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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 36
Evidence and gap map research brief: UNICEF strategic plan 2018–2021: COVID-19 special evidence brief
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: June 2022
This research brief is one of a series of six briefs, which provide an overview of available evidence shown in the Campbell-UNICEF Mega-Map of the effectiveness of interventions to improve child well-being in low- and middle-income countries. Five of these briefs summarize evidence as mapped against the five goal areas of UNICEF’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan. A sixth special brief was added to focus specifically on COVID-19 and other epidemics and major crises. It is anticipated that the briefs will also be useful for others working in the child well-being space.
The portion of goods that falleth to me: parental rights, children's rights, and medical decisions after COVID‐19

AUTHOR(S)
B. Isaac Gibson

Published: June 2022   Journal: Family Court Review
The advent and perpetuation of the COVID-19 pandemic has served to highlight issues in American law that have long gone unaddressed. Prominent among them are the issues involving parents, the government, and the medical decisions of children. This article examines the current state of American law involving parental rights, children's rights, and the government's role in medical decisions of children and proposes a uniform act as a solution to the discrepancy and unpredictability in this area of American law.
The COVID-19 pandemic: health impact on unaccompanied migrant children.

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer L Siegel

Published: May 2022   Journal: Social Work
From the point of apprehension by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the U.S.–Mexican border to their reunification with sponsors in U.S. communities, unaccompanied children (UC) face political, social, and economic conditions, heightening their risk for mental and physical health burdens that may be exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such risk underscores the importance of social work practice and advocacy for the improved treatment and experiences of UC. This article uses a structural vulnerability conceptual lens to summarize the existing literature regarding UC and argues that UC’s liminal immigration status, economic precarity, and lack of healthcare access place this group at high structural vulnerability during the pandemic. Further, this article identifies and describes three contexts of structural vulnerability of UC that are important points of social work intervention: (1) at the border, where migrant children are denied their legal right to seek protection; (2) in detention and shelter facilities; and (3) during reunification with sponsors. This article concludes with important practice and policy opportunities for social workers to pursue to obtain social justice for an important and highly vulnerable migrant child population.
The types and determinants of child abuse in Sri Lanka

AUTHOR(S)
T. H. A. S. De Silva; K. A. P. Siddhisena; M. Vidanapathirana (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Asian Review of Social Sciences

This study examines types and determinants of child abuse    in    Sri    Lanka.    Further,    the    study    provides    the    demographic and social characteristics of victims who are aged below  18  years  as  well  as  their  family  background  in  Sri  Lanka. There is an increasing trend of different types of child abuses  globally  as  well  as  nationally.  In  Sri  Lankan  context,  child sexual abuse reveals study mainly based on the secondary data  and  the  main  source  of  data  was  the  National  Child  Protection Authority of Sri Lanka. Sample size includes all the complaints  on  child  abuse  from  2015-2020  to  the  NCPA  Sri  Lanka.  The  analysis  of  determinants  of  child  abuse  in  Sri  Lanka  reveals  as  to  who  are  the  most  vulnerable  group  for  child abuse in Sri Lanka and what are the associated factors to be   a   child   victim.   Reporting   child   abuses   have   highly   determined   with   the   school   vacation   period   and   seasonal   variation   has   affected   by   Covid-19 pandemic   in   2020.   Migration  of  parents  has  a  negative  impact  on  a  child  victim  for  abuse.  Especially,  the  family  background  is  a  primarily  determined factor to be a child victim. The nearest relatives to the  family  have  been  the  major  abuser  of  the  children.

Children's rights impact assessments in times of crisis: learning from COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
K. Reid; E. K. M. Tisdall; F. Morrison

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
Policy responses to COVID-19 have illuminated how children and young people’s human rights were all too often side-lined by adult concerns. With mounting queries during the first ‘lockdown’ in Scotland (March 2020), the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland asked the Observatory of Children’s Human Rights Scotland to undertake an independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment of COVID-19 emergency public health measures on children and young people in Scotland. The resulting analysis proved not only productive for immediate policy advocacy but had broader lessons about how states parties can respect, protect and fulfil children and young people’s human rights at times of crisis and disaster. This requires challenging adult approaches and orientations to policy, so all of children and young people’s rights to provision, protection and participation are met, especially groups of children and young people who may be at particular risk of rights’ violations. This editorial outlines the process and substantive learning from the independent CRIA, from a range of experts, including children and young people.
Playing through crisis: lessons from COVID-19 on play as a fundamental right of the child

AUTHOR(S)
Theresa Casey; John H. McKendrick

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
In its COVID-19 Statement of April 2020, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that States Parties explore alternative and creative solutions for children to enjoy their rights to rest, leisure, recreation, and cultural and artistic activities – rights, which along with the right to play, are encompassed in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This paper reflects on play in times of crisis, giving particular focus to the experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three narratives of play and crisis are introduced – play in crisis; the threat to play in times of crisis; and play as a remedy to crisis. Progressive responses to support play during COVID-19 are appraised. Against a backdrop of innovation and a stimulus to research in play, concerns persist that children’s right to play is not foregrounded, and that the ‘everydayness of play’ is not adequately facilitated.
Exacerbating, illuminating and hiding rights issues: COVID-19 and children in conflict with the law

AUTHOR(S)
Fiona Dyer; Claire Lightowler; Nina Vaswani (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
This article explores the impacts of the response to COVID-19 on the rights of children in conflict with the law. It focuses on three significant rights issues: responding to all children as children (UNCRC, Article 1); non-discrimination (UNCRC, Article 2) and deprivation of liberty as a last resort (UNCRC, Article 37). Completing a Child Right's Impact Assessment, a structured approach to considering children's rights issues, helped us identify the key concerns around these three UNCRC articles. This study argues that, while the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated an erosion of children's rights for those in conflict with the law, the response to the pandemic has primarily compounded and illuminated pre-existing rights issues. It has also further hidden from view some children and their experiences.
Reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on children’s rights to, in and through education

