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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
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Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning

Emerging evidence shows a positive association between women school leaders and student performance. Some studies suggest women school leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to adopt effective management practices that may contribute to improved outcomes. However, women remain largely underrepresented in school leadership positions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This brief presents emerging insights on the association between women school leaders and education outcomes and draws attention to women’s underrepresentation in school leadership roles. It highlights the need for further research on gender and school leadership to identify policies and practices that can be implemented to increase women’s representation and scale high-quality management practices adopted by women leaders to more schools to improve education outcomes for all children.
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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.
1 - 12 of 17
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The Subterranean Child Labour Force: Subcontracted home-based manufacturing in Asia
The Subterranean Child Labour Force: Subcontracted home-based manufacturing in Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Santosh Mehrotra; Mario Biggeri

Published: 2002 Innocenti Working Papers
Child labour is widespread in home based manufacturing activities in the informal sector in most developing countries. This form of child labour will not attract the penal provisions of a country’s laws banning child labour. This paper draws on surveys carried out in five Asian countries – two low-income (India, Pakistan) and three middle-income countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand) – where production of manufactured goods is subcontracted to home based workers widely. It examines the incidence of child work in such households, the child’s schooling, reasons why children are working, their work conditions, their health, and gender issues.
Social Protection in the Informal Economy: Home based women workers and outsourced manufacturing in Asia
Social Protection in the Informal Economy: Home based women workers and outsourced manufacturing in Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Santosh Mehrotra; Mario Biggeri

Published: 2002 Innocenti Working Papers
Home based work has a dual and contradictory character: on the one hand, as a source of income diversification for poor workers and the emergence of micro-enterprises, yet on the other, it is a source of exploitation of vulnerable workers as firms attempt to contain costs. This paper examines the social protection needs of women workers in this sector, and also argues for public action to promote such work as a possible new labour intensive growth strategy in these and other developing countries.
The Impact of the Indonesian Financial Crisis on Children: An analysis using the 100 villages data
The Impact of the Indonesian Financial Crisis on Children: An analysis using the 100 villages data

AUTHOR(S)
Lisa A. Cameron

Published: 2001 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper examines the impact of the Asian crisis on children in Indonesia. School attendance dropped slightly after the onset of the crisis but has since rebounded to higher than pre-crisis levels. Fewer children are now working, although the older children who are working and are not attending school seem to be working longer hours. Several studies have examined the social impacts of the crisis. The findings can largely be summarized as showing that rather than being uniformly negative and severe, the crisis impact has been quite heterogeneous, depending on geographic location and household socio-economic status. Overwhelmingly, households have been shown to be very resilient in the face of hardship.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: child workers, economic development, economic monitoring, education, health | Publisher: IRC
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
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
Child Work and Education: Five case studies from Latin America

AUTHOR(S)
María Cristina Salazar; Walter Alarcón Glasinovich

Published: 1998 Innocenti Publications
In recent years research, as well as the results of practical programmes, has lead to a clearer understanding of the relationship between child work and education. It is increasingly evident that child work is not entirely the result of economic need or exploitation. Frequently it is the failure of the educational system to offer adequate, stimulating and affordable schooling that encourages children to drop out in favour of work that appears to offer advantages more relevant to their everyday lives. Parents too may undervalue the role and purpose of schooling and see a job, including home-based work, as more valuable and certainly a more positive alternative to crime, delinquency or begging. Consequently, while a distinction needs to be made between 'formative child work' and 'harmful child work', in certain situations and cultures the phenomenon is not always seen as negative. These five case studies from Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru) all reveal the effects of inappropriate school curricula.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 162 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour | Tags: child workers, education, educational systems, minimum age, right to education | Publisher: Ashgate, UK; UNICEF ICDC, Florence
What Works for Working Children?

