A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents

This report presents the most current data on four specific forms of violence – violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence. The statistics reveal that children experience violence across all stages of childhood, in diverse settings, and often at the hands of the trusted individuals with whom they interact daily.

Key facts highlighted in the report:  

  • Close to 300 million (3 in 4) children aged 2 to 4 worldwide experience violent discipline by their caregivers on a regular basis; 250 million (around 6 in 10) are punished by physical means.
  • Worldwide, 1 in 4 (176 million) children under age 5 live with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence.
  • Worldwide, close to 130 million (slightly more than 1 in 3) students between the ages of 13 and 15 experience bullying.
  • 732 million (1 in 2) school-age children between 6 and 17 years live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited.
  • Worldwide, around 15 million adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have experienced forced sex in their lifetime.

Click here to download the full report

Early moments matter

This report by UNICEF presents data and outlines best practices and policies that can put governments on the path to providing every child with the best start in life. It outlines the neuroscience of early childhood development (ECD), including the importance of nutrition, protection and stimulation in the early years. And it makes the case for scaling up investment, evaluation and monitoring in ECD programmes. The report concludes with a six-point call to action for governments and their partners to help maximize the potential of the children who will build the future – by making the most of the unparalleled opportunities offered by the early moments in life.

Click here to download the report

Source: UNICEF

Policy Brief Redefining childhood vulnerability to HIV

Childhood vulnerability cuts across all development programming and planning, including the sectors of HIV and AIDS, health, child protection and social protection. Understanding indicators of childhood vulnerability in general and to HIV in particular, could help practitioners identify vulnerable children more accurately and spend money accordingly.

This policy brief by UNICEF looks at the factors indicate vulnerability for children and adolescents to HIV.

Click here to download the Policy Brief 

Does Keeping Adolescent Girls in School Protect against Sexual Violence? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from East and Southern Africa

Sexual violence against women and girls is widespread globally. In their lifetime, one in three women will experience intimate partner physical or sexual violence and 7 per cent will experience forced sex by someone other than an intimate partner. 

This study finds protective effects of educational attainment against lifetime experience of sexual violence among women in Uganda, but not in Malawi. In the pathway analyses this research also found large impact on delaying marriage in both countries. These results suggest that policies aimed at increasing educational attainment among girls may have broad-ranging long-term benefits.

Click here to download the full report. 

Source: UNICEF Office of Research- Innocenti 

Gender Socialization during Adolescence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Conceptualization, influences and outcomes

Adolescence is a critical period in the development of gender attitudes and behaviours, which have potentially life-long effects.

This paper set out to provide a conceptual understanding of the gender socialization process during adolescence, its influences and outcomes, and practical suggestions on how to use this knowledge in the design of policies and programmes to improve gender equality. The paper concludes with recommendations for more holistic policy and programming efforts around gender socialization in adolescence.

Click here to download the discussion paper

For more information go to: https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/885/ 

UNICEF New Series of Research Methods briefs to Strengthen Evidence on Adolescents

Of the 1.6 MILLION adolescents living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 1.2 million are located in Eastern and Southern Africa (UNICEF, 2015d). Adolescents is a period of physical, intellectual and social developmental changes that may put an adolescent at a higher risk of vulnerability. Especially for adolescents living in poor resource settings and those living with or affected by HIV.

New HIV infection rate in adolescents is the only age-group in which there has been little progress, as such there has been a recent focus on to call for programmes and policies that are sensitive the specific needs of adolescents wellbeing. Despite this comprehensive data collection systems and research for effective interventions were lacking.

With the aim of improving efforts to collect rigorous evidence for programmes and policies on adolescent health and well-being. UNICEF Innocenti in partnership with Columbia University and experts from the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Well-being recently released a series of briefs. These briefs provide a review of contemporary research methodologies for adolescent well-being in low- and middle-income countries and will assist a wide range of professionals and stakeholders who conduct, commission or interpret research findings to make decisions about programming, policy and advocacy.

  1. Improving the methodological quality of research in adolescent well-being
  2. Data and indicators to measure adolescent health, social development and well-being 
  3. Inclusion with protection: Obtaining informed consent when conducting research with adolescents 
  4. Research with disadvantaged, vulnerable and/or marginalized adolescents 
  5. Adolescent participation in research: Innovation, rationale and next steps 
  6. How to measure enabling and supportive systems for adolescent health 
  7. Methodologies to capture the multidimensional effects of economic strengthening interventions -

This initiative was funded by the UK Department for International Development. The Editors of the series were John Santelli, MD, MPH, Columbia University and Nikola Balvin, PsyD, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti.

