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We are facing a COVID-19 education crisis. As this report finds,
schools for more than 168 million children globally have been closed for
almost a full year. With every day that goes by, these children will
fall further behind and the most vulnerable will pay the heaviest price. The unique findings presented in this report provide an overview of
school closures from March 11, 2020 to February 2, 2021 in more than 200
countries and territories, relying primarily on the data from the
UNESCO tracker of school closures and UIS database on school enrollment. As we enter the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, no effort
should be spared to keep schools open or prioritize them in reopening
plans. Children cannot afford another year of school closures.
The European Union (EU) is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of children. It is undertaking two major pieces of work to contribute to making this commitment a reality: a strategy on the rights of the child 2021-2024 and a child guarantee to ensure every child in Europe at risk of poverty has access to essential services. To find out what children are experiencing and what they say needs to change, the EU approached five child rights organizations – Child Fund Alliance, Eurochild, Save the Children, UNICEF and World Vision – to consult with children on their lives, aspirations and concerns for the future. This report presents the findings of that consultation with over 10,000 children aged 11–17 across Europe and beyond.
This report presents an empirical overview of what works to support learning outcomes for girls in emergencies. Research shows that girls in emergencies are disadvantaged at all stages of education and are more likely to be out-of-school than in non-emergency settings. Girls are also struggling to learn. This solutions book seeks to highlight promising evidence-based actions in education for decision makers who are designing and implementing interventions to support girls’ education in low and middle-income country humanitarian settings and settings where education has been interrupted by the COVID‑19 pandemic. It documents practical examples of approaches that have been or are being tested, and from which lessons can be drawn. The overarching aim is that this evidence be used to inform programming in crises and support diverse stakeholders in mitigating the impact of emergencies on girls’ education.
Mariya Stoilova; Sonia Livingstone; Rana Khazbak
Children’s lives are increasingly mediated by digital technologies. Yet, when it comes to understanding the long-term effects of internet use and online experiences on their well-being, mental health or resilience, the best we can do is make an educated guess. Our need for this knowledge has become even more acute as internet use rises during COVID-19. This report explores what has been learned from the latest research about children’s experiences and outcomes relating to the internet and digital technologies. It aims to inform policy-makers, educators, child-protection specialists, industry and parents on the best evidence, and it proposes a future research agenda.
When children encounter the justice system – as alleged offenders, victims, witnesses or as parties to civil or administrative matters – they are entitled to specialized processes and procedures that are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international standards. Yet many justice systems are neither child-friendly nor gender-sensitive and often fail to meet the needs or uphold the rights of all children. Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic – along with previous infectious disease outbreaks – suggests that existing child protection violations are exacerbated, and new risks emerge, in times of crisis. In addition to the adverse impacts of detention and incarceration on their well-being, children risk contracting the virus when detained in confined and overcrowded spaces. They are also more vulnerable to neglect and abuse, especially if staffing levels or care are undermined by the pandemic or containment measures.
In Mongolia, following school closures and term break from February to September 2020 affecting more than 600,000 children, the Government put learning at the heart of reopening, dedicating the first month of the new school term to the assessment of learning and remedial lessons and activities. UNICEF supported the Ministry of Education and Science in the development and distribution of teacher guidance for remedial classes covering all core subjects from pre-primary to upper secondary.
During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, factors such as limitations on economic activity, school closures, reduced access to health-care services and physical distancing increase the likelihood of children and adolescents becoming vulnerable and being exposed to violence and other violations of their rights. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the gradual deterioration in socioeconomic factors in the past decade has reduced essential elements of protection and may generate an even sharper increase in violence against children and adolescents in the time of COVID-19 than before the crisis. Factors such as pre-existing inequalities in the region. This document examines the exacerbation of risks and the erosion of protection factors relating to physical, psychological and sexual violence in the home experienced by adolescents and children, especially girls, within the context of COVID-19 in the region. It also provides recommendations on the integration of concrete actions into the response mechanisms developed by Latin American and Caribbean States to address the COVID-19 crisis.
Young people have been among those most socially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but, at the same time, also the most prepared to cope with the quick shift towards virtual environments that the pandemic created. For many young people in the Europe and Central Asia Region, COVID-19 interrupted their schooling, left them jobless, and has made it more difficult to integrate into the labour market. Facing school closures and uncertainty about their futures, young people say that they feel isolated and are dealing with levels of stress, anxiety and depression. UNICEF and the European Training Foundation (ETF) have partnered to examine the challenges, opportunities and – most importantly – the sentiments and views of young people concerning their current and future prospects in the time of COVID-19.
Bob Muchabaiwa; Matthew Cummins; Abhiyan Jung Rana
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have predicted that the social
and economic effects of the ongoing pandemic will have a significant
impact on the well-being of families with children and adolescents in
Latin America and the Caribbean. Even before the COVID-19 crisis,
children and adolescents were already a highly vulnerable population
group, suffering a higher incidence of poverty than other age groups and
affected by numerous inequalities in various dimensions. Not only does
the current emergency threaten families with the loss of their
livelihoods and a drop in their incomes, children and adolescents also
face significant barriers in securing access to health care —including
vaccination schemes— and to education. Thus, they are also at a higher
risk of falling behind or dropping out of school, as well as at risk
from food insecurity and threats of violence or physical punishment. It
is therefore urgent to invest in children and to ensure their
development in a context characterized by adversities old and new.
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