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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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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.
Children and Transitional Justice: Truth-telling, accountability and reconciliation
Children and Transitional Justice: Truth-telling, accountability and reconciliation

AUTHOR(S)
Saudamini Siegrist; Mindy Jane Roseman; Theo Sowa

Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
The volume analyzes key issues from the transitional justice agenda through a child rights lens. On the basis of research, the authors begin to formulate responses to a number of crucial questions and debates: how to end impunity for crimes against children; what policies and procedures can better protect children and enable them to contribute to reconciliation and reconstruction efforts; what strategies are most effective in supporting children’s roles and ensuring their voices are heard in peace-building efforts; how to enable children to reunite and reconcile with their families, peers and communities; how to build children’s skills to become part of a stable economy; and how to reaffirm children’s self-esteem and agency in the aftermath of armed conflict that has violated their childhood. A number of cross-cutting issues and themes are introduced. Chapters 1 through 3 outline the human rights-based approach for children and transitional justice and examine the basic assumptions and international legal framework that provide a foundation for further analysis of accountability and reconciliation in different country contexts. This is followed, in Chapters 4 through 6, by case studies of children’s involvement in the truth commissions of South Africa, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Chapters 7 through 10 address thematic issues and institutional reform.
Children and the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste
Children and the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste

AUTHOR(S)
Megan Hirst; Ann Linnarson

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper discusses children's participation and protection in the work of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) in Timor-Leste. It presents an overview of CAVR's efforts to ensure children's safe participation in CAVR activities, documenting violations against children and communicating CAVR's message to children. The paper assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the CAVR and analyzes underlying causes for the results. Through elaboration of lessons learned from the CAVR experience, the paper provides recommendations for truth commissions' engagement with children in the future. The paper concludes that despite the absence of a legal requirement in the mandate, the CAVR made a commendable effort to research and document children's experiences of the conflict. However, a lack of policy on child participation and child protection contributed to the failure to engage with children both during and after the CAVR. It is suggested that a holistic approach to the CAVR's activities could have helped avoid this missed opportunity for Timor-Leste's young generation to engage in the country's nation building and carry forward the CAVR's recommendations.
Children and Reparation: Past lessons and new directions
Children and Reparation: Past lessons and new directions

AUTHOR(S)
Dyan Mazurana; Khristopher Carlson

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper is among the first to analyse children's experiences of reparations programmes, taking into consideration programmes from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The violence, abuse and hardship that girls and boys suffer during armed conflict and political violence under authoritarian and dictatorial regimes continues to severely affect their development long after the end of war or demise of the violent regime. They experience violations of their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, including the rights to life, freedom of movement and association, education, health and family, which embraces the right to knowing and being cared for by their parents. Their rights to development and to a safe and healthy environment are also violated. It is not possible to fully repair children who have experienced such harms. Nonetheless, girls and boys have a right to remedy and reparation under international law – to benefit from reparation in material, symbolic, individual and collective forms. This working paper draws from reparation as conceived in the United Nations Resolution on Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law (2005). It offers a concise overview of trends in reparation programmes set up to address situations of armed conflict and under authoritarian and dictatorial regimes where children are subjected to systematic forms of grave violence. The authors demonstrate the failure to name and address grave rights violations against children in www.unicef-irc.org.past reparations programmes and efforts, much to the detriment of surviving children. The authors argue that at the heart of much of the violence against children in situations of armed conflict is the terrible damage done to relationships and social fabric among individuals, communities, societies and cultures. Recognizing the need to address the healing of relationships and reweaving of social fabric, in part through reparation, the paper offers suggestions for reparation approaches that could lead to better informing and shaping reparation responses for child victims.
Children and Security Sector Reform in Post-conflict Peace-building
Children and Security Sector Reform in Post-conflict Peace-building

