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Trafficking in humans, especially women and children, in Africa

Trafficking of human beings affects every country in Africa for which data are available, either as countries of origin or destination. The report looks at information from 53 African countries and provides an analysis of the patterns, root causes, and existing national and regional policy responses and effective practices. Trafficking occurs when a child's protective environment collapses as a result of conflict, economic hardship, or discrimination. Traditional attitudes and practices, early marriage, and lack of birth registration further increase the vulnerability of children and women to exploitation.

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Birth registration and armed conflict

The research theme was identified within the framework of the European Network for the Research Agenda on Children in Armed Conflict and has been developed by UNICEF IRC with the co-operation of a number of Network partners and UNICEF offices in the field. It reviews the problem of non-registration in conflict-affected countries while drawing on case studies to analyze successful or promising initiatives to ensure registration. The ultimate goal is to assist practitioners in the field in conflict and post-conflict environments to promote emerging encouraging practices in ensuring the right of the child to birth registration and thereby to the enjoyment of many rights.

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Intersectional discrimination against children

This paper adds a perspective to existing research on child protection by engaging in a debate on intersectional discrimination and its relationship to child protection. The paper has a two-fold objective: (1) to further establish intersectionality as a concept to address discrimination against children; and (2) to illustrate the importance of addressing intersectionality within rights-based programmes of child protection.

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South Asia in action: preventing and responding to child trafficking

This publication provides a regional analysis of anti-trafficking measures relevant to children in the countries of South Asia. It assesses national legal and policy frameworks and provides a list of recommended actions for the application of a rights-based approach to child trafficking. Emphasis is placed on the indivisibility of human rights and the influence that trafficking, exploitation and abuse have on children’s enjoyment of rights and fundamental freedoms.The study is based on the understanding that in order to ensure a comprehensive approach to child trafficking, exploitation and abuse, measures must be developed and implemented in full conformity with the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and the broader framework of human rights.

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Sexual abuse and exploitation of boys in South Asia: a review of research findings, legislation, policy and programme responses

This paper provides an overview of research findings, legislation, policy and programme responses to prevent and respond to the sexual abuse and exploitation of boys in South Asia. The background to the paper is based on the findings from previous UNICEF IRC research on child trafficking in the region, which indicated that boys enjoy less legal protection than girls from sexual abuse and exploitation and less access to services for victims. While it is seen that the majority of legislation and policies that address ‘children’ adequately address ‘boys’, this paper notes areas in which the rights and needs of boys require greater focus. Among the concerns is the absence of legal commentary on legislation regarding boys’ issues and an absence of advocacy efforts to take action and amend laws to provide equal protection to boys. In some cases legislation covers only girls and women. And, although research shows that boys face almost the same degree of sexual abuse and exploitation as girls, programming throughout the region is overwhelmingly directed at girls and women.

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Best of UNICEF research 2014

Each year the Office of Research-Innocenti reviews submissions for the best research being published across all UNICEF offices: country programmes, National Committees, Regional Offices and headquarters divisions. The purpose of this activity is to showcase and recognize high-quality, high-impact research being done in the organization. At the end of the process each year the Office of Research-Innocenti issues a publication containing summaries of the papers considered to be of particular merit. In 2014, the summaries cover issues concerning child protection, cash transfers, ECD, maternal health, inclusive education, and WASH.

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Best of UNICEF research 2015

In addition to recognizing high quality research, the Best of UNICEF Research process aims to share findings with UNICEF colleagues and with the wider community concerned with achieving child rights. This year the competition received 99 applications With global reach, the 12 projects in the final selection cover many of the ‘traditional’ areas of UNICEF work (health, nutrition, sanitation and education), while also highlighting issues that have more recently gained prominence within the global policy agenda, such as social transfers, violence against children and school bullying, and various forms of inequality or exclusion. This publication provides summaries of these research projects, including methodology and results.

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Best of UNICEF research 2016

The Best of UNICEF competition identifies a number of studies that are assessed to be of particular merit on a number of criteria: in terms of the relevance and interest of the topic and findings; the rigour of their methodology; and the potential for impact, including lessons that could inform programmes elsewhere, or the capacity for replication or scaling up. Issues covered include health, education, WASH, child protection and social inclusion. There was also a strong emphasis on qualitative and mixed methods research, demonstrating the value of rigorous qualitative studies. A number of studies selected as of special merit in 2016 involved research directly with children and there is an increasing recognition that children’s perspectives are of primary importance. There was also a welcome attention to gender in some of the studies, including research with both adolescent boys and girls.

