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Release of Ethical Research Involving Children: Charter, Compendium, and Interactive Website

FLORENCE, Italy, 30 October 2013 – Today UNICEF’s office of Research released “Ethical Research Involving Children”, an on-line resource which brings together the best thinking internationally about key ethical issues involving children and how these might be addressed in different research contexts.

Director of UNICEF’s Office of Research Gordon Alexander said research involving children and hearing the voices of children, had led to results in fields from child rights to health. “There can be no doubt that research involving children is essential. The point of the Ethical Research Involving Children Project is to help ensure that the human dignity of children is honoured and that their rights and well-being are respected in all research, irrespective of context.”

Methods of research involving children are expanding rapidly and changing the way we think about children, Alexander said. The guidance is an attempt to ensure these research approaches are ethically sound, that children are respected and their views and perspectives gathered and reported with integrity.

The new resources include:

  • An International Charter for Ethical Research Involving Children;
  • A Compendium on ethical issues and challenges, including a collection of over 20 case studies as well as structured questions to guide ethical research involving children (called ‘Getting Started’);
  • A website www.childethics.com specifically designed to provide a rich repository of evidence-based information, resources and links to journal articles to guide and improve research involving children and to provide a platform for further critical reflection and dialogue.

The Ethical Research Involving Children Project is a joint initiative by the UNICEF Office of Research, the Childwatch International Research Network, the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University and the Children’s Issues Centre at the University of Otago. It does not take a prescriptive approach but encourages greater consideration of ethical issues as part of a reflective process between researchers, children and other stakeholders.

Nearly 400 members of the international research and NGO communities have contributed to this project that has developed a range of resources to provide clear guidance on ethical issues and concerns that can be applied in multiple research contexts.

Professor Anne Graham of the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University said the project was important because many researchers report feeling quite isolated in their research activities, particularly when it comes to making informed decisions about core concerns, such as how to balance the protection of children while progressing their participation in research.

“Part of the difficulty lies in the fact there are no clear-cut answers or universal solutions to every ethical concern,” said Professor Graham, “not least because the range of research contexts and issues being investigated differ so markedly.”

UNICEF says these resources will help researchers and organisations to further develop, enrich and sustain high quality, ethical research that will contribute to improving the lives of children.


To view the project www.childethics.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UNICEFInnocenti
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnicefInnocentiResearchCentre


UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org

For more information, please contact:

James Elder, Chief of Communication & Advocacy, UNICEF Office of Research, Cell: + 39 3357582585, jelder@unicef.org

Patrizia Faustini, Senior Communication Advisor, UNICEFOffice of Research, tel: +39 0552033253, + 39 3471168687 (cell), pfaustni@unicef.org




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