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Best of UNICEF Research 2021
SPOTLIGHT

Best of UNICEF Research 2021

Best of UNICEF Research showcases the most rigorous, innovative and impactful research produced by UNICEF offices worldwide. While evidence highlights emerging issues, it also informs decisions and provides policy and programme recommendations for governments and partners to improve children’s lives. This ninth edition brings together 11 powerful studies from around the world and across the five Strategic Goal Areas. How do South Asian youth feel about entering the world of work? What is the effect of climate-related hazards on access to healthcare? How has COVID-19 affected children and their families in the Republic of Moldova? With social and economic inequalities increasing and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals lagging, rigorous research – answers to these questions – has never mattered more.
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COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition
Blog Blog

COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition

In 2019, 135 million people in 55 countries were in food crises or worse, and 2 billion people did not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. COVID-19 has exacerbated these hardships and may result in an additional 121 million people facing acute food insecurity by the end of 2020. Further, since the beginning of the pandemic, an estimated 1.6 billion learners in 199 countries worldwide were affected by school closures, with nearly 370 million children not receiving a school meal in 150 countries. The paper presents the evidence on the potential negative short-term and long-term effects of school meal scheme disruption during Covid-19 globally. It shows how vulnerable the children participating in these schemes are, how coping and mitigation measures are often only short-term solutions, and how prioritizing school re-opening is critical. For instance, it highlights how girls are at greater risk of not being in school or of being taken out of school early, which may lead to poor nutrition and health for themselves and their children. However, well-designed school feeding programmes have been shown to enable catch-up from early growth failure and other negative shocks. As such, once schools re-open, school meal schemes can help address the deprivation that children have experienced during the closures and provide an incentive for parents to send and keep their children, especially girls, in school.
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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.
Manual sobre o Protocolo Facultativo relativo à Venda de Crianças, Prostituição Infantil e Pornografia Infantil
Manual sobre o Protocolo Facultativo relativo à Venda de Crianças, Prostituição Infantil e Pornografia Infantil
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
O Manual visa promover a compreensão e aplicação eficaz do Protocolo Facultativo à Convenção dos Direitos da Criança, relativo à venda de crianças, prostituição e pornografia infantil. A publicação descreve a génese, o alcance e o conteúdo do Protocolo e apresenta exemplos de medidas tomadas pelos Estados Partes para cumprirem as suas obrigações ao abrigo deste instrumento. Este guia essencial destina-se principalmente às autoridades públicas, às organizações das Nações Unidas, aos defensores dos direitos da criança e a todos quantos trabalhem com e para as crianças, cujas ocupações e actividades podem reforçar a protecção das crianças contra a exploração, tanto a nível nacional como local. O Manual sublinha o potencial único do Protocolo para realçar de maneira decisiva a protecção das crianças contra a exploração e a luta contra a impunidade dos criminosos. Convida todos os Estados a ratificarem o Protocolo e a agirem de maneira a aplicar efectivamente as suas disposições. Publicado pelo IRC da UNICEF com o apoio do Instituto Internacional dos Direitos da Criança em Sion, Suíça, o Manual beneficiou da perícia dos membros do Comité dos Direitos da Criança das Nações Unidas e de outros especialistas de direitos da criança.
Protecting Children from Violence in Sport
Protecting Children from Violence in Sport
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.
Manuel d'application du protocole facultatif concernant la vente d'enfants, la prostitution des enfants et la pornographie mettant en scène des enfants
Manuel d'application du protocole facultatif concernant la vente d'enfants, la prostitution des enfants et la pornographie mettant en scène des enfants
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
Le manuel a pour objectif de promouvoir la compréhension et la pleine application de la Convention des droits de l’enfant relative à la vente d’enfants, à la prostitution des enfants et à la pornographie mettant en scène des enfants. Cette publication décrit la genèse, le champ d’application et la teneur du Protocole et fournit des exemples de mesures prises par les États parties à fin de respecter leurs obligations contractées en vertu de cet instrument. Ce guide fondamental s’adresse notamment et en particulier aux pouvoirs publics, aux organisations des Nations Unies, aux avocats spécialisés en droits de l’enfant travaillant avec et pour les enfants et dont les missions et activités sont de nature à contribuer à la protection des enfants contre l’exploitation à l’échelon national ou local. Le manuel met en exergue le potentiel exceptionnel offert par le Protocole pour renforcer efficacement la protection des enfants contre l’exploitation et combattre l’impunité des auteurs. Il invite tous les États à ratifier le Protocole et à agir pour appliquer l’ensemble de ses dispositions. Publié par le CRI de l’UNICEF sous les auspices de l’Institut International des Droits de l'Enfant de Sion en Suisse, le manuel met à profit l’expertise des membres du Comité des droits de l’enfant des Nations Unies et d’autres spécialistes des droits de l’enfant.