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Understanding governance of early childhood development and education systems and services in low-income countries

Over the past decade, early childhood development and education (ECDE) has received increasing attention. This has led to an influx of scientific, macroeconomic, and rights-based evidence, supporting the importance of equitably implementing quality ECDE programmes and services. Despite the increase in evidence, young children in the developing world still bear the greatest burden of poverty, disease, violence, and risk factors. Recent research suggests that equitable access to quality early childhood services (ECS) can reduce the impact of risk factors and improve outcomes.

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Mainstreaming human rights in development: stories from the field

Human rights mainstreaming has become part of the core work of the United Nations development system. A United Development Group Human Rights Mainstreaming Mechanism (UNDG-HRM) was established in 2009 at the request of the United Nations Secretary-General. This mechanism aims to bolster system-wide coherence, collaboration, and support to Resident Coordinators and United Nations country teams, so that they can better provide support to Member States to strengthen national capacity for the promotion and protection of human rights. This publication is a first step in collecting the experiences of UN country teams in integrating human rights into their development work. The six case studies presented herein reflect the growing number of United Nations country teams supporting governments to fulfill international human rights commitments and to integrate human rights into national policies and programmes.

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The effect of gender equality programming on humanitarian outcomes

Despite a number of developments in policy and practice aimed at integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment into humanitarian action, what remains missing is a strong evidence base that demonstrates just how gender equality programming is essential to ensuring an effective, inclusive, rights-based humanitarian response. To address this gap, UN Women—on behalf of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Reference Group on Gender in Humanitarian Action and with co-funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada—in 2013 commissioned the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex to undertake a research study, titled “The Effect of Gender Equality Programming on Humanitarian Outcomes”. Its aim was to assess whether or not such programming has improved humanitarian outcomes and, if so, why. This report presents the findings of this research, based on interviews with more than 2,000 crisis-affected households gathered for four case studies conducted in Kenya (the Dadaab refugee camps and the county of Turkana), Nepal and the Philippines. Drawing on both the qualitative and quantitative data collected, researchers were able to develop a unique new methodology for assessing the degree to which gender equality and women's empowerment has been integrated into humanitarian programmes, using inputs from the beneficiaries themselves. The report presents overall findings, draws comparative conclusions across the four case studies and discusses practical recommendations for integrating gender equality programming in future humanitarian interventions in ways that strengthen effectiveness and inclusiveness.

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Breaking the silence on violence against indigenous girls, adolescents and young women

This inter-agency study highlights that the forms and nature of violence that women and girls experience are shaped and influenced by the often multiple forms of discrimination they face. They can be based on factors such as age, ethnicity, geographic location, or disability, and intersect with gender inequality and discrimination. In the case of indigenous girls, adolescents and young women, the broader contexts of discrimination against indigenous peoples such as colonial domination, continued discrimination, limited access to social services, dispossession from ancestral lands and militarization issues increase their vulnerability to violence and limit their ability to seek protection and recourse. The study, the first of its kind, reviews existing quantitative and qualitative data on the prevalence and incidence of the types of violence which have already been documented in relation to these groups in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Three countries were selected, one per region, to illustrate the findings. In addition to stressing the need to address the ‘statistical silence’ around violence against indigenous girls and women by enhancing efforts around data collection and analysis, the existing information presented in the report provides a solid case for the need to strengthen efforts to protect the rights of indigenous girls and women.

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Hearts and minds: women of India speak

This report acknowledges the “lived experiences” of women and girls in India at the grassroots level and ensures that the voices of those who remain socially, economically and geographically marginalized are meaningfully reflected in the emerging post-2015 development discourse and agenda. The analysis contained in this report is based on in-depth interviews with women and focus-group discussions with almost 200 elected women representatives. The report addresses issues that resonate with women all over the globe, such as women's empowerment, poverty, employment, health and education. The key findings from this report can be used to influence the global agenda setting, ensuring that the post-2015 framework does not make the same mistakes that the MDGs did.

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Exploring the dynamics and vulnerabilities of HIV transmission amongst sex workers in the Palestinian context

This publication aims to emphasize the importance of strengthening the current national HIV and AIDS policy in the oPt, dispel stigmas attached to sex work and call for greater efforts to prevent sexual exploitation and support reintegration. The operational research publication features inputs and testimonies collated from 243 respondents (28 sex workers, 63 key informants, 64 clients, and 88 university students) during face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions from March to June 2010. It provides a formative look into sex work in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). Through the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data from individuals with primary or secondary knowledge on sex work, the research serves to address the protection gaps pertaining to this issue and associated vulnerabilities to HIV and AIDS in the oPt.

