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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
SPOTLIGHT

Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.
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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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“It empowers to attend.” Understanding how participants in the Eastern Cape of South Africa experienced a parent support programme: A qualitative study
“It empowers to attend.” Understanding how participants in the Eastern Cape of South Africa experienced a parent support programme: A qualitative study
Published: 2018 Innocenti Working Papers
Parenting interventions can dramatically reduce violence against children and improve a child’s future. Yet in the past, research has mainly focused on young children in high-income countries, and most of the research has only used quantitative methodology. By contrast, this qualitative study focuses on teenagers and their caregivers who attended a parenting programme in South Africa, contributing to a small but growing body of research on parent support programmes for teenagers in low and middle-income countries. The research examines the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting programme, which was developed and tested between 2012 and 2016 in South Africa. The main qualitative study was carried out in the last year (2015–2016) and is the focus of this paper. It complements a cluster randomized controlled trial. This qualitative study captures the experiences of teenagers and parents who attended the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting programme in 2015. Importantly, the study gives an insight into how the caregivers and teenagers changed as a result of participating in the study. Findings show that both caregivers and teenagers valued the programme and their participation fostered better family relations and reduced violence at home. Their views are important for practitioners, programme implementers and researchers working in violence prevention and child and family welfare. More research is needed, however, to show whether these changes can be sustained.
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
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.
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.
A League Table of Child Maltreatment Deaths in Rich Nations
A League Table of Child Maltreatment Deaths in Rich Nations
Published: 2003 Innocenti Report Card
This report represents the first ever attempt to draw a comparative picture of the physical abuse of children in the 27 richest nations of the world. UNICEF research estimates that almost 3,500 children under the age of 15 die from physical abuse and neglect every year in the industrialized world. The greatest risk is among younger children. A small group of countries - Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland and Norway - appear to have an exceptionally low incidence of child maltreatment deaths; Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Hungary and France have levels that are four to six times higher. The United States, Mexico and Portugal have rates that are between 10 and 15 times higher than those at the top of the league table. The good news is that child deaths from maltreatment appear to be declining in the great majority of industrialized countries.
Tableau de classement des décès d'enfants par suite de maltraitance dans les nations riches
Tableau de classement des décès d'enfants par suite de maltraitance dans les nations riches
Published: 2003 Innocenti Report Card
Près de 3500 enfants de moins de 15 ans (don’t plus de 1000 rien qu'au Mexique) succombent chaque année par suite de négligence et de sévices physiques. La maltraitance tue chaque semaine deux enfants en Allemagne et au Royaume-Uni, trois en France, près de quatre au Japon, et 27 aux Etats-Unis. Globalement, environ un tiers de ces décès entre dans la catégorie " cause indéterminée ". On ne possède encore de donées internationalement comparables pour ventiler ces 3500 décès annuels en décès dus à la violence physique et décès par négligence. Mais au sein même des divers nations, des tentatives ont été faites pour évaluer l'importance relative de ces deux catégories. Des divergences dans la classification et un manque de définitionis et de méthodes de recherches communes font que l'on a peu de donées internationalement comparables, et que l'ampleur de la maltraitance des enfants est presque certainement plus forte que ne l'indiquent les statistiques.
