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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Marrying young: limiting the impact of a crisis on the high prevalence of child marriages in Niger

AUTHOR(S)
Tameshnie Deane

Published: July 2021   Journal: Laws
Child marriage is a harmful and discriminatory global practice, robbing millions of girls of their childhood. Global attention and momentum to end early marriage has increased over the years; however, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected this progress. It has been predicted that over the next decade up to 10–13 million more girls will be at risk of child marriage because of the pandemic. Since Niger has consistently had the highest rate of child marriage in the world, this study will explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child marriages within the west and African region but specifically within Niger. This article will look at past response efforts to other pandemics, specifically Ebola, and show how the girl-child remains disproportionately disadvantaged, especially during pandemics. The article will conclude with recommendations on the importance of incorporating a gender analysis into preparedness and response efforts to eliminate child marriages.
Child Marriage in the context of COVID-19: Analysis of trends, programming and alternative approaches in the Middle East and North Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Camilla Landini; Shadia Elshiwy

Documented good practices, programmatic interventions and alternative approaches that has been implemented in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child marriage in the Middle East and North Africa region is presented in this study. Furthermore, key recommendations for strengthening child marriage prevention programming during the COVID-19 pandemic are presented.
The pitfalls of modelling the effects of COVID-19 on gender-based violence: lessons learnt and ways forward | BMJ Global Health

AUTHOR(S)
Michelle Lokot; Amiya Bhatia; Shirin Heidari; Amber Peterman

Published: April 2021   Journal: BMJ Global Health
Since early 2020, global stakeholders have highlighted the significant gendered consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including increases in the risk of gender-based violence (GBV). Researchers have sought to inform the pandemic response through a diverse set of methodologies, including early efforts modelling anticipated increases in GBV. For example, in April 2020, a highly cited modelling effort by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners projected headline global figures of 31 million additional cases of intimate partner violence due to 6 months of lockdown, and an additional 13 million child marriages by 2030. In this paper, we discuss the rationale for using modelling to make projections about GBV, and use the projections released by UNFPA to draw attention to the assumptions and biases underlying model-based projections.
Early effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on children in rural Bangladesh

AUTHOR(S)
Momoe Makino; Abu S. Shonchoy; Zaki Wahhaj

Published: January 2021   Journal: Studies in Economics
Using data collected through a telephone-based survey in rural Bangladesh during the height of the pandemic, this study presents evidence on the effects of COVID-19-led lockdown and school closures on children, focusing on three child-related outcomes: time use of children during the school closure, plans regarding children’s schooling continuation, and the incidence of child marriages.
Through their eyes: exploring the complex drivers of child marriage in humanitarian contexts

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth Presler-Marshall; Nicola Jones; Sarah Alheiwidi

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: December 2020
Child marriage, while declining in most parts of the world, remains common in many communities – especially in countries beset by conflict and other humanitarian disasters. Indeed, all 10 of the countries with the highest rates of child marriage are considered fragile, and research has found that child marriage is one of the issues most sensitive to conflict. A growing body of evidence underscores that this is because although the drivers of child marriage tend to be similar across development and humanitarian contexts – and revolve around physical and economic insecurities and deep-seated gender norms – fragility, conflict and disaster augment concerns and can increase the risk of child marriage. This report begins with a brief overview of the evidence base. It then describes the sample and methodological approach used by Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) to explore the drivers of child marriage in humanitarian settings and how tailored policy and programming might be brought to bear to reduce it.
Influencing policy to reduce child marriage in India: reflections from young lives

AUTHOR(S)
Kath Ford; Renu Singh

Institution: Young Lives Longitudinal Study
Published: December 2020
In October 2017, India’s Supreme Court issued a landmark judgement ruling that a man who has sex with his wife where she is less than 18 years old, is committing rape. Evidence from Young Lives longitudinal data and national census analysis by the Young Lives India team contributed directly to this important change in the law, aiming to reduce child marriage. In June 2020, the Government of India established a task force to consider increasing the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years of age. Young Lives evidence is again making an important contribution to this debate, at a time of huge social and economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This report discusses how longitudinal research can influence policy change and what the potential impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic might be on levels of child marriage.
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Gender Alert on COVID-19 Afghanistan
Institution: UN Women, *UNICEF, Human Rights Watch
Published: October 2020
Families already living in poverty, many of whom are internally displaced persons or returnees, have little ability to weather a new crisis. They will be most under pressure to relieve financial crises through child labor or child marriage. In addition to dropping out of school, education disruption puts girls and young women at increased risk of numerous abuses: child marriage, exploitation, child labor, early pregnancy, and gender-based violence. An increase in reported cases of child marriage within the first few weeks/months of the pandemic has been documented.

COVID-19: Impact on Gender Dynamics in the Livelihoods Sector Within Crisis-Affected Countries
Institution: ACAPS
Published: October 2020
This report is an overview of the gendered impact of COVID-19 on the livelihoods, income and employment of women, men, girls, and boys in different countries affected by humanitarian crises. Children can be victims of economic violence during the pandemic. If they are involved in child labor, subjected to child marriage, and/or are withdrawn from school as their parents try to get some economic relief and further income through any of these measures, children’s livelihood chances and long-term economic prospects are deeply impacted, limiting their access to decent jobs and wages and endangering their mental and physical fitness for work for years to come.
COVID-19 secondary impacts on health- and protection-related issues
Institution: ACAPS
Published: October 2020

This thematic report provides global analysis on the gendered impact of the pandemic in key areas of humanitarian programming such as livelihood, income and employment or health and protection. Children who are exposed to the secondary impacts of the pandemic, such as reduced household income or closed schools, and who live in areas with reduced oversight mechanisms may face increased likelihood of child marriage, forced labor, or female genital mutilation.

A double-edged sword: protection risks facing Venezuelan children during the COVID-19 pandemic
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2020
The problems that place children at greater risk during the pandemic are associated with the scarcity of food, an increase in child labor, child marriage, domestic violence and abandonment. 49 per cent report that child marriages have increased since March in a survey with 420 households.
Strengthening livelihoods and preventing child marriage in times of COVID-19
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2020

UNFPA estimates that in addition to the 150 million girls at risk of child marriage pre-pandemic, the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 will put an additional 13 million more girls at risk over the next 10 years. Out of that number, up to four million girls may be in danger of child marriage in the next two years alone, with most child marriages taking place in the immediate aftermath of a crisis.

Save the Children Protection Assessment on the Impact of COVID-19 in Uganda
Institution: Save the Children
Published: July 2020
This report presents the main findings of a Save the Children child protection rapid survey. The survey finds that children are increasingly vulnerable and at risk - from an increase in violence and abuse, stress, poverty and hazardous coping strategies such as child labour and child marriage.
COVID-19 and child, early and forced marriage: an agenda for action
Institution: Girls not Brides
Published: April 2020
This brief provides recommendations and resources for responding to the needs of adolescent girls during and after the COVID-19 crisis, and its impact on child marriage. The global pandemic of COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges for us all.We have developed this brief on child marriage and COVID-19 for all our development partners, including civil society and governments. It provides insights, recommendations and resources for responding to the needs of adolescent girls during and after this crisis, including those at risk of early marriage, married girls, and those in informal unions.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Planning and Ending Gender-based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage
Institution: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund
Published: April 2020   Journal: UNFPA Brief
UNFPA aims to achieve three world-changing results by 2030, the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. These are: Ending unmet need for family planning, ending gender-based violence including harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage, and ending all preventable maternal deaths. COVID-19 pandemic could critically undermine progress made towards achieving these goals.
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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.