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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNDER DEVELOPMENT UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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UNICEF’s social protection response to COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2020 UNICEF Publication
COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on children and their families, with current estimates suggesting that an additional 117 million children will be living in poverty by the end of 2020. Beyond income, the pandemic is deepening poverty across every dimension of a child’s life, including health, education, nutrition, housing, water and sanitation. Social protection is playing a crucial role in the response, with countries expanding their social protection coverage and expanding national cash transfer programmes. This report highlights UNICEF’s role in supporting governments with both the immediate social protection response and longer-term recovery. Our work encompasses 115 countries where UNICEF has supported governments in strengthening national systems reaching over 44 million households. The report outlines UNICEF’s key areas of expertise in social protection and country examples covering the range of our work across all regions.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 12 | Language: English | Topics: Child Poverty | Tags: social protection | Publisher: *UNICEF
Reimagining homelessness assistance for children and families

AUTHOR(S)
Barbara Duffield

Published: September 2020   Journal: Journal of Children and Poverty

The homelessness response system in the United States is dominated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD’s definition of homelessness, program models, metrics, data, approaches, and goals have overshadowed those of other federal agencies. This policy brief argues that children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness have been poorly served by HUD’s dominance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.The paper draws from research, policy analyses, and testimonies of parents, service providers, and educators to make the case for a reimagined homelessness response that is child-centered and oriented toward long-term goals of economic independence, health, and wellness.

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Protecting children from violence in the time of COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2020 UNICEF Publication
This UNICEF publication, Protecting Children from Violence in the Time of COVID-19: Disruptions in prevention and response services, documents what has happened to such services across the world:
-1.8 billion children live in the 104 countries where violence prevention and response services have been disrupted due to COVID-19.
-Case management and home visits for children and women at risk of abuse are among the most commonly disrupted services.
-Around two thirds of countries with disruptions reported that at least one type of service had been severely affected; however, two thirds of countries reported that mitigating measures had been put into place.
In times of crisis, governments should prioritize maintaining or adapting critical prevention and response services to protect children from violence, including designating social service workers as essential and ensuring they are protected, strengthening child helplines, and making positive parenting resources available.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 20 | Topics: Child Protection | Tags: violence against children | Publisher: *UNICEF
COVID-19: Are children able to continue learning during school closures?
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2020 UNICEF Publication

In response to the unprecedented educational challenges created by school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 90 per cent of countries have implemented some form of remote learning policy. This factsheet estimates the potential reach of digital and broadcast remote learning responses, finding that at least 463 million students around the globe remain cut off from education, mainly due to a lack of remote learning policies or lack of equipment needed for learning at home. This data primarily stems from the UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank Survey on National Education Responses to COVID-19 School Closures (June-July 2020), as well as household microdata from sources like Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).

Protecting Forcibly Displaced Women and Girls during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Institution: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Published: July 2020   Journal: UNHCR Policy Brief
Forcibly displaced adolescent girls are facing increased risk of disrupted education and school drop-out as well as an extra caregiving burden during the pandemic. Refugee and internally displaced women and girls are more likely to hold precarious jobs in the informal sector and face disruptions in livelihoods and income generating activities as a result of the pandemic. The outbreak and subsequent movement restrictions have exacerbated existing risks of GBV, in particular intimate partner violence, as well as risks of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) while also hampering access to lifesaving services for survivors and other essential health services. Furthermore, limited access to information and decision-making spaces related to the COVID-19 response place women and girls at risk.
Despite these challenges, forcibly displaced women and girls are showing extreme resilience and are playing an important role in responding to the pandemic. This brief provides a snapshot of GBV and gender responsive interventions by UNHCR during the outbreak.
Prioritising children's rights in the COVID-19 response
Institution: The Lancet
Published: July 2020   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
Although substantial progress has been made in many aspects of child health in the past two decades, the COVID-19 pandemic and its wide-ranging effects are threatening some of these hard-won gains. Public health measures such as lockdown, school closures, and restrictions in population movement—while necessary to halt virus transmission—are causing prolonged disruption to societal functioning and exacerbating inequalities worldwide. The global Human Development Index (HDI) is projected to decline this year for the first time since 1990, effectively erasing all progress in human development made in the past 6 years.With resources diverted to tackle the pandemic, many clinical and community health services for children have reduced in capacity. A modelling study by Timothy Roberton and colleagues in The Lancet Global Health estimated that a 9·8–18·5% reduction in coverage of essential maternal and child health services and a 10% increase in child wasting prevalence would lead to 42 240 additional child deaths per month across 118 low-income and middle-income countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the care burden of women and families