AUTHOR(S)
Laura Colucci-Gray

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
Emergency legislation introduced internationally since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the closure of all levels of educational settings and a shift to remote teaching. Drawing lessons from an independent child rights impact assessment (CRIA) in Scotland, United Kingdom, this paper reviews the impact of COVID-19 measures on children and young people’s rights to, and experiences of, education during the current crisis. Findings highlight that while measures sought to preserve the best interests of children and their basic rights to safety, a distinct lack of consultation on the impacts of the measures undermined the interdependency and indivisibility of children’s human rights. Three human rights principles – participation and inclusion, non-discrimination, and mutual accountability of family and the State – were identified as being particularly significant in this assessment. Looking forward, findings point to the need for extending the range of perspectives involved in child rights impact assessments in times of crisis – where human rights are at even greater risk of being breached – and the significance of a children's rights-based perspective for re-imagining education altogether.
Children’s human rights in the contexts of domestic abuse and COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Fiona Morrison; Claire Houghton

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
Domestic abuse is a simultaneous attack on children’s and women’s human rights. Research underlines the relationality of domestic abuse, unveiling the entwined experiences of children and women. While these experiences may be connected, their rights are distinct and there are risks in viewing mothers as proxies for their children. Policy measures introduced to address COVID-19 had profound impacts on the lives of children and women experiencing domestic abuse. Drawing on an independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) in Scotland, the article explores the impacts such policy measures had on children’s human rights in the context of domestic abuse. It offers insight on the opportunities and limitations of CRIAs when considering the issue of domestic abuse. CRIAs make visible and prioritise children’s human rights; however, they risk masking the relationality of rights and therefore the implementation of children’s human rights. By integrating human rights instruments – the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention – the article offers ways to recognise children as victims of domestic abuse, while supporting connections between their rights and the women’s rights. It concludes that a Joint Protocol between the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention is needed to integrate children’s human rights with the relationality of domestic abuse.
Mask mandates for children during the COVID-19 pandemic: an international human rights perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Stephen Thomson

Published: March 2022   Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Epidemiological and physical safety issues form the core of the debate on whether children should be mandated to wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Largely absent from this debate are the crucial implications of international human rights law. Although the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund have different mask-wearing recommendations for children aged 0-5 years, 6-11 years, and 12+ years, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to children of all ages. Children's human rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other treaties require decision makers to tread particularly carefully when deciding whether to mandate mask-wearing for children. Special consideration must be given to the potential for any detrimental impact of mask-wearing on children's physical, psychological and psychosocial health and wellbeing. Other non-pharmaceutical interventions for children, such as physical distancing, good hand hygiene and improved indoor ventilation do not engage the legal complexities of mask-wearing and are a safer policy option for reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Education in a datafied world: balancing children's rights and school's responsibilities in the age of Covid-19

AUTHOR(S)
Emma Nottingham; Caroline Stockman; Maria Burke

Published: March 2022   Journal: Computer Law & Security Review
The Covid-19 pandemic created a situation where online learning extended at speed. During the national lockdowns, when it was not possible for most children to physically attend school, the efficacy and efficiency of digital platforms made it possible for schools to fulfill their duties to provide an education. However, the urgency of the situation carried the risk that this was put in place without adequate consideration of the data protection risks from various online learning tools. Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides a framework of regulations and rights to protect users, the legal process is unwieldy to apply due to tensions in balancing the rights of the child learner with the public need to ensure that all children are provided with an education. This paper recommends that changes in digital schooling practices are needed so that children have realistically possible ways of enforcing their data protection rights as well as a clarified and uniformed approach to support schools.
Children’s human rights under COVID-19: learning from children’s rights impact assessments

AUTHOR(S)
E. K. M. Tisdall; F. Morrison

Published: February 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
Policy responses to COVID-19 have had dramatic impacts on children’s human rights, as much as the COVID-19 pandemic itself. In the rush to protect the human right of survival and development, new policies and their implementation magnified the challenges of taking a children’s rights approach in adult-oriented systems and institutions. This article explores these challenges, drawing on learning from the independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) on policies affecting children in Scotland during ‘lockdown’ in spring 2020. The article uses concepts from childhood studies and legal philosophy to highlight issues for children’s human rights, in such areas as children in conflict with the law, domestic abuse, poverty and digital exclusion. The analysis uncovers how persistent constructions of children as vulnerable and best protected in their families led to systematic disadvantages for certain groups of children and failed to address all of children’s human rights to protection, provision and participation. The independent CRIA illuminates gaps in rights’ accountability, such as the lack of children’s rights indicators and disaggregated data, children’s inadequate access to complaints and justice, and the need for improved information to and participation of children.
The pains and gains of COVID-19: challenges to child first justice in the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kathy Hampson; Stephen Case; Ross Little

Published: February 2022   Journal: Youth Justice
The global COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected justice-involved children. Youth justice policy changes and innovations have assisted communication and engagement with these vulnerable children during unprecedented times, while attempting to limit risks of contagion and criminalisation – all central tenets of the ‘Child First’ guiding principle for the Youth Justice System of England and Wales. While some changes have enhanced the experiences of some justice-involved children (gains), others have disproportionately disadvantaged justice-involved children in court, community and custody contexts (pains), increasing criminalisation, disengagement and anxiety. These pains of COVID-19 have effectively eroded the rights of this already-vulnerable group of children.
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.

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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.