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Final external evaluation report:“Strengthening public institutions in favour of equality and to combat discrimination: creation of an equality law in El Salvador”

The publication provides findings from the recent evaluation of 'Strengthening Public Institutions in Favour of Equality and to Combat Discrimination: Creation of an Equality Law' in El Salvador, a programme supported by UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality. It is hoped that readers will benefit from the experience of the programme and its efforts that successfully contributed to the recent approval of the Equality Law in El Salvador. This report details the communication, alliance-building and advocacy strategies that contributed to the new law . Conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations are outlined to support similar initiatives and activities for passing national laws on gender equality around the world.

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The Mehwar Centre: evaluation of policies and procedures

The Mehwar Centre opened its doors in February 2007 with the mission to address gender- based violence in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Since its opening, the centre has sheltered approximately 150 women and 40 children victims of violence. In 2010, after three years in operation, UN Women and the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs agreed to conduct a comprehensive review of the centre's policies and procedures in order to assess their effectiveness, efficiency and compliance with human rights standards, with the broader goal of developing them into a model for the establishment of other centres supporting women victims of violence in the oPt. The evaluation findings highlight achievements and results, as well as gaps and shortfalls in the formulation and/or implementation of the Mehwar Centre's policies and procedures. Based on these findings, comprehensive suggestions and recommendations were given for their improvement. Five priority areas were identified for focused action.

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Evaluation of gender mainstreaming in United Nations peacekeeping activities (MONUC/MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This evaluation report is a complementary report by UN Women to the evaluation of the UN Peacekeeping Activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo carried out in 2011-12 by the Inspection and Evaluation Division (IED) of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). It provides an in-depth analysis of gender mainstreaming results in the Peacekeeping Mission along the following questions: 1) How effectively have human rights and gender equality been mainstreamed into the Missions’ operations? 2) To what extent have the Missions’ mandates and operations been contributing to the goals of Security Council resolutions, including those on women, peace and security and the rule of law? 3) What lessons have been learned in the Missions with respect to addressing human rights and gender equality, the rule of law and other major mandate areas? 4) What are the key challenges?

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CEDAW and Security Council resolution 1325: a quick guide

Established international norms and standards promote the protection of women during armed conflict and their participation in peace and security decision-making. Two sets of standards, UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (UNSCR 1325), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), are critical tools for moving the gender equality agenda forward in conflict and post-conflict situations. While both sets of standards are important in their own right, there is also a synergy between them that can enhance their implementation and impact. UNSCR 1325 helps to broaden the scope of CEDAW's application by clarifying its relevance to all parties in conflict and in peace. CEDAW, in turn, provides concrete strategic guidance for actions to be taken on the broad commitments outlined in UNSCR 1325. Drawing on these instruments together will enable advocates to maximize the impact of norms and standards for gender equality in all conflict and post-conflict interventions. This brief overview provides a basic introduction to each set of standards, as well as the context within which they were developed. It reviews the commonalities and potential strategic uses of UNSCR 1325 and CEDAW. It begins with a description of their shared gender equality agenda and includes a discussion of: 1) the ways that each set of standards can expand the reach of the other; 2) the application of the standards to the situation of women in the various stages of conflict and post-conflict reconstruction; 3) the significance and legal authority embodied in each set of standards; and 4) monitoring processes connected to UNSCR 1325 and CEDAW.

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Manual: multi-sectoral approach to women’s rights in Africa

Even though many African governments have ratified international and regional human rights treaties and have made commitments to respect, promote and protect women's rights and to eliminate discrimination against women, the translation of these commitments into national laws, policies and programmes remains a challenge. As a response, UN Women has developed this manual as a methodological tool to promote the adoption and use of a multi-sectoral approach to achieve women's rights. Through practical guidance, the manual aims to support the African Union and its member states to fast track delivery on commitments to women's rights and empowerment. It introduces an implementation framework that promotes the integration of women's rights into all sectors of government and development endeavours. The framework also calls for inter-ministerial coordination to ensure improved efficiency, accountability, and communication across sectors; the establishment of a strong technical and advisory services unit at the regional and national levels; and an important and strengthened role for national machineries for women's affairs. Overall, the manual stresses the important role of government-led partnerships, such as with the African Union, donor countries, the United Nations system, civil society, organizations and unions, to make women's rights a reality.

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Handbook for national action plans on violence against women

The Handbook for National Action Plans on Violence against Women brings together current knowledge on effective policy for the prevention of, and response to, violence against women, and concretely demonstrates how States have developed and implemented such policy in their own contexts. Although not a model plan itself , this publication sets out guidelines to help policy makers and advocates formulate effective plans. It is based on good practices in States' plans and the advice of experts from different countries and regions. It first outlines the international and regional legal and policy framework which mandates States to adopt and implement National Action Plans to address violence against women. It then presents a model framework for National Action Plans on violence against women, which sets out recommendations, accompanied by explanatory commentaries and good practice examples.

