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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being
SPOTLIGHT

Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being

Report Card 17 explores how 43 OECD/EU countries are faring in providing healthy environments for children. Do children have clean water to drink? Do they have good-quality air to breathe? Are their homes free of lead and mould? How many children live in overcrowded homes? How many have access to green play spaces, safe from road traffic? Data show that a nation’s wealth does not guarantee a healthy environment. Far too many children are deprived of a healthy home, irreversibly damaging their current and future well-being. Beyond children’s immediate environments, over-consumption in some of the world’s richest countries is destroying children’s environments globally. This threatens both children worldwide and future generations. To provide all children with safe and healthy environments, governments, policymakers, businesses and all stakeholders are called to act on a set of policy recommendations.
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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.
Child Migrants with and without Parents: Census-based estimates of scale and characteristics in Argentina, Chile and South Africa
Child Migrants with and without Parents: Census-based estimates of scale and characteristics in Argentina, Chile and South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Shahin Yaqub

Published: 2009 Innocenti Discussion Papers
This paper studies child migration in Argentina, Chile and South Africa. It defines child migrants as under 18 year olds whose usual residence was in a different country or province five years prior to census. The paper estimates the scale of child migration; compares relative magnitudes of internal and international migration; and considers sensitivity to alternative definitions of migration. Second, it examines family structures within which migrant children live at destinations, defining children who are co-resident with adult parents and siblings as dependent, and those outside of these close family members, as independent. Third, the internal/international and in/dependent distinctions are analysed jointly to describe some social-economic characteristics of the four sub-groups of migrant children.
A Study on Violence against Girls: Report on the International Girl Child Conference March 9-10, The Hague
A Study on Violence against Girls: Report on the International Girl Child Conference March 9-10, The Hague
Published: 2009 Innocenti Publications
This publication was jointly developed by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) and the Government of the Netherlands. It includes a background document prepared by IRC and summarizes the discussions and outcomes of the International Conference on Violence against the Girl Child held in The Hague from 9-10 March 2009. The conference addressed gaps in knowledge, research and responses to violence against girls in the home and family, and was a follow-up to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children.
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the Jurisprudence of the Committee on the Rights of the Child
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the Jurisprudence of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

AUTHOR(S)
Ugo Cedrangolo

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper highlights the main issues covered in the text of the Optional Protocol. These include: definition and criminalization of the offence; jurisdiction, extradition and further matters of criminal procedure; prevention; protection of victims and their rehabilitation; and the importance of international cooperation in the fight against sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The paper then more closely examines the Concluding Observations of the Committee on States Parties’ reports. Comparing the content of the Protocol with the observations of the Committee enables the identification of gaps between what is required and what has been done. At the same time, such a comparison allows for a discussion of some successful attempts at compliance. The paper concludes that the Committee’s jurisprudence has indeed provided useful guidance to the complex issues of the Protocol and helped in filling some of the gaps it contains. Concurrently, however, it is found that many challenges remain with respect to the implementation of the Protocol’s provisions at national level.
Ethiopia: Social dynamics of abandonment of harmful practices. Experiences in four locations
Ethiopia: Social dynamics of abandonment of harmful practices. Experiences in four locations

AUTHOR(S)
Haile Gabriel Dagne

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is still a widespread practice in Ethiopia, although important declines in prevalence rates can be observed in some areas of the country. Attitudes towards the practice have drastically changed, evidenced by the fact that overall support for FGM/C has declined and younger mothers are less likely than older mothers to have their daughters cut. This paper provides an analysis of the social dynamics of change in four geographic locations with different ethnic populations in Ethiopia, where interventions were undertaken to support the abandonment of FGM/C and other harmful practices. Each experience used community conversation and dialogue as a tool to promote the abandonment process, although their overall strategies and impact differed. The four experiences together provide a greater understanding of the process of change within communities and the role played by key actors within and outside the community. The study demonstrates that by addressing FGM/C within a human rights context, community members are able to consider not cutting as a possible alternative to the existing convention of cutting. The human rights perspective also encourages reflection on gender roles, generating interest and dialogue about other social practices that harm women and girls, such as marriage by abduction and early marriage.
Sudan: An in-depth analysis of the social dynamics of abandonment of FGM/C
Sudan: An in-depth analysis of the social dynamics of abandonment of FGM/C

