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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Make our voices count: children and young peoples’ responses to a global survey for the day of general discussion 2021 on children’s rights and alternative care

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Butler; Vanessa Currie; Katie Reid (et al.)

Institution: Family for every child
Published: December 2021
This report details children and young people's responses to a global survey for the Day of General Discussion 2021 on Children's Rights and Alternative Care. A total of 1,188 children and young people aged between 5-25-years old took part in the survey to share their views, experiences and ideas. This report will help inform the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child Day of General Discussion on 16-17 September.
Preventing a lost decade: urgent action to reverse the devastating impact of COVID-19 on children and young people
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: December 2021

Almost two years into the pandemic, the widespread impact of COVID-19 continues to deepen, increasing poverty and entrenching inequality. While some countries are recovering and rebuilding in a ‘new normal’, for many, COVID-19 remains a crisis. The human rights of all children are under threat to a degree that has not been seen in more than a generation. The global response so far has been deeply unequal and inadequate. The world now stands at a crossroads. The actions we take now will determine the well-being and rights of children for years to come. As we commemorate UNICEF’s 75th year, this report lays out the work in front of us by taking stock of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on children and the road to respond and recover to reimagine the future for every child.

WeWorld index 2021: women and children in a changing world

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Caneva; Martina Albini; Stefano Piziali (et al.)

Institution: WeWorld
Published: November 2021

The seventh edition of the WeWorld Index globally evaluates in which dimensions there are forms of inclusion/exclusion of women and children, and captures their living conditions in more than 170 countries in the world. The Index is composed of 34 indicators, grouped into 17 dimensions, which refer to 4 fundamental areas for the implementation of the rights of women and children: health, education, economy and society, in addition to the environmental and cultural context, which is determinant for the quality of life of these two social categories. As the previous edition, the WeWorld Index 2021 considers the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding 3 new indicators to the pre-existing 34. In order to integrate quantitative data, the Index is enriched with interviews to witnesses and experts who illustrate, for their direct knowledge, qualitative aspects that numbers alone would not be able to provide.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the rights of the child in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Arisa Yamaguchi; Mariko Hosozawa; Ayaka Hasegawa (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Pediatrics International

Few studies have used direct reports by children to assess how the rights documented in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) have been affected during the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Data were obtained from the CORONA-CODOMO Survey, a web-based survey conducted from April to May 2020 in Japan, targeting children aged 7–17 and parents/guardians of children aged 0–17. This study focused on self-reports from children, including two open-ended questions asking their needs and opinions. The results were analyzed according to the five categories of rights defined by the CRC: education, health, safety, play, and participation.

Migrant workers in Malaysia: Covid-19’s impact on the rights of their children and siblings in Pakistan

AUTHOR(S)
Abdullah Khoso; Ahmad Hilmi Mohamad Noor

Published: June 2021   Journal: The International Journal of Children's Rights
With the help of narratives of migrant workers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this article seeks to understands the impacts of the covid-19 (known as the 2019 novel coronavirus) pandemic on the rights of their children and children’s siblings in Pakistan. The pandemic impacted the flow of remittances to their families, which further impacted children’s right to education, livelihoods and food. They also revealed that the pandemic had impacted their children’s right to protection, play and development. Children had lost the freedom to play and go outside, socialise and learn. Migrant workers’ children and siblings with limited financial support should have been provided with adequate financial and social security support by Pakistan, but they were not. They also revealed that during the pandemic, children were also regular victims of harsh treatment and physical abuse by adult family members, reflecting the exacerbation of issues of breaches of their fundamental right to protection and emotional integrity.
Symbiotic harms of imprisonment and the effect on children’s right to family life

AUTHOR(S)
Shona Minson; Catherine Flynn

Published: June 2021   Journal: The International Journal of Children's Rights
Measures taken by governments to address covid-19 in prisons, have impacted significantly on the lives and rights of children. There has been consequential interference with children’s rights to family life and to contact with a parent from whom they have been separated. Since the onset of the pandemic, prisoners in many jurisdictions have lived under restricted regimes with almost universal bans on family visits. Children have not had face-to-face contact with their imprisoned parents, and alternate forms of contact have not always been available to them. Using survey and interview data collected during lockdowns in the UK and Australia, we consider the implications of the interference with the rights of children with an imprisoned parent. Focusing on their relationships, health and wellbeing and using the concept of symbiotic harms, we note how children’s experiences of the cessation of contact interacted with parents’ and caregivers’ experiences, amplifying the harms to children.
“Zooming In” on children’s rights during a pandemic: technology, child justice and Covid-19