Handbuch zum Fakultativprotokoll betreffend den Verkauf von Kindern, die Kinderprostitution und die Kinderpornografie
Handbuch zum Fakultativprotokoll betreffend den Verkauf von Kindern, die Kinderprostitution und die Kinderpornografie
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
Das Handbuch dient zum besseren Verständnis und effizienteren Durchsetzung des Fakultativprotokolls zum Übereinkommen der Rechte des Kindes mit Bezug auf den Verkauf von Kindern, der Kinderprostitution und Kinderpornographie. Die Ausgabe beschreibt die Entstehung, den Umfang und Inhalt des Protokolls und liefert Beispiele von Maßnahmen der Staaten zur Erfüllung ihrer Pflichten im Rahmen dieses Instrumentes. Dieses wichtige Handbuch richtet sich in erster Linie an öffentliche Bedienstete, UN-Organisationen, Kinderrechtsanwälte sowie andere, die mit und für Kinder tätig sind und deren Aufgaben und Aktivitäten den Schutz von Kindern vor Ausbeutung auf der nationalen oder lokalen Ebene verbessern. In dem Handbuch wird das einmalige Potenzial des Protokolls, den Schutz von Kindern vor Ausbeutung zu verbessern und die Straflosigkeit von Tätern zu bekämpfen, hervorgehoben. Es ruft alle Staaten zur Ratifizierung des Protokolls und zur effektiven und effizienten Durchsetzung desselben auf. Das von UNICEF IRC mit der Unterstützung des Institut International des Droits de l'Enfant in Sion, Schweiz, herausgegebene Handbuch konnte auch mit dem Wissen der Mitglieder des UN-Ausschusses für die Rechte des Kindes und dem anderer Experten auf diesem Gebiet angereichert werden.
Manuale sul Protocollo opzionale sulla vendita di bambini, la prostituzione dei bambini e la pornografia rappresentante bambini
Manuale sul Protocollo opzionale sulla vendita di bambini, la prostituzione dei bambini e la pornografia rappresentante bambini
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
Il Manuale intende promuovere la comprensione e l’efficace applicazione del Protocollo opzionale alla convenzione sui diritti dell’infanzia sulla vendita di bambini, la prostituzione dei bambini e la pornografia rappresentante bambini (OPSC). La pubblicazione illustra la genesi, il campo di applicazione e i contenuti del Protocollo, fornendo esempi delle misure adottate dagli Stati parte per adempiere gli obblighi previsti da questo strumento. Questa guida essenziale si rivolge principalmente ai funzionari pubblici e agli altri operatori che lavorano con e per i bambini, e le cui attività possono contribuire a migliorare la protezione dei bambini dallo sfruttamento, a livello nazionale o locale. Il Manuale, che evidenzia come il Protocollo presenti un potenziale unico per migliorare la protezione dei bambini dallo sfruttamento e opporsi all’impunità dei perpetratori, chiede a tutti gli Stati di ratificare il Protocollo e attivarsi per una efficace applicazione delle sue disposizioni. Pubblicato dal Centro di ricerca Innocenti dell’UNICEF con il sostegno dell’Institut International des Droits de l'Enfant di Sion (Svizzera), il Manuale ha potuto avvalersi dell’esperienza di membri del Comitato sui diritti dell’infanzia dell’ONU e di altri specialisti in materia di diritti dei bambini.
Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Boys in South Asia. A review of research findings, legislation, policy and programme responses
Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Boys in South Asia. A review of research findings, legislation, policy and programme responses
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper provides an overview of research findings, legislation, policy and programme responses to prevent and respond to the sexual abuse and exploitation of boys in South Asia. The background to the paper is based on the findings from previous UNICEF IRC research on child trafficking in the region, which indicated that boys enjoy less legal protection than girls from sexual abuse and exploitation and less access to services for victims. While it is seen that the majority of legislation and policies that address ‘children’ adequately address ‘boys’, this paper notes areas in which the rights and needs of boys require greater focus. Among the concerns is the absence of legal commentary on legislation regarding boys’ issues and an absence of advocacy efforts to take action and amend laws to provide equal protection to boys. In some cases legislation covers only girls and women. And, although research shows that boys face almost the same degree of sexual abuse and exploitation as girls, programming throughout the region is overwhelmingly directed at girls and women.
The Place of Sport in the UN Study on Violence against Children
The Place of Sport in the UN Study on Violence against Children
Published: 2010 Innocenti Discussion Papers
This paper presents a secondary analysis of supporting documents from the UN Study on Violence against Children. The purpose of the analysis is to identify sport-related material in the documents, and gaps in research knowledge about the role of sport in both preventing and facilitating violence against children. This is a complementary document to the IRC study ‘Protecting Children from Violence in Sport: A review with a focus on industrialized countries’, developed by the same research team. Content analysis was undertaken on material archived for the UN Study, including submissions by UN agencies and non-governmental organizations on research relating to violence against children, and on the country surveys that had been returned by governments as part of the UN Study consultation. A list of search terms was established and each selected text or survey was searched against them. On the basis of these analyses, several key conclusions emerged. First, there is a marked absence of empirical data about the forms, prevalence and incidence of violence to children in sport and about the best mechanisms for preventing or resolving such problems. Second, there is a lack of coordination between governments and sport NGOs on the subject of violence against children in sport, and there appears to be no evidence of a functional link between the agencies responsible for sport for development and those responsible for prevention of violence to children. The findings point to the need to do more, targeted research on violence against children in sport and to assess the efficacy of sport as a tool of violence prevention. Since countries approach the matter of violence to children in many different ways, the establishment of international standards for safeguarding children and for violence prevention in sport is recommended.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 13 | Thematic area: Child Protection | Tags: child abuse, children's rights, sport, violence
