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This section provides a preview of Innocenti publications planned for release in the second half of 2011 and early 2012.


Intercountry Adoption and the Best Interests of the Child Principle

(Innocenti Digest)

This Innocenti Digest focuses on the implementation of ‘the best interests of the child’ principle in each stage of intercountry adoption process. This report on a highly controversial subject presents an overview of the relevant international legal frameworks and analyses their impact on the different stakeholders in intercountry adoption. It describes the adoption process and the key challenges at each stage, and offers examples of practices to strengthen and support families and promote international cooperation. The study also briefly discusses the subsidiarity of intercountry adoption and the primacy of domestic adoption, a principle outlined both in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ‘Hague Adoption Convention’. Recommendations are presented for the reduction of risks to children during the process of intercountry adoption and the related improvement of child protection systems.

The Innocenti Digest is aimed to promote the effective implementation of international standards for intercountry adoption that ensure the best interests of the child. It is anticipated that the empirical evidence and analysis provided in the report will provide policymakers and programme officials with information and guidance necessary to help ensure that children’s best interests are considered and, most importantly, respected in every step of an intercountry adoption process.

Global Study on Human Rights Institutions for Children

Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children, often established as Ombuds for Children, have gained considerable attention in recent years as an important measure of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and as a key contributor to policy processes for children’s rights at country level. The role of these institutions is to monitor the actions of government and other actors who affect children, promote children’s rights at national and local level, and facilitate dialogue between children and the State. Many States in all regions have established or are setting up such institutions, while others are working on strengthening existing ones. Global and regional networks have been created or consolidated to facilitate and support these efforts.

The study, carried out in cooperation with relevant actors in each region, examines the role of these institutions in the realization of children’s rights and explores the links between the institutions and the perception of childhood in society. It will identify good practices that can support informed decision-making. To complement the main study, a more detailed report, developed in partnership with UNICEF’s regional office, will focus on Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Multicountry Study on Child-Friendly Cities

Researchers and practitioners have in the recent past recognized an increased need by communities and cities for evidence-based assessment, including tools that allow them to comprehensively and systematically gauge the level of ‘child-friendliness’ in their cities. As part of an ongoing effort to ensure that municipalities are fulfilling the rights of children, and to identify gaps and critically look at governance structures and processes designed to support families and children, a range of innovative assessment tools was developed in 2009.


Report Card 9, ‘The Children Left Behind: An OECD league table of inequality in child well-being’

(English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)

Report Card 9 will examine the situation of those children in the poorest 10 percent in advanced economies in different indicators of well-being, comparing their situation to the respective national averages. The IRC flagship report will examine how responsive different economically advanced countries are to the rights and needs of the most disadvantaged children. It will invite debate on how society and policy promote fairness and equity for children, and on the costs for society of not investing in child well-being and social justice in a timely manner.

The report takes forward the multidimensional understanding of child well-being presented in Report Card 7. It brings two complementary perspectives and technical approaches to examining disparities in child well-being within a similar international comparative framework. The analysis will include a selection of the child well-being indicators that were included in Report Card No. 7, in relation to available data. The gap analysis between the situation of children in the bottom quintile and the average will be standardized across the countries to facilitate comparison. Countries will be ranked in terms of ‘fairness’, according to a summary of the different inequality measures, as a basis to discuss the possible explanatory factors and to identify potential policy responses in different settings.