AUTHOR(S)
Jo Boyden; Birgitta Ling

Published: 1998 Innocenti Publications
The current upsurge of international concern about exploitative child labour has focused new attention on fundamental questions regarding children's work in general. What is the effect of work on children? When is it positive and when negative? What kinds of work help children develop valuable skills and attitudes and which violate their rights? This book approaches such questions from a rigorously child-centered perspective which constantly asks, "What is in the best interests of the children involved?" From this point of view it examines recent information and thinking about children's work in relation to child health and development, education, child protection laws, the market economy, children's role in society, and other issues of key importance for policy makers, programme planners and children's advocates. It reviews and summarizes recent research and experience regarding not only child work, but also the processes of child development as they relate to work. Many widespread beliefs and assumptions about both work and childhood are shown to be invalid or highly questionable. Alternative concepts and approaches that better reflect empirical evidence are suggested. This book offers a new way of thinking about children's work from a child development perspective. It is based on new ideas from the social sciences and new research findings. It presents an issue-oriented overview from recent literature and experience on how to approach critical concerns in children's work. This books attempts to look at responses to child labour problems that help working children. In doing so, it examines such complex problems as: How can policy makers and programme managers know what kinds of intervention to undertake? How can children be protected against abuse and exploitation in the workplace? What measures will indeed advance the well-being and development of the children involved? How can ineffective and counterproductive measures be avoided?
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 420 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour | Tags: child labour, child workers, education, right to education | Publisher: Rädda Barnen and UNICEF ICDC, Florence
School-related Economic Incentives in Latin America:  Reducing drop-out and repetition and combating child labour
School-related Economic Incentives in Latin America: Reducing drop-out and repetition and combating child labour

AUTHOR(S)
Ernesto Schiefelbein

This paper examines the barriers to educational achievement presented by child labour and the formal education systems of Latin America. Parents put pressure on children to work rather than study, and historically the formal education systems have had no safeguards to remedy the resulting knowledge gaps. Knowledge gaps lead to repeated failure in academic courses, which in turn prompts parents to view education as irrelevant. The paper examines the various economic-incentive programmes that have tried to break this vicious circle and identifies four strategies for educational improvement in the region: involving communities, increasing time available for learning, providing bilingual education to serve minorities and indigenous groups, and introducing computers.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: child labour, child workers, education, educational systems, right to education | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Better Schools, Less Child Work. Child Work and Education in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru
Better Schools, Less Child Work. Child Work and Education in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru

AUTHOR(S)
María Cristina Salazar; Walter Alarcón Glasinovich

Published: 1996 Innocenti Essay
On the basis of detailed statistical surveys conducted in five Latin American countries, this essay demonstrates that actual practice in the region contrasts strongly with legal norms for the minimum age at which children can be employed and the age of completion of compulsory education. As well as increasing our understanding of the complex relationships between children, work and education, the original studies also drew up measures and definitions that have subsequently been widely adopted in the region. The essay provides a review of the main findings and proposes policy guidelines on child work.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 30 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour, Rights of the Child | Tags: child workers, compulsory education, minimum age, right to education | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Learning or Labouring? A compilation of key texts on child work and basic education
Learning or Labouring? A compilation of key texts on child work and basic education

AUTHOR(S)
Judith Ennew

Published: 1995 Innocenti Publications
This publication samples current thinking on the critical relationship between child work and basic education. The contents are thematically broad-ranging: case studies and country-specific analysis rub shoulders with papers at the theoretical core of the subject. 'Learning or Labouring' should provide busy programme planners, project workers and students with both a practical working tool and an innovative source of information.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 152 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour | Tags: basic education, case studies, child labour, child workers, right to education | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Exploring Alternative Approaches to Combating Child Labour: Case studies from developing countries
Exploring Alternative Approaches to Combating Child Labour: Case studies from developing countries

AUTHOR(S)
Jo Boyden; William Myers

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 56 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour | Tags: case studies, child labour, child workers, developing countries, education, right to education | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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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.
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation
Publication

Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation

Support from caregivers is critical for children’s learning both at home and at school. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption of education systems globally created additional expectations for parents to support their children’s learning at home. This particularly affected the most marginalized children as the crises exacerbated already existing inequalities in education. This document introduces the approach and purpose of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education. It presents lessons learned from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, followed by step-by-step guidelines on how to adopt and adapt the resources for education ministries and others who want to implement them in their education system.
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Publication

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia

When schools started closing their doors due to COVID-19, countries in Europe and Central Asia quickly provided alternative learning solutions for children to continue learning. More than 90 per cent of countries offered digital solutions to ensure that education activities could continue. However, lack of access to digital devices and a reliable internet connection excluded a significant amount of already marginalized children and threatened to widen the existing learning disparities. This report builds on existing evidence highlighting key lessons learned during the pandemic to promote learning for all during school closure and provides actionable policy recommendations on how to bridge the digital divide and build resilient education systems in Europe and Central Asia.

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