Awards and recognitions

The President of the Italian Republic has conferred on Francesco Tonucci the honor of Commander of the Italian Republic.

An acknowledgment of Francesco’s immense career, his dedication to the study and advocacy of childhood, his contributions to the advancement of education and politics, his talent for giving childhood a voice through his art as a cartoonist, and the his unceasing contribution to the development of our society.

From the website of the National Research Council in Rome

In 2020 Francesco was named as an Ashoka Fellow, a prestigious award that brings together the world’s leading social entrepreneurs who support innovative ideas that transform society, providing benefits to all and improving the lives of millions.

At the presentation of the award

In 2019 Francesco received the UNICEF Spain Joaquín Ruiz-Giménez Award.

The award, as can be read in the citation, was given for the following reasons:


Doctor honoris causa of the Catholic University of Cordoba (Argentina)


Piccolo Plauto Lifetime Achievement Award Childhood Magazine – University of Bologna


 Honorary doctorate from the University of Oviedo


 Pajarita Award of toy makers of Spain

“….Per his defense of the importance of the game in all its fields . .”


 Italian Andersen Lifetime Achievement Award


 Lifetime Achievement Award from the journal Psychology and School (Florence)


 Marta Mata Award from the “Rosa Sensat” Association of Barcelona


Honorary doctorate of the National University of Santa Fe upon the proposal of the Faculty of Humanities


Honorary doctorate from the National University of La Plata at the proposal of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning


 Gold Medal of Educational Merit of the Junta Di Andalucía (Spain)

“…for his commitment to education and childhood, through his research in educational methodology and the International Research Project “The City of Children”


Honorary Professor of the Faculty of Education at the Pontifical Catholic University of Lima (Peru).