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Schools are essential for children’s learning, health, safety and well-being. But students’ learning suffered a major setback when most educational institutions reduced or cancelled in-person instruction and moved to remote learning and teaching to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Prolonged school closures continue to jeopardise the future of millions of children across the globe. The Europe and Central Asia Region is no exception. Schools should be the first to open and last to close. Getting children back in the classroom remains a priority for UNICEF and WHO Regional Offices, striking a balance between applying public health and social measures and ensuring that children are able to continue learning and socializing to the greatest extent possible. UNICEF and WHO have created several tools and resources to support countries in their back-to-school efforts. This joint UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (UNICEF/ ECARO) and WHO Regional Office for Europe Schooling Resource Pack has an easy-to-find compilation of materials to help parents/caregivers, teachers and students return to school safely.
Brian Keeley; Juliano Diniz de Oliveira; Tara Dooley
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about the mental health of a generation of children. But the pandemic may represent the tip of a mental health iceberg – an iceberg we have ignored for far too long. The State of the World’s Children 2021 examines child, adolescent and caregiver mental health. It focuses on risks and protective factors at critical moments in the life course and delves into the social determinants that shape mental health and well-being. It calls for commitment, communication and action as part of a comprehensive approach to promote good mental health for every child, protect vulnerable children and care for children facing the greatest challenges.
Anita Ghimire; Sharmila Mainali; Fiona Samuels (et al.)
Chamaiporn Siangyen; Caterina Grasso; Reylynne Dela Paz (et al.)
The 2021 Asia-Pacific Girls Report is Plan International’s annual research report concerning girls in the Asia-Pacific region. It is part of our contribution towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, committed to equitable and inclusive development for girls and young women. This report highlights both the civic engagement activities of young female activists in the Asia-Pacific and the unique challenges girls and young women face throughout the region. As part of this research, Plan International conducted interviews with sector-based experts and young female activists to assess the current situation in the region. Plan International developed and updated the Asia and Pacific Girls’ Leadership Indexes to measure the opportunities of adolescent girls and young women to develop and demonstrate their leadership capabilities, their unique voice in the region, the gaining of support for their choices and collective and individual power.
As of 26 August 2021, the number of reported confirmed COVID-19 cases in Yemen had reached 7,625 with 1,438 associated deaths (WHO) reaching a 19% case fatality rate, which is around five times global average. However, in general, the overall number of cases in Yemen is largely under-reported. The main objective of this assessment was to determine the impact of COVID-19 on food security & livelihoods, gender equality/inequality, and sexual and reproductive health access in the assessment area, with a gender and protection lens. The assessment also aimed to understand the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic in terms of gender roles and relations as well as on access to basic services. The assessment also examined the current coping mechanisms utilized by community members to mitigate the impacts of COVID 19. The assessment was conducted in Salh and Al-Waziyah districts, Taiz Governorate. The two districts were selected to compare the impact of COVID-19 across rural (Al-Waziyah) and urban (Salh) populations. The thematic scope of the assessment covered three main domains related to COVID 19: a) Food Security and Livelihoods; b) Gender Equality/Inequality; and c) Sexual and Reproductive Health. Methodology: Given the scope of the assessment, both quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed for the study. These included: Literature review; 22 Key informant interviews with community leaders, health professionals, government offices and humanitarian actors; 410 household survey (50% men; 50% women); 12 Focus group discussions (50% men; 50% women); and 10 case studies.
Diletta Mastria; Jean Daniel Patierno
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Europe, the situation for displaced people in the Italian border town of Ventimiglia deteriorated further. Vulnerable individuals and groups would face additional dangers and protection risks in this context, while unaccompanied children continued to be pushed back at alarming rates while being treated as adults, a tactical practice aimed at depriving them of their right to seek asylum in France. This report is based on a combination of desk and field research, and sheds a light on the grave impacts of COVID-19 on an already desperate situation at the French-Italian border. It underlines the acute impact of the pandemic on all aspects of life for people on the move, including access to adequate shelter, medical care, protection, and other rights violations such as racial profiling, pushbacks and detention.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the bleak situation of education in Syria. Recurrent lockdowns and suspension of activities over 2020 and 2021 have limited children’s physical access to school and has worsened the poor economic situation across the country obliging many Syrian families to apply coping mechanisms including removing their children from schools. All of the above has resulted in an estimated 2.5 million children aged 5-17 years – one-third of the school-age population – are out of school. They are unable to exercise their basic right to education as laid out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). A further 1.6 million school-age children are at risk of being denied this right. These astonishing numbers indicate that a generation is growing up deprived of school in Syria. Those children are also more likely to suffer further violations, including falling victim to violence, child marriage, and engagement in worst form of child labour.
Priscilla Idele; Prerna Banati; David Anthony (et al.)
COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and externalizing behavioural problems. Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical.
Recognizing the persistent and harmful impact that COVID-19 and related lockdown measures pose for the HIV response, governments across ESA region continue to implement interventions to sustain and further advance hard won gains toward ending AIDS. One year after the release of UNICEF’s Compendium of innovative approaches to HIV programming in Eastern and Southern Africa in the context of COVID-19, this new Volume II describes results achieved in the nine countries highlighted in Volume I and shares experiences from an additional eight countries. This collective work demonstrates how countries are building upon the learning and architecture of the HIV response to proactively mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic while scaling up efforts to achieve global HIV goals, resulting in stronger responses and resilient systems for both HIV and COVID-19.
Mayumi Hangai; Aurelie Piedvache; Naomi Sawada (et al.)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed people’s lives dramatically. Few data on the acute effects of the pandemic on children’s daily lives and well-being have been published to date. This study aimed to capture the effects on Japanese children during the first peak of the outbreak. This study was a web-based, anonymous cross-sectional survey targeting Japanese children aged 7–17 years and parents/guardians of children aged 0–17 years. Eligible individuals were invited to the survey from April 30 to May 31, 2020. This self-report questionnaire examined daily life and behaviors, psychological symptoms, well-being, quality of life, and positive parenting or abusive behaviors at the very beginning of the outbreak.
Alexandra D. W. Sullivan; Rex Forehand; Juliana Acosta (et al.)
Iwona Zwierzchowska; Piotr Lupa
Deepika Ganju; Tom Pellens
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on violence against children and women during COVID-19.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
Subscribe to updates on new research about COVID-19 & children
COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response