AUTHOR(S)
Samira Ahmed; S. Al Hebshi; B. V. Nylund

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices

This paper examines the experience of Sudan by analysing the factors that promote and support the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and other harmful social practices. FGM/C is still widely practiced in all regions of northern Sudan but today actors are mobilizing across the country to end the practice. This paper analyses programmes that support ending FGM/C in Sudan and highlights the key factors that promote collective abandonment of the practice, including the roles of community dialogue, human rights deliberation, community-led activities, and the powerful force of local rewards and punishment. The Sudan experience demonstrates that social norms can change when a new understanding and appreciation of communities’ traditions and values is introduced. At policy level, the paper describes the adoption of laws and policies that prohibit or criminalize all forms of FGM/C and the introduction of integrated communication campaigns that have mobilized multiple actors to adopt and voice a consistent and clear stance against FGM/C.
Children's and Adolescents' Participation and Protection from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
Children's and Adolescents' Participation and Protection from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

AUTHOR(S)
Clare Feinstein; Clare O'Kane

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper presents an overview of government commitments to strengthen participation by children and adolescents to protect them from sexual abuse and exploitation. It also considers concrete recommendations for strengthening young people’s involvement in their own protection, based on their recommendations about what is needed to realize the Stockholm Declaration and Agenda for Action. Other useful inputs include case studies that offer new perspectives on children’s and adolescents’ participation to combat sexual exploitation and abuse. The paper provides recommendations for further research, policy development and programming intended to support advocacy and practice developments with and by children and adolescents. The paper calls for governments, UN agencies and NGOs to promote children’s civil rights and recognize their agency and the diversity of childhood experiences. It highlights the importance of strengthening child protection systems, developing and strengthening child-led groups and networks, and creating processes and mechanisms for children to access information, express their views, participate in practice and policy matters concerning them and gain feedback.
Social Dynamics of Abandonment of Harmful Practices: A new look at the theory
Social Dynamics of Abandonment of Harmful Practices: A new look at the theory

AUTHOR(S)
Gerry Mackie

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices

The essay refines the application of the social convention theory to the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). The theory compares footbinding in China to FGM/C in Africa, explains each practice in terms of simple game theory, and recommends that the methods used to end footbinding be adapted to end FGM/C. It hypothesizes that each practice originated in highly stratified ancient empires, and became an ongoing requirement of marriageability, general and persistent within the intramarrying community because no one family can give it up on its own.
Global Climate Change and Child Health: A review of pathways, impacts and measures to improve the evidence base
Global Climate Change and Child Health: A review of pathways, impacts and measures to improve the evidence base

AUTHOR(S)
David Parker; Yoko Akachi; Donna Goodman

Published: 2009 Innocenti Discussion Papers
This paper reviews the published evidence of pathways and impacts of global climate change on child health. The review was occasioned by the recognition that most of the work to date on climate change and health lacks clear focus on the children's dimension, while the climate change and children literature tends to be brief or imprecise on the complex health aspects.
Studies were identified by searching the PubMed database for articles published before April 2009. Publications by agencies (e.g., UNICEF, WHO, IPPC) were also included based upon review. A list of references was developed that provide evidence to the linkages between climate change and health outcomes, and on specific health outcomes for children. The analysis explores the hypothesis of disproportionate vulnerability of children’s health to environmental factors, specifically those most closely related to climate change.
Based upon scientific and policy research conducted to date there is found to be substantial evidence of disproportionate vulnerability of children in response to climate change. The diseases likely to be potentiated by climate change are already the primary causes of child morbidity and mortality, including vector-borne diseases, water-borne diseases and air-borne diseases. For this reason further research, assessment and monitoring of child health in respect to climate change is critical. Proposals are made for governments to integrate environmental health indicators into data collection in order to accurately assess the state of child health in relation to other age groups and its sensitivity to climate change.
Literature Review on Qualitative Methods and Standards for Engaging and Studying Independent Children in the Developing World
Literature Review on Qualitative Methods and Standards for Engaging and Studying Independent Children in the Developing World

