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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
SPOTLIGHT

Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning

Emerging evidence shows a positive association between women school leaders and student performance. Some studies suggest women school leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to adopt effective management practices that may contribute to improved outcomes. However, women remain largely underrepresented in school leadership positions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This brief presents emerging insights on the association between women school leaders and education outcomes and draws attention to women’s underrepresentation in school leadership roles. It highlights the need for further research on gender and school leadership to identify policies and practices that can be implemented to increase women’s representation and scale high-quality management practices adopted by women leaders to more schools to improve education outcomes for all children.
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Annual Report 2021
Publication

Annual Report 2021

The UNICEF Innocenti Annual Report 2021 highlights the key results achieved in research and evidence to inform policymaking and programming.
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The Establishment Process for a Separate Child Ombudsman in Turkey: A case study
The Establishment Process for a Separate Child Ombudsman in Turkey: A case study

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper provides an overview and analysis of the initial steps for the establishment process of a separate children’s ombudsman in Turkey. It examines the legal, political and social reasons why an ombudsman for children would be needed in the country. Specifically, it analyses Turkey’s legal framework and international obligations, concluding that lack of implementation of the law and monitoring of children’s rights are the main challenges. Children have disproportionately high rates of poverty, and are often victims of various forms of violence, in particular girls. The political structure of the country is affected by significant tensions, especially with regard to the place of religion in the public sphere. The paper analyses the possible reasons for the stalemate and looks at the text of the law from a child rights perspective.
Child Rights and Governance Roundtable: Report and Conclusions
Child Rights and Governance Roundtable: Report and Conclusions

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2011 Innocenti Publications
The objective of this Roundtable was to reflect on the linkages between governance and child rights and initiate a dialogue between both constituencies. It brought together actors from the governance sector and child rights experts. Various studies have evidenced that good governance brings both an intrinsic and an instrumental value to a wide range of development outcomes, including poverty eradication, the reduction of inequities, economic growth and broader social objectives.
Enfants et commissions vérité
Enfants et commissions vérité
Published: 2011 Innocenti Insights
L’obligation de poursuivre et de punir les crimes graves stipulée dans le droit international et la volonté d’apporter réparation aux victimes ont conduit à l’élaboration d’approches de justice transitionnelle destinées à sanctionner la violence de masse ou les abus systématiques. Jusqu’à récemment, les violations à l’encontre des enfants n’étaient pas distinguées de la masse d’atrocités commises contre les populations civiles en général. Les commissions vérité constituent l’un des moyens pour commencer à réparer les torts faits aux enfants, aux familles et aux communautés pendant un conflit armé.
Children and Truth Commissions
Children and Truth Commissions
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
Children are often brutally targeted in modern warfare. Accountability mechanisms have begun to focus on crimes committed against children during armed conflict and to involve children proactively, including through testimony that bears witness to their experiences. But if children are to engage in transitional justice processes, their rights must be respected. This publication is intended to inform the work of truth commissions, child protection advocates and organizations, legal experts and other professionals in efforts to protect the rights of children involved in truth and reconciliation processes. It includes an analysis of emerging good practices and recommends policies and procedures for children’s participation in truth commissions.
Children and Accountability for International Crimes: The contribution of international criminal courts
Children and Accountability for International Crimes: The contribution of international criminal courts

AUTHOR(S)
Cecile Aptel

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper analyses the extent to which international and ‘mixed’ or ‘hybrid’ criminal courts, in particular the International Criminal Court (ICC), have focused on crimes against children and dealt with children as victims, witnesses and potential offenders. The paper underlines the major role played recently by international courts, notably the Special Court for Sierra Leone, followed by the ICC, in criminalizing as war crimes the conscription or enlistment of children and their use to participate actively in hostilities. The Special Court was the first to hand down convictions for these crimes. The first cases before the ICC also concern the unlawful recruitment of children for their use in hostilities, bringing these crimes to the fore.
Protecting Children from Violence in Sport
Protecting Children from Violence in Sport

