What We Know about Ethical Research Involving Children in Humanitarian Settings: An overview of principles, the literature and case studies

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UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti

Produced by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 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.

The aim of this paper is firstly to highlight the need and value of engaging children in research in these settings. Second, it provides a broad overview of the key ethical considerations that those commissioning or undertaking research need to reflect on when proposing, designing or implementing research programmes in these complex settings.

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