania’s Kisarawe district. “I also need a house, good clothes, enough food for my family. This is what worries me; I am concerned about my wellbeing and my family’s wellbeing.” Three out of every four youth living in households eligible for Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net programme, a government social protection strategy implemented by the Tanzania Social Action Fund, did not have their basic material needs met prior to enrolment in the programme. The new findings were reported at a Dar es Salaam event presided over by senior Tanzanian Government officials along with international partners and researchers. The new study, led by UNICEF Innocenti, in collaboration with REPOA, a Tanzanian policy research centre, will help to establish baseline evidence which, together with new data collected among the same households in 2017, will be used to measure impacts of the new cash transfer programme on youth well-being. Other findings emerging from the study show that, in recipient households, 48 per cent of 14–17 year olds were not enrolled in school, and the rate of youth with symptoms of depression was as high 52 per cent before the start of the programme. Seventy one per cent of youth aged 18–28 experienced feelings of depression. HIV risk behaviours are also prevalent, as are experiences of emotional, physical and sexual violence among females. “The findings come at a critical time,” says UNICEF Representative in Tanzania, Maniza Zaman. “Over the next 10–15 years, Tanzania’s largest ever youth population will enter their economically productive years. Yet youth in Tanzania face many barriers to reaching their potential. Some are unable to complete their education, and many youth, girls in particular, are at risk of early marriage and pregnancy, violence, and HIV. Youth also often lack economic opportunities. “The PSSN could reduce the risks faced by youth, by reducing poverty and food insecurity.” Results presented this week demonstrate the vulnerabilities experienced by the poorest households about to receive benefits under the new programme. Next year researchers will go back to beneficiaries to determine what impact the programme has had on their lives.Evaluation of the Productive Social Safety Net programme in Tanzania is being carried out under the Transfer Project. 
Global child bullying problem gaining visibility on the international stage
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Global child bullying problem gaining visibility on the international stage

(11 October 2016) Bullying – online or in person – is a serious global problem affecting high percentages of children. It undermines child physical and emotional health, well-being and school achievement. The repercussions of bullying, for both victim and perpetrator, can continue into adulthood exacting high social and economic costs for countries. This month important international steps are being taken to recognize the urgency and increase understanding of the scope of bullying worldwide.UN bullying reportOn 12 October, Protecting Children from Bullying, a new report produced by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, will be presented to the General Assembly. The report represents an important step in formal international consideration of the widespread child rights problem of bullying. The SRSG report reviews global measures to respond to bullying and recommends priority actions to ensure children’s protection from bullying and cyberbullying. A central theme of the report is the urgent need for high quality evidence to support improved policy and practice.  UNICEF Innocenti is currently developing a global database on bullying among 11- to 15-year-olds to support establishment of a reliable global indicator. The database is derived from six major international surveys covering 145 countries and will enable analysis of the prevalence of bullying by age and gender. “In order to accelerate progress in protecting children from bullying it is essential to understand the extent of bullying across countries,” said Dominic Richardson, UNICEF Innocenti’s education specialist. “This database marks an important first step in bringing it all together.” On 14 October the Special Representative's Office is set to further release an in-depth report Ending the Torment: Tackling Bullying from the Schoolyard to Cyberspace. New longitudinal data from developing countriesResearchers at Innocenti have also collaborated with Young Lives, an international longitudinal study on childhood poverty, to produce a new discussion paper Experiences of Peer Bullying among Adolescents and Associated Effects on Young Adult Outcomes. The new study is based on the experiences of 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Viet Nam over a 15-year period. It shows how being bullied at the age of 15 is associated with negative effects on resiliency, self-esteem and interpersonal relationships later in life.The new Innocenti paper represents an important contribution to research on bullying in low- and middle-income countries. The bulk of data on bullying currently available is based on studies in high-income countries. The most commonly reported forms of bullying found in the Young Lives sample were humiliation, social exclusion and verbal taunting. Gender was found to be an important factor with boys at significantly greater risk of physical and verbal bullying, while girls experienced more indirect and relational bullying. Children from poor families and out-of-school children were consistently found to experience higher rates of bullying.“Longitudinal studies are our best tool to understand how we are affected by the constant change that defines children's lives,” said Mary Catherine Maternowska, lead researcher on violence affecting children at Innocenti. “We can go beyond a ‘snapshot’ view to see how experiences in childhood may affect later outcomes. This expands our understanding of both resilience and vulnerability; it is the power of Young Lives’ approach.”As a contribution towards UNICEF Innocenti’s Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children, the discussion paper looks at how structural factors interact to affect everyday violence, including bullying, in different contexts - children’s homes, schools and communities - informing national policies for violence prevention. The study also illuminates the gender dimension of bullying, examining the ways boys and girls are affected by different types of bullying at different ages, taking into account norms regarding socially acceptable behaviours for boys and girls. The paper concludes that the wider social context of bullying can be a critical yet often missing element of prevention efforts, highlighting how bullying often occurs in complex settings where other forms of violence are also present. Peer bullying has often lagged behind other forms of violence affecting children in global child protection advocacy, leading to the risk of underestimating the long-term impact on the lives of victims and perpetrators. UN General Assembly resolution 69/158 on bullying, together with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, with specific targets on the protection of children from violence, abuse and exploitation, may comprise an important new foundation for progress in protecting children from bullying. With new evidence confirming the global scope, as well as the emergence of new forms - such as cyberbullying and discriminatory bullying targeting minority and immigrant children - there is urgent need for better data collection, increased resource allocation and development of effective prevention models, including for low- and middle-income countries. 
