Research Director: Prof. Furio Camillo Rosati 

The group of researchers involved in the Understanding Children’s Work (UCW) research activity includes Furio Camillo Rosati, Lorenzo Guarcello, Scott Lyon, Jacobus de Hoop, Maria Gabriella Breglia, Cristina Valdivia and Giuseppe Dachille.


The inter-agency programme, Understanding Children’s Work (UCW), was initiated by the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNICEF and the World Bank as one of the responses to the recommendations of the Amsterdam and Oslo conferences.
Through a variety of research activities, the UCW Programme supports the partner agencies in improving statistical information on child labour and youth employment in their various dimensions – their nature, extent, causes and consequences – as well as on what policy approaches are most effective in addressing them.
The Programme’s inter-agency configuration and technical orientation leave it uniquely placed to act as a platform for research cooperation, policy dialogue, partnership building and knowledge exchange in child labour, youth employment and related policy areas.


The UCW programme is comprised of four research areas:

The Statistics and Measurement area supports partner agency efforts to strengthen quantitative information on child labour and youth employment needed for effective monitoring

The Policy-Oriented Research area focuses on research in policy areas where important knowledge gaps persist, and on using this research for promoting informed responses to child labour and to the youth employment challenge

The Country-Level Cooperation area involves applying the tools, methods, guidelines developed as part of the other components of the Programme to specific country contexts. In this way, it represents the link between the global-level research activities, on one hand, and the national policies and programmes directly influencing child labour and youth employment, on the other

The Impact Evaluation component forms part of broader partner agency efforts to improve understanding of the relative effectiveness of different policy approaches to child labour elimination

In the past years UCW has been involved in several international projects including, among others, the Global Partnership for Youth Employment (GPYE), the UNICEF/UIS Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children (OOSCI), the FAO/ILO cooperation to Address the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Agriculture.

The UCW programme has received financing from several bodies, including the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the US Department of Labora and the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (Government of Canada).


Collaboration on a wide range of projects have been started with the World Bank, the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU – University of Cape Town), the University of Sao Paolo, the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL, Mexico), the BETAM research centre of the Bahcesehir University (Istanbul), and Save the Children.


The UCW programme has collected a remarkable number of publications in top international journals in the fields of econometrics, statistics, economics and labour economics with both applied and methodological contributions. Following is the list of main journals where articles have been published: World Development, Journal of African Economics, Journal of Economic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Journal of Population Economics, Research in Labour Economics (IZA), and Orient.