This working paper identifies and explores the issues that should be considered when undertaking ethical research involving children in humanitarian settings. 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 are examined. This is undertaken through a review of the literature, 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 key findings of this overview highlight that many of the ethical issues that are present in other settings remain relevant and applicable in the context of humanitarian settings. These include: an institution’s capacity to appropriately and respectfully engage children in research, understanding power relations, securing informed consent and assent, ascertaining harms and benefits, maintaining privacy and confidentiality, and ensuring appropriate communication of findings.
Berman G, Hart J, O’Mathúna D, Mattellone E, Potts A, O’Kane Clare, Shusterman J and Tanner T (2016). What We Know about Ethical Research Involving Children in Humanitarian Settings: An overview of principles, the literature and case studies, Innocenti Working Papers. 2016 (18) UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Florence