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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
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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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.
Registo de nacimento e conflitos arrmados
Registo de nacimento e conflitos arrmados
Published: 2005 Innocenti Insights
O direito das crianças a serem registadas e o seu direito a um nome e uma identidade estão claramente enunciados na Convenção sobre os Direitos da Criança. O registo de nascimento é instrumental para salvaguardar os direitos humanos, uma vez que constitui a “prova” oficial da existência de uma criança. Essa documentação é crucial, sobretudo em tempos de conflito armado ou de instabilidade. A “invisibilidade” das crianças não-registadas aumenta a sua vulnerabilidade e o risco de as violações dos seus direitos passarem despercebidas. Assegurar o registo de nascimento das crianças que se encontram numa situação de conflito ou subsequente a um conflito é, pois, uma prioridade.
Bambini fra guerra e pace: il caso di Eritrea ed Etiopia
Bambini fra guerra e pace: il caso di Eritrea ed Etiopia

AUTHOR(S)
Roberto Beneduce

Published: 1999 Innocenti Publications
La guerra non può giovare ai bambini che ne soffrono in modo particolare, essendo essi innocenti e indifesi. Basti pensare alle categorie considerate in questo Rapporto: bambini di strada; bambini portatori di handicap; orfani, bambini soli, bambini abbandonati, rifugiati e profughi. Non possiamo immaginare il profondo effetto psico-sociale che l’abbandono, lo smarrimento, la solitudine abbia su un bambino che si trova circondato dalla violenza della guerra. E cosa succede ai bambini portatori di handicap o ai bambini malati di AIDS?
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 46 | Thematic area: Conflict and Displacement | Tags: children in armed conflicts, children in emergency situations, children's rights violation | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre and Cooperazione italiana
Protection in Practice: The protection of children's rights in situations of armed conflict. UNICEF experience in Burundi
Protection in Practice: The protection of children's rights in situations of armed conflict. UNICEF experience in Burundi

AUTHOR(S)
Ben Majekodunmi

Published: 1999 Innocenti Publications
In 1997, UNICEF’s first international Child Protection Officer, Ben Majekodunmi, took up his post in Burundi. This publication summarizes his experience and draws lessons for future child protection activities in emergency situations. Primarily aimed at UNICEF and UN policy makers, the publication calls for the creation of a systematic child protection capacity in the field as an integral part of an overall UN strategy. The development of an agreed methodology for child rights protection in the field is still in its embryonic stages. As UNICEF’s main research arm, the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre explores new areas on behalf of the organization as a whole. This document, based upon first-hand experience, is one part of the Centre’s contribution to the development of such methodology within UNICEF and within the UN as a whole.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 48 | Thematic area: Conflict and Displacement | Tags: armed conflicts, child protection, children in armed conflicts, children's rights | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Repartir de zéro

AUTHOR(S)
Nigel Cantwell

Published: 1998 Innocenti Insights
Cet Innocenti Insight est un examen critique - et en aucun cas une évaluation officelle - de quelques-uns des principaux aspects des activités de coopération internationale en faveur des enfants au Rwanda entre juillet 1994 et décembre 1996, dans l'optique du respect et de la promotion de l'esprit et de la lettre de la Convention des Nationes Unies relative aux droits de l'enfant. L'étude a pour objet la situation dans le Rwanda d'après le géocide, mais avec, tout naturellemente, des incidences et des échos sur d'autres situations d'après-guerre.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 98 | Thematic area: Conflict and Displacement | Tags: child protection, children in armed conflicts, children's rights, implementation of the crc | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Starting from Zero: The promotion and  protection of children's rights in post-genocide Rwanda, July 1994-December 1996
Starting from Zero: The promotion and protection of children's rights in post-genocide Rwanda, July 1994-December 1996

AUTHOR(S)
Nigel Cantwell

Published: 1997 Innocenti Insights
Starting from Zero is a critical review of some of the main facets of the international cooperation undertaken on behalf of children in Rwanda from July 1994 to December 1996, with special reference to its consonance with, and promotion of, the spirit and the letter of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The study aims to contribute to the development of a coherent long-term policy on child-related issues as an integral part of the reconstruction, recovery and reconciliation process in post-conflict situations, using to the full the Convention as both a guide for action and a tool for stimulating and facilitating that action.Taking as its main base the experience of UNICEF, the study also considers other actors, particularly the foreign non-governmental community, in attempting to determine the real impact of the Convention on approach and programming. While the focus of the study is on the events that took place in post-genocide Rwanda, there are inevitably ramifications for and links with other post-conflict situations.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 96 | Thematic area: Conflict and Displacement | Tags: child protection, children in armed conflicts, children's rights, implementation of the crc | 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.
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
Publication

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.
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.
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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