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Power

Published: June 2020   Journal: Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy
While women were already doing most of the world’s unpaid care work prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging research suggests that the crisis and its subsequent shutdown response have resulted in a dramatic increase in this burden. This policy brief builds on recent work on the care economy to explore implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and opportunities for addressing the burden of unpaid care work.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 16 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 67-73 | Language: English | Topics: Child Poverty, Child Protection | Tags: gender roles, social inequality, care work
Rural youth and the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all parts of society and livelihoods around the globe. It is though worth recognizing that disadvantaged segments of populations like rural young women and men will be impacted harder, nevertheless, when proactively engaged, they have demonstrated to be innovators in their own sectors to surmount the pandemic impact. As governments and development partners take steps to address the economic and social effects of COVID-19, they should not allow a reversal of the rural youth progress achieved in recent years in terms of inclusion in food systems, access to education, vocational education and training, and access to decent employment. While in the immediate future the majority of global resources will be redirected toward the fight against the virus, rural young women and men, should remain a top priority both during and after the pandemic in order to support them to reach their full potential, allow them to prosper and also ensure a sustainable rural recovery. Furthermore, transforming food systems to be inclusive, sustainable, efficient, healthy and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, should be connected in all COVID-19 recovery measures.
COVID-19 Pandemic through a gender lens
Institution: The World Bank
Published: June 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to disruptions of both social and economic activities across the globe. While the early narrative described COVID-19 as the "great equalizer," asserting that the virus is capable of infecting anyone, it is critical for policymakers to understand that the impacts of COVID-19 will not be the same for everyone. Experience from previous epidemics suggest that COVID-19 will impact groups who are most vulnerable and amplify any existing inequalities across countries, communities, households and individuals. This note focuses on the existing gender inequalities in the economic sphere in Sub-Saharan Africa and summarizes how the COVID-19  pandemic could affect women and girls disproportionately. It draws on impact evaluation research to showcase policy options to help build women's economic resilience and minimize any potential negative impacts during the pandemic and recovery.
COVID-19 and people on the move: Policy brief
Institution: United Nations
Published: June 2020
COVID-19 leaves few lives and places untouched. But its impact is harshest for those groups who were already in vulnerable situations before the crisis. This is particularly true for many people on the move, such as migrants in irregular situations, migrant workers with precarious livelihoods, or working in the informal economy, victims of trafficking in persons as well as people fleeing their homes because of persecution, war, violence, human rights violations or disaster, whether within their own countries — internally displaced persons (IDPs) — or across international borders — refugees and asylum-seekers.
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Yemen 5 years on: Children, Conflict and COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: June 2020 UNICEF Publication
Millions of children in Yemen could be pushed to ‘the brink of starvation’ due to huge shortfalls in humanitarian aid funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic – according to a new UNICEF report marking more than five years since conflict escalated in the country. Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19 warns that as Yemen’s devastated health system and infrastructure struggle to cope with coronavirus, the already dire situation for children is likely to deteriorate considerably.
Children wait for a teacher in a classroom at Treichville Regional School, in the city of Abidjan. Although the school reopened after being closed for many years due to armed conflict, most teachers remain absent. (2011)
Framework for reopening schools
Global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic present an unprecedented risk to children’s education, protection and well-being. Schools do much more than teach children how to read, write and count. They also provide nutrition, health and hygiene services; mental health and psychosocial support; and dramatically reduce the risk of violence, early pregnancy and more. And it’s the most vulnerable children who are the hardest hit by school closures, and we know from previous crises that the longer they are out of school, the less likely they are to return.When deciding whether to reopen schools, authorities should look at the benefits and risks across education, public health and socio-economic factors, in the local context, using the best available evidence. This policy brief aims to inform the decision-making process regarding school reopening, support national preparations and guide the implementation process, as part of overall public health and education planning processes. The guidelines outline six key priorities to assess the readiness of those schools and inform planning.
COVID-19 impact on child labour and forced labour: the response of the IPEC+ Flagship programme
Institution: International Labour Organisation
Published: May 2020
In line with the ILO’s policy framework to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, country policies responses and the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work, this briefing note provides an initial framework for the response of IPEC+ to the crisis. Service provided by IPEC+ will be part of a holistic ILO response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and to rebuild better after the crisis.
Impact of COVID-19 on informal workers
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major economic and labour market shock, presenting significant impacts in terms of unemployment and underemployment for informal workers. In rural areas, the livelihoods of especially the self-employed and wage workers are at risk, because agrifood supply chains and markets are being disrupted due to lockdowns and restrictions of movement. Families might resort to negative coping strategies such as distress sale of assets, taking out loans from informal moneylenders, or child labour. Specific groups of workers, including women, youth, children, indigenous people, and migrant workers, who are over represented in the informal economy, will experience further exacerbation of their vulnerability. Response measures should foster the expansion of social protection coverage to informal workers in agriculture and rural sectors, including timely cash transfers, food or in-kind distributions. Specific measures should be tailored towards women workers with care responsibilities at home, families that may resort to child labour as a coping strategy, as well as other vulnerable subgroups. Efforts should be made to maintain agricultural supply chains and strengthen the market linkages for local producers, while promoting decent work.
FAO COVID-19 response and recovery programme: economic inclusion and social protection to reduce poverty
The COVID-19 pandemic is, directly and indirectly, impacting health and well-being around the globe. Illness and containment measures are compounding the social and economic disadvantages of the most vulnerable in society. These social and economic impacts stand to cause devastating setbacks to efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Pervasive inequalities between rural and urban inhabitants, rich and poor, women and men will exacerbate these effects. People in areas impacted by severe climate change, conflict, forced displacement, and migration will be even more vulnerable.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.