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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the world’s population. Although it has been established that children are at lower risk of falling seriously ill with COVID-19, the pandemic has had, and continues to have, far-reaching effects on them. The pandemic poses a health crisis that has become a child rights’ crisis. It is heightening the impact of conflict and climate change on children. In sub-Saharan Africa, COVID-19 is exacerbating not only existing threats to the future that 550 million children face, but also measures put in place to control and contain the disease. While the arrival of the first vaccines brings hope to put an end to the pandemic, it will take time before these vaccines can reach everyone who needs them. This report sheds light on the various ways children in sub-Saharan Africa have been affected by the ongoing pandemic and how UNICEF and partners have been supporting them. The report also is a call to action to governments and the international community to take concerted action to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated control measures, and build forward a better world fit for children.
Dita Nugroho; Youngkwang Jeon; Akito Kamei (et al.)
The Asia-Pacific region faces the challenge of having 369 million people without access to basic sanitation services and 163 million people lacking access to basic drinking water. UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) has been working in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in 26 countries in the region with the intent of helping countries reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which targets universal and equitable water, sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030. This report provides a summary of the progress, major WASH results achieved, and lessons learned in the East Asia and Pacific Region in 2020. It also provides a brief financial analysis as well as a narrative on challenges that the region faces— dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, the report offers a look into the WASH programme in 2021 and what the future of WASH must look like in order for us to meet national goals as well as the SDGs.
Lucy Hovil; Mark Gill; Iolanda Genovese (et al.)
The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.
Over recent decades, South Asia has made remarkable progress in
improving the health of mothers and children. But the year 2020 brought a
great shock to South Asia, as it did to the whole world. The COVID-19
pandemic has had major and multiple impacts – both direct and indirect.
One of the critical indirect impacts has been severe disruptions to the
delivery and use of routine services, including essential health and
nutrition services. The region saw significant drops in the use of both
preventive and curative services. Direct and Indirect Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic and Response in South Asia uses
a series of exercises based on actual observed changes in services and
intervention coverage to model impacts on mortality, hospitalizations,
and ICU admissions due to COVID-19. It also models the impact of
nationwide stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of COVID-19 on
maternal and child mortality, educational attainment of children, and
the region’s economy. The study focuses on South Asia’s six most
populous countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and
Sri Lanka and makes the case for interventions and strategies to
minimise these indirect consequences.
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. In the era of Covid-19 pandemic, 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.
Cirenia Chávez; Marco Valenza; Annika Rigole (et al.)
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of society. In mid-April 2020, 192 countries had closed their schools, putting 9 out of 10 enrolled children out of school. These closures disproportionately affected marginalized children, worsening existing inequities across education systems worldwide. This brief draws on the experience of five UNICEF education country programmes supported by the Let Us Learn (LUL) initiative, to document tangible lessons in adapting education programmes to support the most marginalized children during school and learning centre closures. The evidence in this brief stems from a series of semi-structured interviews with Education and Child Protection specialists, as well as a document review of available COVID-19 response studies, in the five LUL-supported UNICEF Country Offices.
Bernadette Gutmann; Amanda Bissex; Samaa Kazerouni,
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.
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