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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Best of UNICEF Research 2021
SPOTLIGHT

Best of UNICEF Research 2021

Best of UNICEF Research showcases the most rigorous, innovative and impactful research produced by UNICEF offices worldwide. While evidence highlights emerging issues, it also informs decisions and provides policy and programme recommendations for governments and partners to improve children’s lives. This ninth edition brings together 11 powerful studies from around the world and across the five Strategic Goal Areas. How do South Asian youth feel about entering the world of work? What is the effect of climate-related hazards on access to healthcare? How has COVID-19 affected children and their families in the Republic of Moldova? With social and economic inequalities increasing and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals lagging, rigorous research – answers to these questions – has never mattered more.
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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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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
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
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
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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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.
Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia
Publication Publication

Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia

Il rapporto Vite a Colori racconta le esperienze, percezioni ed opinioni di un gruppo di adolescenti sul primo anno di pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia cercando di comprendere le loro esperienze e punti di vista, attraverso le loro parole. La raccolta dati si è svolta tra febbraio e giugno 2021 con 114 partecipanti tra i 10 e i 19 anni, frequentanti le scuole superiori del primo e del secondo ciclo di 16 regioni italiane. Bambinɘ e ragazzɘ che si identificano come LGBTQI+, minori stranieri non accompagnati (MSNA) e adolescenti con background socioeconomico svantaggiato sono stati deliberatamente inclusi nel campione interessato dalla ricerca

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