Child Domestic Work
Child Domestic Work
Published: 1999 Innocenti Digest
The fifth Innocenti Digest looks at what is probably the largest and most ignored group of child workers: child domestic workers. The limited research available on this 'invisible workforce' suggests that 90 per cent are girls, most are 12 to 17 years old, and some work 15-hour days. One of the world's oldest occupations, child domestic work is increasingly becoming a commercialized trade and in many societies child domestics are still considered 'cared for,' and not exploited. A guest commentary by Anti-Slavery International urges that in seeking solutions "nothing can be done to improve the situation of child domestic workers unless employers are involved." The Digest examines challenges for practitioners, reviews national legislation and international standards, describes the work of organizations active in the field, and provides a list of relevant readings.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour | Tags: child abuse, child workers, children's rights, domestic workers | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Trabajo Doméstico Infantil
Trabajo Doméstico Infantil
Published: 1999 Innocenti Digest
El quinto Innocenti Digest se ocupa del grupo de trabajadores infantiles que probablemente sea el más numeroso y también el más desatendido: el de los trabajadores domésticos infantiles. Los escasos estudios disponibles relativos a esta 'mano de obra invisible' indican que en el 90% de los casos se trata de niñas, en su mayor parte de 12 a 17 años de edad, y a veces con jornadas laborales de 15 horas. Además de ser una de las ocupaciones más antiguas del mundo, el trabajo doméstico infantil está volviéndose objeto de un comercio cada vez más vasto; en varias sociedades, aún se considera que los trabajadores domésticos infantiles son beneficiarios de 'cuidados' y no víctimas de explotación. Un comentario de Anti-Slavery International recuerda que en la búsqueda de soluciones "no se puede hacer nada para mejorar la situación de los trabajadores domésticos infantiles a menos que se implique a los empleadores".
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour | Tags: child abuse, child workers, children's rights, domestic workers | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Les enfants domestiques
Les enfants domestiques
Published: 1999 Innocenti Digest
Les enfants employés en tant que domestiques constituent sans doute le groupe le plus important de toutes les catégories d'enfants au travail dans le monde. Pourtant, ce n'est que tout récemment que les milieux qui luttent contre le travail des enfants ont commencé à consacrer à ce phénomène toute l'attention qu'il mérite. Dans les pays industrialisés ainsi que dans certains pays émergents, le nombre d'enfants employés de maison a connu une baisse régulière. Dans d'autres régions du monde, en revanche, les forces de l'offre et de la demande qui précipitent femmes et enfants dans des emplois de domestiques semblent pousser en sens contraire. Ce Digest donne des informations sur les différentes formes de travail des enfants employés en tant que domestiques, l'ampleur du phénomène, les effets du travail domestique sur les enfants aussi bien psychologiques que physiques. Faisant le point sur des projets et des actions en faveur de ces enfants, cette publication entame un 'forum' de discussions par un article: Commencer par le commencement. Tout en identifiant les problèmes qui peuvent surgir dans la lutte contre cette forme d'exploitation, cet article souligne qu'il faut réfléchir avec attention aux mesures à entreprendre au nom des enfants domestiques si l'on entend réellement avoir une action efficace plutôt que de provoquer des controverses stériles.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour | Tags: child abuse, child workers, children's rights, domestic workers | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Children and Violence
Children and Violence
Published: 1997 Innocenti Digest
The second Innocenti Digest explores violence by and to children, using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as its framework. The focus is on interpersonal violence, both intrafamilial and extrafamilial. Sexual abuse and exploitation are included because, although they do not necessarily involve violence or coercion, the vast majority of evidence indicates their generally harmful physical and psychological effects. Children’s involvement in armed conflict is also discussed, as are the prevalence of violence involving children and the reasons why children become violent. In the ‘Discussion Site’, a strategy is outlined for combating violence involving children, based on the work of the UK Commission on Children and Violence. The ‘Links’ section gives contact and programme details of regional and international NGOs working in this area.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Rights of the Child | Tags: child abuse, children's rights, children's rights violation, right to care and protection, violence | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Children, Law and Justice: A South Asian Perspective
Published: 1997 Innocenti Publications
Even though all South Asian countries have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, there is as yet little awareness in the region of the importance of this Convention at various levels including policy planning, activism and legal reform in the on-going effort to achieve children’s rights. Thus argues Savitri Goonesekere, whose primary objective in this book is to outline the options available for using the Convention to create a legal system favourable to the realization of the rights of the child in South Asia. The first chapters discuss the international legal environment and the assumptions underlying South Asian domestic legislation on children’s rights, together with the conceptual framework of the Convention. The core of the book focuses on ‘best interests’ and examines such issues as trafficking in children, the status of the girl child, adoption and foster care, child prostitution, and the child as victim of abuse and violence.
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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.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa
Publication Publication

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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