Innocenti Working Papers

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) was created to strengthen UNICEF's research capability and to support its advocacy for children worldwide. The Working Papers (formerly Innocenti Occasional Papers), are the foundation of the Centre's research output, underpinning many of the Centre's other publications. These high quality research papers are aimed at an academic and well-informed audience, contributing to ongoing discussion on a wide range of child-related issues.


What We Know about Ethical Research Involving Children in Humanitarian Settings

An Overview of Principles, the Literature and Case Studies

This working paper identifies and explores the issues that should be considered when undertaking ethical research involving children in humanitarian settings. Research grounded in sound ethical principles is critical in ensuring that children’s rights are respected throughout the process and beyond and that the research itself is relevant, useful and valid. This paper examines both the universal (i.e. relevant to all research involving children) and specific ethical issues that may arise when involving children in research in humanitarian settings. This is undertaken through an examination of the literature, a review of relevant case studies and a reflection on the ethical issues highlighted in UNICEF’s Procedure for Ethical Standards in Research, Evaluation, Data Collection and Analysis (the Ethics Procedure). The latter is used as a baseline for generic ethical standards when involving children in research.


Keywords: children, ethics, research, international instruments, humanitarian settings
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