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This paper provides insights and evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic and related policy responses to curb its spread influence the risk of child labour in agriculture through different pathways.It draws on case studies from seven countries covering different production systems: Côte d’Ivoire (cocoa), Ethiopia (cattle keeping and farming), (Lebanon (horticulture and greenhouse farms), the Philippines (municipal fisheries), and Viet Nam (crop farming, livestock, and citrus fruit chains). Based on these evidence, the document provides concluding reflections and recommendations on priority areas regarding knowledge generation and data collection, policy responses (social protection, education), and household- and community-level responses.
This review aims to look into the consequences of (1) the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to mitigate the spread of the pandemic and (2) the policies and programmatic responses to mitigate socio-economic consequences of the pandemic and how they have potentially interacted with child labour drivers, especially in agrifood systems. Thus, this review aims to document and spell out how policy and programmatic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular social protection measures, have the potential to prevent or contain an increase of child labour in agriculture at large.
Cristian Alexander Mejía Ortiz; Gissela Estefania Mera Rojas; Vivian Lizbeth Ruiz Sudario (et al.)
Jack Iván Vidal Chica; Efstathios Stefos; Raquel Gilar Corbi (et al.)
Il Oeur; Sochanny Hak; Soeun Cham (et al.)
This report shares findings from qualitative research on the impacts of Covid-19 on Cambodian migrant workers in four sites along the Cambodia-Thai border. Government restrictions in Thailand and the border closure in February 2020 led to job losses and reduced working hours, and ultimately to an increase in the rate of return migration. Return migrants were forced to use informal points of entry with the facilitation of informal brokers, facing increased costs and risks and, in the process, becoming undocumented. This report shows an unequal access to health services between documented and undocumented migrants. Even in the context of Covid-19, some migrants continue to travel with young children who support the family, mostly through light agricultural work.
Niloofar Najafi; Hoorieh Soleimanjahi; Shadab Shahali (et al.)
Cynthia Boruchowicz; Susan W. Parker; Lindsay Robbins
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the globe had made remarkable progress in reducing child labor. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of children in child labor decreased by approximately 94 million between 2000 and 2016, representing a drop of 38 percent. But as the pandemic caused massive school closures and unprecedented loss of jobs and income for millions of families, many children have entered the workforce to help their families survive, while others have been forced to work longer hours or enter more precarious and exploitative situations. Some have become their families’ primary breadwinners after losing a caregiver to Covid-19. Some despair of ever going back to school. This report examines the rise in child labor and poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic in three countries: Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda, the impact on children’s rights, and government responses. Each of the three countries has made significant progress reducing poverty and child labor in recent decades. Each has also made an explicit commitment as a “pathfinder” country to accelerate efforts to eradicate child labor in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Polyxeni Kechagia; Theodore Metaxas (et al.)
Kath Ford; Santiago Cueto; Alan Sanchez
This policy brief looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of adolescents and young people in Peru as they transition into adulthood, focusing on how widening inequalities are hitting those from disadvantaged backgrounds hardest. Peru continues to suffer one of the highest per capita COVID-19 death rates in the world, despite an initial strict national lockdown between March and June 2020, and subsequent regional lockdowns between July and September 2020. A second set of regional lockdowns, and new related restrictions, have been introduced since January 2021, in response to an even more devastating second wave of infections. This brief investigates the broader economic and social impacts of the pandemic, presenting policy recommendations based on findings from the Listening to Young Lives at Work COVID-19 phone survey, conducted in the second half of 2020. It focuses on five key areas of impact: interrupted education and inequality in learning outcomes; unequal access to decent jobs; worsening mental health and well-being; specific implications for girls and young women, including increased domestic work burdens; and increasing risk of domestic violence. It is part of a series of national policy briefs drawing on findings from our 2020 COVID-19 phone survey.
The latest global estimates indicate that the number of children in child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years. 63 million girls and 97 million boys were in child labour globally at the beginning of 2020, accounting for almost 1 in 10 of all children worldwide. This report warns that global progress to end child labour has stalled for the first time in 20 years. The number of children aged 5 to 17 years in hazardous work – defined as work that is likely to harm their health, safety or morals – has risen by 6.5 million to 79 million since 2016. In sub-Saharan Africa, population growth, extreme poverty, and inadequate social protection measures have led to an additional 16.6 million children in child labour over the past four years. Additional economic shocks and school closures caused by COVID-19 mean that children already in child labour may be working longer hours or under worsening conditions, while many more may be forced into the worst forms of child labour due to job and income losses among vulnerable families. The report warns that globally 9 million additional children are at risk of being pushed into child labour by the end of 2022 as a result of the pandemic. Children in child labour are at risk of physical and mental harm. Child labour compromises children’s education, restricting their rights and limiting their future opportunities, and leads to vicious inter-generational cycles of poverty and child labour.
This report presents an analysis of the impact of school closures as a COVID-19 response measure in the DRC, and is intended to inform evidence-based programming to mitigate the short- and long-term consequences to health, protection, and education of children and adolescents in the DRC. It demonstrates that the impact of school closures does not end with the reopening of schools; the evidence shared in this report highlight the long-term impacts that will continue to be felt following two extended periods of school closures in the DRC, and calls for an urgent response.
Cheb Hoeurn (et al.)
COVID-19 poses a serious threat to a country’s development, particularly in the education sector. In partnership with CARE International, and as part of Cambodia’s GPE-funded COVID-19 Accelerating Funding Response and Recovery programme, UNICEF has awarded SCI with implementing the Communication for Education and Improved School Governance. The purpose of the project is to support the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in the process of reopening schools and, in particular, reach the most vulnerable families and their children. To support the above project, this study was proposed and conducted. This study had two objectives: 1) to map the risk of drop-out at the district and province levels, and 2) to examine the determinants of drop-out risk. To meet the objectives of the study, data from joint COVID-19 rapid education assessment were employed. In this study, only student and caregiver data were used. To map school drop-out risk at the district and province levels, school drop-out risk was aggregated to the district and province levels using weighted averages. The study employed both descriptive and inferential statistics.
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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