South Asia in Action: Preventing and responding to child trafficking. Analysis of anti-trafficking initiatives in the region
South Asia in Action: Preventing and responding to child trafficking. Analysis of anti-trafficking initiatives in the region
Published: 2009 Innocenti Insights
This publication provides a regional analysis of anti-trafficking measures relevant to children in the countries of South Asia. It assesses national legal and policy frameworks and provides a list of recommended actions for the application of a rights-based approach to child trafficking. Emphasis is placed on the indivisibility of human rights and the influence that trafficking, exploitation and abuse have on children’s enjoyment of rights and fundamental freedoms.The study is based on the understanding that in order to ensure a comprehensive approach to child trafficking, exploitation and abuse, measures must be developed and implemented in full conformity with the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and the broader framework of human rights.
Reformas legislativas e a implementação  da Convenção sobre os dereitos da criança
Reformas legislativas e a implementação da Convenção sobre os dereitos da criança
Published: 2009 Innocenti Publications
Este estudo passa em revista a legislação relativa aos direitos da criança em 52 Estados Partes desde a adopção da Convenção sobre os Direitos da Criança (CDC ou 'a Convenção'), bem como questões, tais como as reservas ou o estatuto da CDC no direito interno. Os Estados cobertos pelo estudo incluem 9 países da Ásia e Pacífico, 8 da Europa Central e Oriental, 11 países islâmicos, 6 da África subsahariana, 14 do continente americano e 4 da Europa Ocidental. Uma vez que a maior fonte de informação utilizada para o estudo consistiu documentação gerada pelo processo de presentação de relatórios ao Comité dos Direitos da Criança, o principal critério para seleccionar os Estados cobertos, residiu no facto de os mesmos já terem apresentado o seu segundo relatório no momento em que o estudo teve início. Nesta base, esperava- se que o 'processo' de implementação da CDC fosse visível no diálogo com o Comité.
Riforma legislativa e attuazione della Convenzione sui diritti dell'infanzia
Riforma legislativa e attuazione della Convenzione sui diritti dell'infanzia
Published: 2009 Innocenti Publications
Questo studio esamina le leggi sui diritti dell’infanzia adottate da 52 Stati parti dal momento dell’adozione della Convenzione sui diritti dell’infanzia (CRC o "la Convenzione"), oltre a questioni come le riserve e lo stato della Convenzione nelle varie leggi nazionali. Tra gli Stati presi in esame dallo studio ne figurano 9 di Asia e Pacifico, 8 dell’Europa centrale e orientale, 11 islamici, 6 dell’Africa sub-sahariana, 14 delle Americhe e 4 dell’Europa occidentale. Tranne che per le sezioni introduttive, questo studio prende in esame, in modo tematico, le leggi adottate dal 1989 a oggi. Considerati i limiti di uno studio del genere, non è stato possibile prendere in esame tutti i diritti e i principi generali contenuti nella Convenzione. Vengono coperti diciotto ambiti, che vanno dai principi generali, come l’interesse superiore del bambino e la non discriminazione, ai diritti civili, e dal diritto alla salute, e all’istruzione ai diritti dei minorenni colpiti dai conflitti armati, dei bambini rifugiati e di quelli appartenenti a minoranze. L’obiettivo principale è stato quello di offrire una panoramica della portata e del contenuto delle nuove leggi che sono state adottate. Questo studio si conclude poi con alcune osservazioni su tre argomenti che meritano indagini più approfondite: il processo di riforma legislativa, il ruolo della riforma legislativa all’interno di un’ampia strategia per i diritti dell’infanzia, e l’effettivo impatto delle leggi di questo tipo sui bambini.
Handbook for the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Handbook for the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Published: 2009 Innocenti Publications
The Handbook aims to promote understanding and effective implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The publication describes the genesis, scope and content of the Protocol, and provides examples of measures taken by States Parties to fulfil their obligations under this instrument. This essential guide is addressed principally to public officials, UN organizations, child rights advocates and others who work with and for children, and whose duties and activities can enhance the protection of children from exploitation, whether on the national or local level. The Handbook highlights the Protocol's unique potential to decisively enhance the protection of children from exploitation and fight the impunity of perpetrators. It calls on all States to ratify the Protocol and act to implement its provisions effectively. Published by UNICEF IRC with support from the Institut International des Droits de l'Enfant in Sion, Switzerland, the Handbook benefitted from the expertise of members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and other child rights specialists.
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Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic
Publication Publication

Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Italy was the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown. Children and their families lived in nearly complete isolation for almost two months. Students missed 65 days of school compared to an average of 27 missed days among high-income countries worldwide. This prolonged break is of concern, as even short breaks in schooling can cause significant loss of learning for children and lead to educational inequalities over time. At least 3 million Italian students may not have been reached by remote learning due to a lack of internet connectivity or devices at home. This report explores children’s and parents’ experiences of remote learning during the lockdown in Italy, drawing on data collected from 11 European countries (and coordinated by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center). It explores how children's access and use of digital technologies changed during the pandemic; highlights how existing inequalities might undermine remote learning opportunities, even among those with internet access; and provides insights on how to support children’s remote learning in the future. *** L'Italia e’ stata il primo paese in Europa ad aver applicato la misura del lockdown su tutto il territorio. I bambini e le loro famiglie hanno vissuto in quasi completo isolamento per circa due mesi. Gli studenti hanno perduto 65 giorni di scuola rispetto ad una media di 27 negli altri paesi ad alto reddito del mondo. Questa interruzione prolungata rappresenta motivo di preoccupazione, in quanto persino interruzioni piu’ brevi nella didattica possono causare significative perdite nel livello di istruzione dei ragazzi e portare col tempo a diseguaglianze educative. Almeno 3 milioni di studenti in Italia non sono stati coinvolti nella didattica a distanza a causa d una mancanza di connessione ad internet o di dispositivi adeguati a casa. Questo rapporto analizza l’esperienza della didattica a distanza di ragazzi e genitori in Italia durante il lockdown, sulla base dei dati raccolti in 11 paesi europei (e coordinati dal Centro comune di ricerca della Commissione Europea). Studia il cambiamento nell’accesso e nell’uso delle tecnologie digitali dei bambini e ragazzi durante la pandemia; mette in evidenza come le diseguaglianze esistenti possano diminuire le opportunità offerte dalla didattica a distanza, anche tra coloro che hanno accesso ad internet; e fornisce approfondimenti su come sostenere la didattica a distanza di bambini e ragazzi in futuro.
Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia
Publication Publication

Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia

Il rapporto Vite a Colori racconta le esperienze, percezioni ed opinioni di un gruppo di adolescenti sul primo anno di pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia cercando di comprendere le loro esperienze e punti di vista, attraverso le loro parole. La raccolta dati si è svolta tra febbraio e giugno 2021 con 114 partecipanti tra i 10 e i 19 anni, frequentanti le scuole superiori del primo e del secondo ciclo di 16 regioni italiane. Bambinɘ e ragazzɘ che si identificano come LGBTQI+, minori stranieri non accompagnati (MSNA) e adolescenti con background socioeconomico svantaggiato sono stati deliberatamente inclusi nel campione interessato dalla ricerca

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