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Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa
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Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa

There is a learning crisis. Fifty-three per cent of children in low- and middle-income countries are in ‘learning poverty’, i.e. they cannot read and understand a simple text by the end of primary school age. In sub- Saharan Africa, the learning poverty rate is 87 per cent overall, and ranges from 40 per cent to as high as 99 per cent in the 21 countries with available data. Teachers attending lessons and spending quality time on task is a critical prerequisite to learning. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, teacher absenteeism ranges from 15 to 45 per cent. Teacher absenteeism and reduced time on task wastes valuable financial resources, short-changes students and is one of the most cumbersome obstacles on the path toward the education Sustainable Development Goal and to the related vision of the new UNICEF education strategy: Every Child Learns. Whilst the stark numbers are available to study, and despite teacher absenteeism being a foremost challenge for education systems in Africa, the evidence base on how policies and practices can influence teacher attendance remains scant. Time to Teach (TTT) is a research initiative that looks at primary school teacher attendance in eight countries and territories in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region: the Comoros; Kenya; Rwanda, Puntland, State of Somalia; South Sudan; the United Republic of Tanzania, mainland; the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar; and Uganda. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of teacher attendance, which include being at school, being punctual, being in the classroom, and teaching when in the classroom, and use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies.
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Beyond Masks: A Policy Panel Discussion
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Beyond Masks: A Policy Panel Discussion

UNICEF Innocenti’s new report – Beyond Masks: Societal impacts of COVID-19 and accelerated solutions for children and adolescents – offers a comprehensive picture of the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, and its implications for children and adolescents. The report examines evidence from the current crisis, examines past health crises such as HIV/AIDS, SARS and Ebola to provide insights into the current one, and proposes proven and promising solutions.
Protecting children from harm during COVID-19 needs evidence
Blog Blog

Protecting children from harm during COVID-19 needs evidence

Although much of the world is focused on the “silver lining” that COVID-19 does not appear to severely impact children’s health, UNICEF is raising the alarm about the potential damage of the hidden impacts on children’s health as well as the indirect socio-economic effects of the fallout from the pandemic. In response, UNICEF Innocenti is generating evidence to assist and inform UNICEF’s COVID-19 work. This blog is about a research conducted by UNICEF on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection, including topics such as violence against children, child labour and child marriage.
COVID-19 & Children
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COVID-19 & Children

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The Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children: Sport and Sporting Events
The Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children: Sport and Sporting Events
Published: 2020 Miscellanea

Sport has a powerful effect on children’s well-being and can promote greater physical health, emotional and mental balance, and help children develop important skills. But sport can also expose children to grievous harm and violence.

At the extreme end is the sale of athletes, especially in major sports like football. Child athletes can easily fall victim to human trafficking, sometimes for the purposes of economic or sexual exploitation.

Everyday participation in sport can also expose children to violence and harm. Instructors and coaches typically enjoy substantial impunity due to their authoritative role and the great pressure exerted on children to perform, often with the support of parents who are unaware of the exposure to harm.

The interconnectedness of sport and the sale and sexual exploitation of children is a relatively unexplored issue that deeply affects their life experiences. While Conventions and Optional Protocols provide guidance, not enough research is available to inform actions, and laws are not fully equipped to regulate what is often a lucrative business.

بيع الأطفال واستغلالهم جنسياً في سياق الرياضة والأحداث الرياضية
بيع الأطفال واستغلالهم جنسياً في سياق الرياضة والأحداث الرياضية
Published: 2020 Miscellanea

تُؤثر الرياضة تأثيراً قوياً على رفاه الأطفال، ويمكنها أن تعزز صحتهم البدنية وتوازنهم العاطفي والعقلي، وأن تساعدهم في اكتساب مهارات مهمة في ما يتعلق بالمشاركة وبناء الفريق والتعاون. بيد أن الرياضة قد تعرض الأطفال في الوقت نفسه لضرر وعنف بالغين.

La vente et l’exploitation sexuelle d’enfants dans le contexte du sport et des événements sportifs
La vente et l’exploitation sexuelle d’enfants dans le contexte du sport et des événements sportifs
Published: 2020 Miscellanea
Le sport a un effet puissant sur le bien-être des enfants : il favorise une meilleure santé physique, un bon équilibre affectif et mental, et il aide les enfants à acquérir des compétences importantes concernant la participation, l’esprit d’équipe et la collaboration. Cependant, le sport peut également exposer les enfants à de graves préjudices et à la violence, tant dans le cadre d’une pratique quotidienne qu’au niveau de « méga-événements » sportifs.
La tratta e lo sfruttamento sessuale dei bambini nell’ambito delle attività e degli eventi sportivi
La tratta e lo sfruttamento sessuale dei bambini nell’ambito delle attività e degli eventi sportivi
Published: 2020 Miscellanea
Lo sport ha un potente effetto sul benessere infantile: può contribuire a una maggiore salute fisica, all'equilibrio emotivo e mentale, e a sviluppare importanti competenze legate alla partecipazione, al team building e alla collaborazione. Tuttavia, sia nella sua pratica quotidiana che nell'organizzazione di grandi eventi, i cosiddetti mega sporting events (MSE), lo sport può esporre i bambini a gravi pericoli e violenze.
La venta y explotación sexual de los niños en el contexto del deporte y los eventos deportivos
La venta y explotación sexual de los niños en el contexto del deporte y los eventos deportivos
Published: 2020 Miscellanea
El deporte condiciona notablemente el bienestar de los niños, y puede fomentar una mejor salud física, un mayor equilibrio mental y emocional, y ayudar a que los niños desarrollen habilidades importantes para la participación, el espíritu de equipo y la colaboración. No obstante, el deporte puede a su vez exponer a los niños a peligros y violencia graves. Esto incluye tanto la práctica diaria como la organización a gran escala de “grandes acontecimientos deportivos”.
Getting into the Game: Understanding the evidence for child-focused sport for development
Getting into the Game: Understanding the evidence for child-focused sport for development
Published: 2019 Innocenti Research Report
Sport is a powerful tool for involving all children – including the most marginalized and vulnerable – in group activities from an early age (UNHCR, 2013). For this reason, sport for development (S4D) organizations use sport as an inclusive means of helping children to improve their health; to develop their physical abilities; to develop their social, educational and leadership skills; and of course, to play and have fun. S4D initiatives come in various forms – from those that build personal and social programmes around sport, to those that include sport as one of many approaches to achieving social goals. This new UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti summary report analyses available evidence on S4D initiatives for children and youth. The findings cover how the key outcomes of education, social inclusion, protection and empowerment link to sport; what works in practice and how it works; the main challenges for implementation; and recommendations for better policy, practice and research.
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.
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
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Time to Teach: Combating Teacher Absenteeism in Rwanda
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Time to Teach: Combating Teacher Absenteeism in Rwanda

The evolving picture of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 in children: critical knowledge gaps
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The evolving picture of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 in children: critical knowledge gaps

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