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Handbook for legislation on violence against women

The Handbook serves as a useful tool in supporting efforts to provide justice, support, protection and remedies to victims and to hold perpetrators accountable. The Handbook first outlines the international and regional legal and policy frameworks which mandate States to enact and implement comprehensive and effective laws to address violence against women. It then presents a model framework for legislation on violence against women, divided into fourteen chapters. Finally, the Handbook provides users with a checklist of considerations to be kept in mind when drafting legislation on violence against women. This Handbook intends to provide all stakeholders with detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of legislation which prevents violence against women, punishes perpetrators, and ensures the rights of survivors everywhere.

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Realizing women's rights to land and other productive resources

Women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources are essential to ensuring their right to equality and to an adequate standard of living. Throughout the world, gender inequality when it comes to land and other productive resources is related to women’s poverty and exclusion. Barriers which prevent women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources often include inadequate legal standards and/or ineffective implementation at national and local levels, as well as discriminatory cultural attitudes and practices at the institutional and community level. The purpose of this publication is to provide detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes to respect, protect and fulfill women’s rights to land and other productive resources. It presents an overview of international and regional legal and policy instruments recognizing women’s rights to land and other productive resources, and discusses ways of advancing a human rights-based approach to women’s rights to land and other productive resources. It sets out recommendations in a range of areas accompanied by explanatory commentaries and good practice examples and case studies from countries. The publication is based on the results of an expert group meeting held in June 2012. It is hoped that the publication will be a useful tool for policy makers, civil society organizations and other stakeholders in their efforts to realize women’s rights to land other productive resources.

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Latin American model protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women (femicide/feminicide)

The Latin American Model Protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women is a practical tool, designed to be applied by the people responsible for carrying out the investigation and prosecution of these acts. Its main objective is to offer guidance and lines of action to improve the practice of those working in the justice system, forensic experts, and other specialized persons, including those acting in relation to the crime scene, the forensic laboratory, the interrogation of witnesses and suspects, the case analysis, the formulation of the indictment, or before the court. The content of this Model Protocol is based not only on technical elements—essential to understand the gendered dimension of the killings of women—but also on the experience and lessons learned by the people that participate in these cases day in and day out. This text is the result of a broad consultation process carried out with prosecutors in charge of the investigations, police officers, forensic experts, people that work with perpetrators of these crimes, professionals from a variety of disciplines, organizations that assist the victims (direct and indirect) of violence against women, and judges called on to evaluate the evidence, punish those responsible for these crimes and determine the reparations for victims.

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Handbook on effective prosecution responses to violence against women and girls

Prosecutors play a critical role in the criminal justice response to violence against women and girls. In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the updated Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (General Assembly resolution 65/228, annex) which provide a comprehensive policy framework to assist States in developing responses and carrying out actions to eliminate violence against women and to promote gender equality within the criminal justice system. Drawing upon the recommendations and guidance contained in the updated Model Strategies and Practical Measures, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women, in cooperation with Thailand Institute of Justice, have drafted the Handbook on Effective Prosecution Responses to Violence against Women and Girls with a view to assist prosecutors in their duty to uphold the rule of law, firmly protect human rights and serve their community with impartiality and fairness in cases involving violence against women and girls. The Handbook is divided into three parts: Part One discusses current reflections, theories and research on violence against women and girls, the importance of the criminal justice response and some common misconceptions and myths surrounding sexual and gender-based violence; Part Two focuses on the role of a prosecutor in cases involving violence against women and girls. This part covers dealing with survivors, their role in investigations and the relationship with police, the decision to prosecute, the selection of charges, pre-trial considerations such as release pending trial and no contact orders, evidentiary issues, trial considerations, roles in sentencing and post-conviction, and restorative justice concerns; Part Three explores some of the institutional approaches that a prosecution agency can consider to ensure an effective response to violence against women and girls.

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Policy briefing paper: gender sensitive police reform in post conflict societies

This briefing paper reviews UNIFEM and UNDP experiences in building the capacity of police services to respond to women's security needs. The paper distinguishes between internal reforms to facilitate recruitment of larger numbers of women, and reforms to police operational and accountability systems. The latter enable the police to address gender-based violence more effectively, and to develop other services that protect women and children from abuses of their rights. They include a complex range of reforms to incentive systems, performance measures, practical infrastructural arrangements, and information and communication systems. The paper concludes by stressing the importance of women's engagement in accountability mechanisms to review police performance and support efforts to correct for poor practice.

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