A nation is democratic to the extent that its citizens are involved, particularly at the community level. The confidence and competence to be involved must be gradually acquired through practice. It is for this reason that there should be gradually increasing opportunities for children to participate in any aspiring democracy, and particularly in those nations already convinced that they are democratic. With the growth of children’s rights we are beginning to see an increasing recognition of children’s abilities to speak for themselves. Regrettably, while children’s and youths’ participation does occur in different degrees around the world, it is often exploitative or frivolous. This Essay is written for people who know that young people have something to say but who would like to reflect further on the process. It is also written for those people who have it in their power to assist children in having a voice, but who, unwittingly or not, trivialize their involvement.
This latest 'Innocenti Essay' outlines the legal and moral stance behind UNICEF's emerging human rights ethic. It goes on to consider the implications of this thinking in terms of the organisation's perceived future role. The author attempts to end the debate between the traditional development thinkers and the rights advocates, arguing that 'development' is meaningless unless it is designed to ensure the realisation of human rights.
Child Rights in Latin America: From irregular situation to full protection
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has now been ratified by 191 nations. Notwithstanding, securing the principles and necessary legal safeguards remains a difficult achievement. Laws and jurisprudence must be firmly linked to the national reality to avoid them being well-meant placebos.
Better Schools, Less Child Work. Child Work and Education in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru
On the basis of detailed statistical surveys conducted in five Latin American countries, this essay demonstrates that actual practice in the region contrasts strongly with legal norms for the minimum age at which children can be employed and the age of completion of compulsory education.
Child Labour and Basic Education in Latin America and the Caribbean
The high primary school enrolment rates in Latin America and the Caribbean mask poor performance in terms of the quality, relevance and cost-effectiveness of formal schooling in the region. What happens to the millions of children who repeat school years, underperform in their first years of schooling and eventually drop out? The vast majority are working children of one sort or another, but their work is likely to lead nowhere in terms of expanded opportunities or eventually to a decent standard of living for them and their future families.
Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World: A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes
Children’s lives are increasingly mediated by digital technologies. Yet, when it comes to understanding the long-term effects of internet use and online experiences on their well-being, mental health or resilience, the best we can do is make an educated guess. Our need for this knowledge has become even more acute as internet use rises during COVID-19.
This report explores what has been learned from the latest research about children’s experiences and outcomes relating to the internet and digital technologies. It aims to inform policy-makers, educators, child-protection specialists, industry and parents on the best evidence, and it proposes a future research agenda.
Is there a ladder of children’s online participation? Findings from three Global Kids Online countries
There is broad agreement that internet access is important for children and provides them with many opportunities. Yet crucial questions remain about what we hope children will do online and if the opportunities provided are translating into clear benefits. What do children actually need to be able to benefit from the opportunities that the internet brings? Is there a gap between expectations and reality? The answers to these questions matter to: Governments striving to provide connectivity for families in homes, schools and communities; parents and educators who must overcome problems of cost, risk, or lack of skill, so that children may benefit from online opportunities; child rights advocates and practitioners who call for resources to empower and protect children online; and children themselves, many of whom want to take advantage of online opportunities for personal benefit.
The international community has recognized the importance of internet access for development, economic growth and the realization of civil rights and is actively seeking ways to ensure universal internet access to all segments of society. Children should be an important part of this process, not only because they represent a substantial percentage of internet users but also because they play an important part in shaping the internet.
La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños
Este es el primer estudio exhaustivo a nivel mundial de las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños. En él se evalúan más de veinte años de experiencia en este ámbito. El presente documento constituye la primera expresión de un trabajo en el que también se analizarán, entre otras cuestiones, las buenas prácticas de gobernanza, la toma de decisiones y la aplicación de los derechos del niño.