World experts make recommendations for children’s protection from bullying
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World experts make recommendations for children’s protection from bullying

Increased attention to bullying and cyberbullying and its impact on children has prompted international efforts to improve actions to prevent and address this phenomenon in the protection of children. In an intensive two day consultation in Florence leading researchers, policy makers and education experts from 19 countries discussed bullying and its impact on children, which will inform the preparation of the upcoming United Nations Secretary-General’s report on bullying to the General Assembly. Bullying is a worldwide problem. Data from 106 countries on the proportion of 13 – 15 year olds who say they have been bullied recently ranges from 7% in Tajikistan to 74% in Samoa. According to this data Pakistan, Indonesia and Peru had bullying rates between 41 – 50% while Canada, France and Russia had bullying rates between 31 – 40%. Themes of the expert consultation covered review of the latest available data, awareness raising, public policies, legislation, child protection systems and the role of education in protecting children from bullying. The expert consultation was organized by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, with the support of UNICEF Innocenti.“The protection of children from bullying and cyberbullying is an ethical and normative imperative,” said Marta Santos-Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children. “Despite important developments in different parts of the world, this phenomenon is amongst children’s top concerns.” A 2014 UN General Assembly resolution Protecting children from bullying, specifies the Secretary-General’s report should emphasize “causes and effects, as well as good practices and guidance for bullying prevention and response.” A forthcoming working paper on validating a global indicator of bullying in schools using data from 145 countries was presented by Innocenti education specialist Dominic Richardson. “One of the major challenges in establishing a global indicator is the wide variety of terminology and definitions of bullying between regions and even between countries,” said Richardson. “Data on bullying in schools is gathered in all regions of the world and so it is possible to develop a global bullying database to guide policy and monitor progress.” Kirrily Pells (UCL) presented emerging findings from the University of Oxford’s Young Lives longitudinal study of childhood poverty, on the long term impact of bullying on children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam. According to Pells, “Bullying at age 15 is associated with a range of negative effects on self-efficacy, self-esteem, peer and parental relations at age 19, suggesting potential long-term consequences.”A major focus of discussion in the meeting was the rise of cyberbullying and the nexus between bullying in children’s online and offline worlds. According to data gathered in the 2014 EU Kids Online survey 23% of children in Europe experienced some form of bullying and 12% experienced cyberbullying. According to Sonia Livingstone of the London School of Economics, one in three internet users are now children. She emphasized the need to develop regulations and policies on cyberbullying that avoid punitive measures and find the balance between encouraging the benefits of online participation with the protection of children from risks. A consistent theme throughout the two day consultation was the need to ensure conceptual clarity when describing bullying, to enable progress in its prevention, monitoring and elimination. The challenges and opportunities in crafting evidence-based legislation and institutional frameworks to protect children from bullying were discussed on the second day of the consultation. Legislation should clearly convey how to ensure the protection of all children and fight impunity, while providing the foundation for a culture of respect for children’s rights. George Moschos, the Deputy Ombudsman for Child Rights in Greece shared experiences based on his office’s review of 6,000 cases of child rights violations and 700 discussions with children. According to Moschos: “Children say that violence is a normal part of their lives and that adults are disinterested in what is happening. They tend to ‘punish and finish.’ We need to avoid the easy recourse to punitive responses and train teachers and parents to listen, mediate and stay involved in children’s lives. We also need to lay stress on democratic governance of schools and human rights education, promoting children’s mutual respect.” Schools are seen as a major setting where the various phenomena of bullying are played out as well as the primary arena for effective efforts to prevent it. Two rigorously evaluated and fully elaborated programmatic approaches to school bullying were discussed in-depth during the consultation: the Olweus Bullying Prevention Programme developed in Norway and the KiVa Anti-bullying Programme developed and promoted in Finland.Both programmes have benefitted from extensive data gathering and impact evaluation evidence collected over many years of programme implementation among very large numbers of children in school settings. Common findings highlight the importance of training and involving all school actors, whole school bullying prevention learning and making active, supportive and predictable adult intervention the norm.  Finally, appropriate responses to the significantly higher incidence of victimization based on sexual orientation and gender identity were examined. Accounts of severe victimization, extreme loneliness and almost non-existent support infrastructure for these children were shared. Evidence provided by Christophe Cornu of UNESCO from a number of recent studies indicated significantly higher rates of bullying endured by LGBT youth. The information and outcomes of the Florence consultation will inform the upcoming Secretary-General’s report on protecting children from bullying. The report will be submitted to the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly later in 2016.  (16 May 2016)