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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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“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

AUTHOR(S)
Jenny Doubt; Heidi Loening-Voysey; Lucie Cluver; Jasmina Byrne; Yulia Shenderovich; Divane Nzima; Barnaby King; Sally Medley; Janina Steinert; Olivia O'Malley

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

AUTHOR(S)
Celia Brackenridge; Kari Fasting; Sandra Kirby; Trisha Leahy; Sylvie Parent; Trond Svela Sand

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

AUTHOR(S)
Savitri Goonesekere

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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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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