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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 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.
Child Victims of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
Child Victims of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel O'Donnell; Norberto Liwski

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper addresses the legal framework and medical and psychological impacts of torture on children. While children must be protected from all forms of violence and abuse, it is important not to lose sight of the distinction between the different forms of violence - especially torture and child abuse - because these distinctions have significant implications for prevention, treatment of victims and law enforcement. Although children can be both victims and perpetrators of torture, ill-treatment and abuse, we focus exclusively on their role as victims.
Genetic Tracing, Disappeared Children and Justice
Genetic Tracing, Disappeared Children and Justice

AUTHOR(S)
Michele Harvey-Blankenship; Phuong N. Pham; Rachel Shigekane

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
The last several decades have witnessed a dramatic change in the methods of warfare. Civilians are now increasingly targets of violence, not just mere victims of collateral damage. Among civilians targeted, children and youth are subject to acts of violence, including enforced disappearances and enforced conscription. Children have been forcibly disappeared and forcibly conscripted in many countries including Argentina, El Salvador and northern Uganda. This paper focuses on the use or potential use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or genetic testing to identify disappeared children (otherwise referred to as genetic tracing) in Argentina, El Salvador and northern Uganda and on how this evidence may be used to achieve justice. Identification of the disappeared, family reunification, support for the disappeared and redress for families of the disappeared have been identified as crucial to achieving justice in the wake of mass atrocities.
Prosecuting International Crimes against Children: The legal framework
Prosecuting International Crimes against Children: The legal framework

AUTHOR(S)
Christine Bakker

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
States in post-conflict situations are faced with extremely difficult choices as they try to find the right balance between judicial and non-judicial means to improve accountability for crimes committed during the conflict and to contribute to national reconciliation. These choices are made on the basis of the specific circumstances of each state. Nevertheless, due consideration should be given to the duties imposed on states by international law. This paper presents a short overview of the obligations of states under international law to prosecute persons accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and enforced disappearances, specifically focusing on crimes against children. It also reviews international norms regarding children who may be accused of having participated in the commission of such crimes themselves - for example, as child soldiers - and identifies some outstanding questions regarding their criminal responsibility for such acts.
La educación durante la primera infancia en México: expansión, mejora de la calidad, y reforma curricular
La educación durante la primera infancia en México: expansión, mejora de la calidad, y reforma curricular

AUTHOR(S)
Hirokazu Yoshikawa; Robert G. Myers; Kathleen McCartney; Kristen L. Bub; Julieta Lugo-Gil; Maria A. Ramos; Felicia Knaul

Published: 2008 Innocenti Working Papers
Las investigaciones recogidas en cientos de estudios demuestran los beneficios que proporcionan la educación y los cuidados de calidad durante la primera infancia para el aprendizaje posterior del niño, su éxito escolar y su desarrollo social. Habiendo reconocido el valor de ofrecer oportunidades educativas al niño desde los primeros momentos de su vida, muchos países han extendido la educación y los cuidados a la primera infancia durante los últimos años. México consituye un caso interesante, en el que durante los últimos cinco años se han extendido la educación y los cuidados a la primera infancia, así como las iniciativas encaminadas a mejorar la calidad y a reformar el currículo nacional de los preescolares. Este documento examina tres iniciativas de política educativa que se llevaron a cabo en México entre 2000 y 2006: la expansión de la educación preescolar, la mejora de la calidad y la reforma curricular.
The Child Care Transition: A league table of early childhood education and care in economically advanced countries
The Child Care Transition: A league table of early childhood education and care in economically advanced countries

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
A great change is coming over childhood in the world's richest countries. Today's rising generation is the first in which a majority are spending a large part of early childhood in some form of out-of-home child care. At the same time, neuroscientific research is demonstrating that loving, stable, secure, and stimulating relationships with caregivers in the earliest months and years of life are critical for every aspect of a child’s development. Taken together, these two developments confront public and policymakers in OECD countries with urgent questions. Whether the child care transition will represent an advance or a setback for today's children and tomorrow's world will depend on the response.
La transition en cours dans la garde et l’éducation de l’enfant. Tableau de classement des services de garde et d’éducation des jeunes enfants dans les pays économiquement avancés
La transition en cours dans la garde et l’éducation de l’enfant. Tableau de classement des services de garde et d’éducation des jeunes enfants dans les pays économiquement avancés

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
La génération montante d’aujourd’hui est la première dont la majorité passe une grande partie de la petite enfance dans un type de structure de garde extérieure au foyer. Parallèlement, la recherche neuroscientifique démontre l’importance capitale, pour tous les aspects du développement de l’enfant, de l’établissement de rapports aimants, stables, sécurisants et stimulants avec les personnes qui s’occupent d’enfants au cours des premiers mois et années. Considérés ensemble, ces deux éléments obligent l’opinion publique et les décideurs politiques de l’OCDE à faire face à des questions pressantes. C’est en fonction de leurs réponses que la transition en cours dans la garde et l’éducation de l’enfant se traduira, pour les enfants d’aujourd’hui et ceux de demain, par une avancée ou un revers.
Come cambia la cura dell’infanzia. Un quadro comparativo dei servizi educativi e della cura per la prima infanzia nei paesi economicamente avanzati
Come cambia la cura dell’infanzia. Un quadro comparativo dei servizi educativi e della cura per la prima infanzia nei paesi economicamente avanzati

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
Un grande cambiamento è in corso per l’infanzia nei paesi più ricchi del mondo. La maggioranza della generazione adesso in fase di crescita è la prima a trascorrere gran parte della prima infanzia in strutture che se ne prendono cura fuori della propria casa. Allo stesso tempo, la ricerca sulle neuroscienze dimostra che un rapporto amorevole, stabile, sicuro e stimolante con le persone che si prendono cura del bambino nei primi mesi e anni di vita è fondamentale per ogni aspetto del suo sviluppo. Questi due fattori pongono domande urgenti alla opinione pubblica e ai responsabili delle politiche dei paesi OCSE. Se il cambiamento nella cura dei bambini rappresenterà un progresso o un’involuzione per i bambini di oggi e il mondo di domani dipenderà dalla risposta a tali domande.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
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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