AUTHOR(S)
David Nosworthy

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
The restoration of justice and security is a priority of post-conflict peace-building, but children and youth - two groups especially affected by armed conflict - rarely receive consideration in this process. This paper considers how reform of the security sector can contribute to making security provision more relevant to the concerns of young people and more reflective of their needs and aspirations. Security sector reform and transitional justice have been recognized as central elements of post-conflict peace-building, and engaging children constructively in these processes will assist in successfully establishing long-term stability. The central role of civil society receives particular attention. The paper concludes with policy recommendations aimed at assisting decision-makers to integrate the security concerns and expectations of children into programme responses.
Children, Education and Reconciliation
Children, Education and Reconciliation

AUTHOR(S)
Alan Smith

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper examines truth and reconciliation commissions that have made reference to a longer-term role for education in coming to terms with the past and contributing towards future reconciliation. The countries reviewed are Guatemala, Liberia, Peru, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Timor-Leste. Some have developed strategies for children's participation and made recommendations for inclusion in the formal school curriculum. However, recommendations regarding a role for education have usually been very general in nature, with little specification of what is expected of educators in practical terms and little follow-through by education authorities. The paper therefore identifies a number of challenges if education is to have a role in truth and reconciliation. It also identifies potential areas for educational development and recommendations for future actions.
Child Victims of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
Child Victims of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel O'Donnell; Norberto Liwski

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper addresses the legal framework and medical and psychological impacts of torture on children. While children must be protected from all forms of violence and abuse, it is important not to lose sight of the distinction between the different forms of violence - especially torture and child abuse - because these distinctions have significant implications for prevention, treatment of victims and law enforcement. Although children can be both victims and perpetrators of torture, ill-treatment and abuse, we focus exclusively on their role as victims.
Genetic Tracing, Disappeared Children and Justice
Genetic Tracing, Disappeared Children and Justice

AUTHOR(S)
Michele Harvey-Blankenship; Phuong N. Pham; Rachel Shigekane

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
The last several decades have witnessed a dramatic change in the methods of warfare. Civilians are now increasingly targets of violence, not just mere victims of collateral damage. Among civilians targeted, children and youth are subject to acts of violence, including enforced disappearances and enforced conscription. Children have been forcibly disappeared and forcibly conscripted in many countries including Argentina, El Salvador and northern Uganda. This paper focuses on the use or potential use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or genetic testing to identify disappeared children (otherwise referred to as genetic tracing) in Argentina, El Salvador and northern Uganda and on how this evidence may be used to achieve justice. Identification of the disappeared, family reunification, support for the disappeared and redress for families of the disappeared have been identified as crucial to achieving justice in the wake of mass atrocities.
Prosecuting International Crimes against Children: The legal framework
Prosecuting International Crimes against Children: The legal framework

AUTHOR(S)
Christine Bakker

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
States in post-conflict situations are faced with extremely difficult choices as they try to find the right balance between judicial and non-judicial means to improve accountability for crimes committed during the conflict and to contribute to national reconciliation. These choices are made on the basis of the specific circumstances of each state. Nevertheless, due consideration should be given to the duties imposed on states by international law. This paper presents a short overview of the obligations of states under international law to prosecute persons accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and enforced disappearances, specifically focusing on crimes against children. It also reviews international norms regarding children who may be accused of having participated in the commission of such crimes themselves - for example, as child soldiers - and identifies some outstanding questions regarding their criminal responsibility for such acts.
Psychosocial Support for Children: Protecting the rights of child victims and witnesses in transitional justice processes
Psychosocial Support for Children: Protecting the rights of child victims and witnesses in transitional justice processes

AUTHOR(S)
An Michels

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper first looks at psychosocial factors that affect children's participation in transitional justice mechanisms. These factors largely determine children's need for protection and support and can reflect children's responses to their involvement in transitional justice processes. A distinction has to be made between psychosocial factors related to the child and his or her experiences during the conflict on the one side, and factors determined by the type of transitional mechanism on the other. Children's participation in transitional justice processes is influenced significantly by their personal experiences during the conflict; cognitive, social and emotional development; coping skills and social support. These factors influence children's capacity to give an accurate statement, cope with the stress of testifying, be confronted with the accused and deal with cross-examination. These have important implications for the choice of support strategies.
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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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