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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Supporting children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: a rights-centered approach

AUTHOR(S)
Shazeen Suleman; Yasmine Ratnani; Katrina Stockley (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Paediatrics & Child Health
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis, affecting millions globally and in Canada. While efforts to limit the spread of the infection and ‘flatten the curve’ may buffer children and youth from acute illness, these public health measures may worsen existing inequities for those living on the margins of society. This commentary highlights current and potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 on children and youth centering on the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), with special attention to the accumulated toxic stress for those in difficult social circumstances. By taking responsive action, providers can promote optimal child and youth health and well-being, now and in the future, through adopting social history screening, flexible care models, a child/youth-centered approach to “essential” services, and continual advocacy for the rights of children and youth.
The hidden impact of COVID-19 on child rights

AUTHOR(S)
Nicole Dulieu; Melissa Burgess; Chiara Orlassino (et al.)

Institution: Save the Children
Published: September 2020
This report is one in a series presenting findings from the Global COVID-19 Research Study. The results presented in this report focus on implications for child rights, drawing on data from our representative sample of 17,565 parents/caregivers and 8,069 children in our programme participants group. Comparisons with our general public sample are made in some places. The research presents differences in impact and needs of children by region, age, gender, disability, minority group, indicators of poverty and more.
Ethics of COVID-19-related school closures

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Silverman; Robert Sibbald; Saverio Stranges

Published: August 2020   Journal: Canadian Journal of Public Health
COVID-19 mitigation strategies have led to widespread school closures around the world. Initially, these were undertaken based on data from influenza outbreaks in which children were highly susceptible and important in community-wide transmission. An argument was made that school closures were necessary to prevent harm to vulnerable adults, especially the elderly. Although data are still accumulating, the recently described complication, pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, is extremely rare and children remain remarkably unaffected by COVID-19. We also do not have evidence that children are epidemiologically important in community-wide viral spread. Previous studies have shown long-term educational, social, and medical harms from school exclusion, with very young children and those from marginalized groups such as immigrants and racialized minorities most affected. The policy and ethical implications of ongoing mandatory school closures, in order to protect others, need urgent reassessment in light of the very limited data of public health benefit.
Ensuring access to justice in the context of COVID-19
Addressing COVID-19 is foremost a public health concern. However, the impact of the crisis as well as the legal and policy responses developed by states to counter the spread of COVID-19 have much wider ramifications that affect a broad range of human rights, including the ability of people to access justice in a timely, fair, and effective manner. The crisis also presents specific justice ‘needs’, such as addressing the rise in gender based violence and making additional institutional reforms to strengthen the effectiveness of the justice chain in a radically shifted social context. A key concern is that the economic fallout of the crisis will put many groups in society further behind, including children, women, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons, displaced populations, stateless people, migrants, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, day labourers, and people living at or below the poverty line.
The social and economic impact of Covid-19 in the Asia-Pacific region
Institution: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
Published: April 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis are posing huge challenges, raising many unknowns and imposing wrenching trade-offs. Both crises are global, but their impacts are deeply local. The policy response to both crises needs to be rapid, even if it is rough around the edges. But countries cannot pull this off on their own—the global crises require global solidarity and coordination.
Digital Contact Tracing and Surveillance During COVID-19. General and child-specific ethical issues

Balancing the need to collect data to support good decision-making versus the need to protect children from harm created through the collection of the data has never been more challenging than in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The response to the pandemic has seen an unprecedented rapid scaling up of technologies to support digital contact tracing and surveillance. As the pandemic progresses, we are also likely to see the emergence of more applications that link datasets as we seek to better understand the secondary impacts of the pandemic on children and their families.

This working paper explores the implications for privacy as the linking of datasets increases the likelihood that children will be identifiable and consequently, the opportunities for (sensitive) data profiling. It also frequently involves making data available to a broader set of users or data managers.

While it is recognized that reuse of unidentifiable data could potentially serve future public health responses and research, the nature of, access to and use of the data now and in future necessitate accountability, transparency and clear governance processes. It requires that these be in place from the outset. These are needed to ensure that data privacy is protected to the greatest degree possible and that the limitations to the use of these data are clearly articulated.

Digital Contact Tracing and Surveillance During COVID-19. General and child-specific ethical issues
The response to COVID-19 has seen an unprecedented rapid scaling up of technologies to support digital contact tracing and surveillance. The consequent collation and use of personally identifiable data may however pose significant risks to children’s rights. This is compounded by the greater number and more varied players making decisions about how data, including children’s data, are used and how related risks are assessed and handled. This means that we need to establish clear governance processes for these tools and the data collection process and engage with a broader set of government and industry partners to ensure that children’s rights are not overlooked.
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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.