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The Innocenti Digests act as 'road maps' on emerging issues, and provide a succinct and comprehensive review of best practices on specific issues in developing countries and industrial nations alike. Informed by the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, each Digest adopts an interdisciplinary approach that includes health and nutrition, education and legal protection.
While the Digests seek to outline the gravity of any given issue, they are ultimately solution-oriented: they examine the strategies that can be applied to policy, programming and advocacy work, and identify areas for further research. In this way, they serve as a working tool for policy makers, practitioners and academic institutions.
The Innocenti Research Centre sees the Digests as important elements in its capacity-building efforts. This role is ensured by the involvement of leading international experts, as well as staff from selected UNICEF Country Offices, at an expert consultation prior to the drafting of each issue. Their early participation guarantees that every Digest represents the cutting-edge of current thinking.
Poverty and Exclusion among Urban Children
The cities of the world are often regarded as hubs of wealth and privilege, but they are also home to hundreds of millions of children for whom poverty and exclusion are a daily reality. Some of these children live on the street; many more live in dangerous, insanitary housing which often lacks the most basic amenities, including clean water and satisfactory sanitation. These urban children rarely have access to adequate services, including schooling, or to safe areas for play and recreation.
This Digest looks at birth registration, a fundamental human right that opens the door to other rights, including education and health care, participation and protection. It explains why the births of more than 50 million babies go unregistered every year. In legal terms, these children do not exist and their right to an official name and nationality is denied. Their access to basic services may be severely jeopardised and they may find themselves more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
Independent Institutions Protecting Children's Rights
Children are among the most vulnerable group in any society, with no vote, no access to the powerful lobbies that influence government agendas, and little access to the legal system and courts to protect their rights. This Digest focuses on independent human rights institutions for children and the urgent need to create such institutions in every country in the world.
Research into early marriage has tended to concentrate on its impact on reproductive health, school drop-out and rising population figures, and there has been little examination of the practice as a human rights violation in itself. The Digest examines the scale of early marriage, its context, causes and its impact and also outlines strategies for its prevention.
This Digest focuses on domestic violence as one of the most prevalent yet relatively hidden and ignored forms of violence against women and girls globally. Domestic violence is a health, legal, economic, educational, developmental and, above all, a human rights issue.