AUTHOR(S)
Nessa Lynch; Ursula Kilkelly

Published: June 2021   Journal: The International Journal of Children's Rights
The implementation of public health measures in response to the covid-19 pandemic has impacted heavily on the operation of child justice systems and places of detention, creating new challenges in the safeguarding and implementation of children’s rights. Yet, it has also been a time of innovation, particularly in the use of technology. Using case studies from Ireland and Aotearoa New Zealand, we discuss how technology has been used to maintain the balance between restrictive yet necessary public health measures and the operation of the child justice system. Examples include remote participation in remand hearings and trial and the use of “virtual visits” for children in detention.
Life under Coronavirus: children’s views on their experiences of their human rights

AUTHOR(S)
Laura Lundy; Bronagh Byrne; Katrina Lloyd (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: The International Journal of Children's Rights

Children have a right to have their views sought and given due weight on all matters affecting them, including at times of emergency and crisis. This article describes the process and findings of the ground-breaking CovidUnder19 survey (“Life Under Coronavirus”) which was co-designed with children for children, capturing the experiences of over 26,000 children in 137 countries as to the realisation of their human rights during the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Key findings are discussed through the lens of the crc’ s four general principles, read alongside children’s rights, inter alia, to education, play and to be protected from harm. It argues that governments and public bodies should have sought children’s views – not just because they were under an obligation to do so – but because such engagement, now and in crises to come, provides an early warning system that enables decision-makers to mitigate some of the adverse consequences of their responses for children and their rights

Education for children's rights in Ireland before, during and after the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Benjamin Mallon; Gabriela Martinez-Sainz

Published: June 2021   Journal: Irish Educational Studies
This paper analyses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the ‘education rights’ of children in the Irish context, with a particular focus on children's/human rights education (C/HRE). C/HRE can support children and young people to understand and explore the issues which limit people's lives and consider actions to uphold their own rights and the rights of others. The breadth and depth of the provision of HRE can be considered across ‘education about rights’ (including knowledge and understanding of human rights values, norms and frameworks), ‘education through rights’ (rights respecting educational approaches) and ‘education for rights’ (empowerment to realising and upholding rights) (UN 2011). The paper situates this framework against three additional dimensions. Firstly, it considers the children's rights issues within a historical national context. Secondly, it explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the education rights of children in Ireland. Finally, with a future orientation, the paper considers how C/HRE can strengthen education, meeting the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the legacies of longstanding children's rights issues, and future human rights challenges.
Coming out to play: privacy, data protection, children's health, and COVID-19 research

AUTHOR(S)
Michael J. S. Beauvais; Bartha Maria Knoppers

Published: April 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Genetics
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for new ways of thinking about data protection. This is especially so in the case of health research with children. The responsible use of children’s data plays a key role in promoting children’s well-being and securing their right to health and to privacy. In this article, we contend that a contextual approach that appropriately balances children’s legal and moral rights and interests is needed when thinking about data protection issues with children.
Sub-Saharan Africa: growing up in crisis in a world of opportunities: the lasting impact of Covid-19 on children
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: April 2021

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.

Our Europe, our rights, our future: children and young people's contribution to the new EU strategy on the rights of the child and the child guarantee
Institution: Save the Children, Eurochild, *UNICEF
Published: March 2021

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.

COVID-19 and migration for work in South Asia: private sector responsibilities

AUTHOR(S)
Bernadette Gutmann; Amanda Bissex; Samaa Kazerouni,

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2021
The impacts of COVID-19 in South Asia have heightened and further exposed the vulnerability of migrant workers. These workers and their families are frequently overlooked in the pandemic response – and children are too often ignored in the discourse on migrant workers. Businesses and governments are responsible for protecting all workers from human rights abuses. When this is not done, previous achievements and future development are put in peril.
Thirty years after the UNCRC: children and young people’s participation continues to struggle in a COVID-19 world

AUTHOR(S)
Patricio Cuevas-Parra

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, despite governments’ efforts to ‘flatten the curve’. The measures to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak have been perceived as retrogressive for children and young people’s rights to participation. A common denominator across countries and regions is the reduced spaces for children and young people to influence decision-making processes and policy responses associated with COVID-19. This article critically examines the meanings and implications of children and young people’s participation rights in the time of COVID-19. In particular, it explores how lockdowns and other physical distancing measures have a negative impact on social interactions, leaving behind hard-to-reach children and young people and undermining some children and young people’s rights to participate on the premise that their protection is more relevant in crisis situations. This article discusses children and young people’s perspectives on how their opportunities to be listened to during the pandemic have been restricted. The article considers children and young people’s ability to communicate online, considering how those without access to the Internet – practically half the world – are left out, and, in the end, demonstrating that this pandemic is producing and exacerbating existing inequalities.
Children's right to be heard: we're talking; are you listening?
Institution: Save the Children, Child Fund Alliance, Plan International
Published: January 2021
Nearly a year since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, children worldwide continue to grapple with unprecedented hardships. However, the virus did not destroy children’s resolve to find and use their voices as forces for change. This brief explores factors that inhibit children’s meaningful participation and outlines key takeaways from children on how their participation can lead to outcomes that are more meaningful and impactful.
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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.