AUTHOR(S)
Celia Brackenridge; Kari Fasting; Sandra Kirby; Trisha Leahy

Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
UNICEF has long recognized that there is great value in children’s sport and play, and has been a consistent proponent of these activities in its international development and child protection work. Health, educational achievement and social benefits are just some of the many desirable outcomes associated with organized physical activity. During recent years, however, it has become evident that sport is not always a safe space for children and that the same types of violence and abuse sometimes found in families and communities can also occur in sport and play programmes. The research presented in this publication shows a lack of data collection and knowledge about violence to children in sport, a need to develop the structures and systems for eliminating and preventing this form of violence, and that ethical guidelines and codes of conduct must be established and promoted as part of the prevention system. By addressing these gaps, significant improvements will be realized for the promotion and protection of the rights of children in sport.
Piattaforma d'azione. Verso l'abbandono della escissione/mutilazione genitale femminile (E/MGF)
Piattaforma d'azione. Verso l'abbandono della escissione/mutilazione genitale femminile (E/MGF)
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
L’UNICEF ha stimato che, in un arco temporale di 10 anni, con un costo annuale di circa 24 milioni di dollari, i programmi rivolti alle comunità locali potranno portare a riduzioni sostanziali nella pratica della E/MGF in 16 paesi dell’Africa subsahariana, dove la prevalenza attuale raggiunge livelli elevati o medi. La Piattaforma d’azione sintetizza gli elementi principali di un approccio programmatico comune per promuovere l’abbandono di tale pratica e per suscitare un drastico cambiamento nella vita di donne e bambine in tutto il mondo.
The Right of Children to be Heard: Children's rights to have their views taken into account and to participate in legal and administrative proceedings
The Right of Children to be Heard: Children's rights to have their views taken into account and to participate in legal and administrative proceedings

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel O'Donnell

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper addresses the right of children to be heard in any judicial or administrative proceeding affecting them. It introduces the subject based on examples from the laws and practices of 52 countries around the world. This paper is addressed primarily to child rights advocates, researchers, legal practitioners and other professionals working in the area of children and the law. Further research is needed to document good practices and to complement this introductory, global overview with studies focusing in more detail on different regions or legal traditions and specific types of proceedings.
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (Russian version)
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (Russian version)
Published: 2008 Innocenti Digest
This Innocenti Digest examines the situation of approximately 200 million children with disabilities around the world and identifies ways to support the realization of their rights. Children with disabilities constantly face barriers to the enjoyment of their rights and inclusion in society. But the tide is changing, as many countries have begun to reform their laws and structures in the past two decades to promote the participation of children with disabilities as full members of society. The Digest promotes such participation, and discusses all aspects of their development, including access to education, health services and rehabilitation, social and legal assistance, play and cultural activities, vocational and life-skills training. It focuses on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which, building on the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, opens a new era in securing the rights of children with disabilities.
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities
Published: 2007 Innocenti Digest
This Innocenti Digest on 'Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities' examines the situation of approximately 200 million children with disabilities around the world and identifies ways to support the realization of their rights. Children with disabilities constantly face barriers to the enjoyment of their rights and inclusion in society. But the tide is changing, as many countries have begun to reform their laws and structures in the past two decades to promote the participation of children with disabilities as full members of society. The Digest promotes such participation, and discusses all aspects of their development, including access to education, health services and rehabilitation, social and legal assistance, play and cultural activities, vocational and life-skills training. It focuses on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which, building on the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, opens a new era in securing the rights of children with disabilities.
1990-2005 Celebrating the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding: Past achievements, present challenges and priority actions for infant and young child feeding (second edition)
1990-2005 Celebrating the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding: Past achievements, present challenges and priority actions for infant and young child feeding (second edition)
Published: 2007 Innocenti Publications
In 1990 the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding set an international agenda with ambitious targets for action. The Innocenti Declaration reflected both the spirit of the support that was being mobilized for breastfeeding, and the recognition of the right of the infant to nutritious food enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This publication reviews the context of the Innocenti Declaration and analyzes the achievements that have been realized towards the targets that were established in 1990. It describes the continuing and new challenges that exist to optimal feeding of infants and young children, and suggests a way forward towards the global aim of ensuring universal enjoyment of children’s right to adequate nutrition.
Innocenti Declaration 2005 on Infant and Young Child Feeding
Innocenti Declaration 2005 on Infant and Young Child Feeding
Published: 2007 Innocenti Publications
In 1990 the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding set an international agenda with ambitious targets for action. In November 2005 Florence was again the gathering place to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration. The Anniversary was observed to: assess progress made in the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding since 1990; call upon governments, civil society and donors to increase efforts to implement the targets of the Innocenti Declaration and the additional targets established in 2002 within the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding; raise awareness of every child’s right to adequate nutrition, and the corresponding obligations on all sectors of society to ensure that this right is realized. The Innocenti Declaration on Infant and Young Child Feeding captures the renewed commitments made at this historic anniversary meeting and records the additional five operational targets that were identified as part of the ongoing global strategy on Infant and Young Child feeding. The Declaration was endorsed by the Standing Committee on Nutrition on 17 March, 2006 and the Call for Action made in the declaration was welcomed by the World Health Assembly on 27 May, 2006.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being
Publication

Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being

Digital experiences can have significant negative impact on children, exposing them to risks or failing to nurture them adequately. Nevertheless, digital experiences also potentially yield enormous benefits for children, enabling them to learn, to create, to develop friendships, and to build worlds. While global efforts to deepen our understanding of the prevalence and impact of digital risks of harm are burgeoning – a development that is both welcome and necessary – less attention has been paid to understanding and optimizing the benefits that digital technology can provide in supporting children’s rights and their well-being. Benefits here refer not only to the absence of harm, but also to creating additional positive value. How should we recognize the opportunities and benefits of digital technology for children’s well-being? What is the relationship between the design of digital experiences – in particular, play-centred design – and the well-being of children? What guidance and measures can we use to strengthen the design of digital environments to promote positive outcomes for children? And how can we make sure that children’s insights and needs form the foundation of our work in this space? These questions matter for all those who design and promote digital experiences, to keep children safe and happy, and enable positive development and learning. These questions are particularly relevant as the world shifts its attention to emerging digital technologies and experiences, from artificial intelligence (AI) to the metaverse, and seeks to understand their impact on people and society. To begin to tackle these questions, UNICEF and the LEGO Group initiated the Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (RITEC) project in partnership with the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University; the CREATE Lab at New York University; the Graduate Center, City University of New York; the University of Sheffield; the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child; and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. The research is funded by the LEGO Foundation. The partnership is an international, multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral collaboration between organizations that believe the design and development of digital technology should support the rights and well-being of children as a primary objective – and that children should have a prominent voice in making this a reality. This project’s primary objective is to develop, with children from around the world, a framework that maps how the design of children’s digital experiences affects their well-being, and to provide guidance as to how informed design choices can promote positive well-being outcomes.
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation
Publication

Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation

Support from caregivers is critical for children’s learning both at home and at school. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption of education systems globally created additional expectations for parents to support their children’s learning at home. This particularly affected the most marginalized children as the crises exacerbated already existing inequalities in education. This document introduces the approach and purpose of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education. It presents lessons learned from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, followed by step-by-step guidelines on how to adopt and adapt the resources for education ministries and others who want to implement them in their education system.
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Publication

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia

When schools started closing their doors due to COVID-19, countries in Europe and Central Asia quickly provided alternative learning solutions for children to continue learning. More than 90 per cent of countries offered digital solutions to ensure that education activities could continue. However, lack of access to digital devices and a reliable internet connection excluded a significant amount of already marginalized children and threatened to widen the existing learning disparities. This report builds on existing evidence highlighting key lessons learned during the pandemic to promote learning for all during school closure and provides actionable policy recommendations on how to bridge the digital divide and build resilient education systems in Europe and Central Asia.

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