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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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The refugee crisis and peer relationships during childhood and adolescence

AUTHOR(S)
David Schwartz; Yana Ryjova; Annemarie R. Kelleghan (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
This paper is a call for empirical research, and theory development, that focuses on the peer relationships of children and adolescents who experience forced displacement. During the last decade, an escalating humanitarian crisis has developed with historic levels of involuntary migration occurring across the world. The extant research on youth who become refugees or internally displaced has primarily targeted issues related to mental health and basic survival needs. Less attention has been devoted to normative developmental processes including peer relationships. Nonetheless, peers can play a critical role in facilitating the adjustment of displaced children and adolescents. Friends can help these vulnerable youth through the transitions associated with resettlement. From a less adaptive perspective, interactions in the peer group will potentially contribute to intensification of risk and can accelerate trajectories toward negative outcomes.
Emotional cartography as a window into children's well-being: visualizing the felt geographies of place

AUTHOR(S)
Andrew Steger; Elly Evans; Bryan Wee

Published: March 2021   Journal: Emotion, Space and Society

More often than not, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) excludes emotion and qualitative analysis from studies of people-place relationships in favor of quantitative approaches. This study employs emotional cartography as a form of qualitative GIS (qualGIS) to elevate emotions from the periphery to the center of dialogue about children's well-being. It highlights the ontological parallels between qualGIS, emotional cartography and children in society, and advance emotion maps as a way to visualize different spatial and emotional realities. In reflecting upon the felt geography of our own childhood places, we affirm the importance of children's emotional attachments to places as well as the centrality of ‘messy’ human experiences in GIS. To conclude, this paper discusses the implications of emotional cartography for researchers, planners and GIS, paying special attention to children's well-being amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, this includes a call to ‘witness’ and to foster spatial empathy among those advocating for children.



Mitigating toxic stress in children affected by conflict and displacement

AUTHOR(S)
Anushka Ataullahjan; Muthanna Samara; Theresa S. Betancourt

Published: November 2020   Journal: British Medical Journal
Armed conflict and displacement pose a threat to the health and well-being of children. As the global community begins to recognize the cumulative effects of conflict and displacement, as well as Covid-19, related stressors, our attention has shifted to toxic stress and its short and long term health effects. Toxic stress, regarded as the result of prolonged activation of the stress response, can occur before birth and during childhood is known to contribute to epigenetic changes, with health and neurodevelopmental consequences. However, various social factors and early and appropriate intervention can help mitigate the negative effects.
Migrant and displaced children in the age of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Danzen You; Naomi Lindt; Rose Allen (et al.)

Published: June 2020   Journal: Migration Policy Practice

This article examines the socioeconomic challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for children on the move across four dimensions: poverty, survival and health, learning and protection and safety.  It also considers how new laws and regulations enacted in response to the pandemic are impacting these children. It then suggests the necessary policies and actions to protect this intensely vulnerable population. 
Many displaced children will see their family’s income shrink or disappear and, globally, poverty levels are expected to worsen. Vulnerable populations are predicted to disproportionately bear the brunt of this economic contraction. Poor health systems and disrupted health services – a reality for many migrant and displaced children – are likely to further weaken, placing children at risk of intensified hardship, both physical and psychological. The crowded conditions and poor access to proper water and sanitation common among families living in displacement pose obvious risks at a time when social distancing and hygiene are so critical.  
Migrant and displaced learners regularly encounter obstacles in accessing education, and the online materials and remote classrooms functioning around the world today may be far from their reach. They are at risk of falling further behind in school. And given that economic downturns typically lead to more children working, getting pregnant or married, and being trafficked or sexually exploited, migrant and displaced children – who already face great risks to their safety — stand to see their situation worsen. Domestic violence is on the rise globally, and accounts of stigma and discrimination against the displaced are also increasing. The increasing global death toll means some migrant and displaced children will be orphaned and become vulnerable to child protection abuses.  

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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.