AUTHOR(S)
Stuart C. Aitken; Thomas Herman

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper identifies and evaluates qualitative methods appropriate for use in conducting policy-relevant research on the experiences, motivations, agency and life histories of autonomous and semi-autonomous children and adolescents, including those who migrate independently of parents and adult guardians. First, the paper presents an overview of qualitative research practice and its potential to extend and deepen knowledge of children’s varied and independently negotiated life circumstances. It is argued that qualitative approaches are necessary to understand and meaningfully respond to the experiences of diverse physical, social and cultural environments. The second, longer section of the paper presents illustrative examples of qualitative research techniques. An illustrated inventory of research tools is presented with seven categories: surveys; interviews and focus groups; observation and participant observation; life histories and biographical methods; visual and textual methods; performance, play and arts-based methods; and virtual and computer-aided methods. The concluding section synthesizes the information presented and provides guidance on how to incorporate qualitative methods, and qualitative methodologies, into research on children who live independently of parents and adult guardians or who exercise autonomy in more limited contexts.
Children, Agency and Violence: In and beyond the United Nations study on violence against children
Children, Agency and Violence: In and beyond the United Nations study on violence against children

AUTHOR(S)
Natasha Blanchet-Cohen

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper examines the role of child agency as it relates to child protection. The focus arises from recognition that child protection approaches can be ineffective, and even counterproductive, when local context is not given sufficient attention (Bissell et al., 2007). The prevailing child protection models - child rescue, social services and medical models - commonly neglect local community assets, including the role of children themselves. Yet in many cases these assets may play a critical role, particularly when family and community are the primary line of defence to protect children from violence and exploitation. Rethinking child protection from a rights perspective requires building on empirical and theoretical understandings of child agency and child development, and the interactions between them.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
Return on Knowledge: How international development agencies are collaborating to deliver impact through knowledge, learning, research and evidence
Publication

Return on Knowledge: How international development agencies are collaborating to deliver impact through knowledge, learning, research and evidence

Effective collaboration around knowledge management and organizational learning is a key contributor to improving the impact of international development work for the world’s most vulnerable people. But how can it be proven? With only 10 years from the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals, nine of the world’s most influential agencies set out to show to the connection between the use of evidence, knowledge and learning and a better quality of human life. This book – a synthesis of stories, examples and insights that demonstrate where and how these practices have made a positive impact on development programming – is the result of the Multi-Donor Learning Partnership (MDLP), a collective effort to record the ways each of these organizations have leveraged intentional, systematic and resourced approaches to knowledge management and organizational learning in their work.
Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)
Publication

Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)

UNICEF has undertaken hundreds of gender evidence generation activities, supporting programmatic action, advocacy work and policymaking. The Gender Solutions project aims to draw together the knowledge, innovations and impacts of gender evidence work conducted by UNICEF offices since the first UNICEF Gender Action Plan was launched in 2014. A desk review identified over 700 gender-related UNICEF research, evaluation and data evidence generation activities since 2014. Twenty-five outputs were shortlisted because of their high quality and (potential for) impact and three were selected as Gender Evidence Award winners by an external review panel. By capturing the impact of this broad body of work, Gender Solutions aims to showcase UNICEF’s evidence investments, reward excellence and inform the rollout of the UNICEF Gender Policy 2021–2030 and Action Plan 2022–2025.
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.
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.

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