Source: https://www.unicef-irc.org/article/1590/

Community-Facility Linkages to Support the Scale Up of Lifelong Treatment for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

We are pleased to announce the release of Community-Facility Linkages to Support the Scale Up of Lifelong Treatment for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: A conceptual framework, compendium of promising practices and key operational considerations.
This work was commissioned by UNICEF, with the support of Sweden and Norad, through the Optimizing HIV Treatment Access (OHTA) for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Initiative to help strengthen community-facility linkages in support of lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV.
This package of materials includes a 3-page executive summary, full report and a programme manager’s summary. The report includes a conceptual framework and describes eleven promising practices associated with increased service uptake, adherence or retention along the continuum of care. Key operational considerations for country teams to define and roll out an effective, locally appropriate package of community-facility linkages are also recommended.
Please find the links to the report and related materials below:
Full Report: English, French
Executive Summary: English, French
Programme Manager’s Summary: English, French
Webinar: Recording and PPT slides  
For additional information about the OHTA Initiative, please visit: www.childrenandaids.org/352.htm



The State of the Worlds Children.pdf

As the world marks 25 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, The State of the World’s Children calls for brave and fresh thinking to address age-old problems that still affect the most disadvantaged children. In particular, the report calls for innovation – and for the best and brightest solutions coming from communities to be taken to scale to benefit every child. #EVERYchild

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) The State of the World’s Children 2015: Reimagine the Future: Innovation for Every Child digital report is available at www.data.unicef.org

Working paper: Strengthening child protection system in sub-Saharan Africa

Working paper: Strengthening child protection system in sub-Saharan Africa

The inter-agency working paper consolidates current thinking, examples and lessons learned about child protection system strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa and suggest a way forward. The focus is on concrete actions that reflect country narratives and is followed by recommendations for continuing and sustaining the work.

There is a growing interest in applying the systems approach to strengthening child protection efforts. Guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the systems approach shifts attention to a larger systemic framework that includes legal and policy contexts, institutional capacity, community contexts, planning, budgeting and monitoring and evaluation subsystems.

This approach differs from child protection efforts that focus on single thematic issues, such as HIV/AIDS, disability, child trafficking, street children, child labour, emergencies and institutionalization. These single-issue approaches often result in a fragmented and unsustainable child protection response. 

Working paper - children living with and affected by HIV in residential care


In many countries, significant numbers of children are temporarily or permanently cared for in residential care. Evidence suggests that the phenomenon of residential care has been growing in recent years due to a complex interplay of different factors, among them HIV and AIDS. To date, there is no systematic information on the numbers of children living with or directly affected by HIV who are placed in residential care, the reasons for and the impacts of their placement on individual children, their families and communities and on the residential care facilities themselves.

This paucity of data makes it difficult to monitor the success of efforts to support family-based care, prevent separation and promote reunification for all children, including those affected by HIV. It also impairs efforts to ensure that children living with HIV in residential care are able to access HIV-specific services that are supportive and appropriate.

This is a working document which will be continually updated. If you have information and evidence to share, or questions on this report, please email: policy@everychild.org.uk

Paediatric advocacy toolkit: For improved paediatric HIV diagnosis, care and treatment in high HIV prevalence countries and regions



Pediatric advocacy toolkit: For improved pediatric HIV diagnosis, care and treatment in high HIV prevalence countries and region

This Paediatric HIV Treatment Advocacy Toolkit was developed by members of the UNICEF Interagency Task Team on Children and AIDS (IATT-CABA) paediatric working group to support efforts in advocating for increased commitment to, and resources for, paediatric HIV diagnosis, care and treatment in high HIV prevalence countries and regions.

The use of this toolkit is aimed at generating a commitment among Ministries of Health (MOH) and relevant policymakers and partners to prioritize paediatric HIV treatment, and for these policymakers to take measureable actions to increase access to and quality of paediatric HIV treatment coverage.

Mapping and assessing child protection systems in west and central Africa: A five-country analysis paper

Mapping and assessing child protection systems in west and central Africa: A five-country analysis paper

This paper was developed on behalf of the Regional OVC Reference Group for west and central Africa, which includes Plan International, Save the Children International, and UNICEF. The paper presents the findings and insights generated through the mapping and assessment of national child protection systems in five West African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The goal of the country research was to provide national actors with a profile of their existing system and an initial assessment of its contextual appropriateness and relevance to the populations being served.

Common Ground: UNICEF and World Bank Approaches to Building Social Protection Systems


This note outlines common ground in the World Bank and UNICEF approaches to building social protection systems, using a focus on children to illustrate the premise and promise of a systems approach. It is part of a broader commitment by both agencies to increase collaboration across different stakeholders – governments, development partners and others – in developing and strengthening social protection systems and expanding their coverage