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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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'Now my life is stuck!’: experiences of adolescents and young people during COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Lesley Gittings; Elona Toska; Sally Medley (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Global Public Health
Consequences of COVID-19 pandemic responses have included exacerbated poverty, food insecurity and state and domestic violence. Such effects may be particularly pronounced amongst adolescents and young people living in contexts of precarity and constraint, including in South Africa. However, there are evidence gaps on the lived experiences of this group. Telephonic semi-structured interviews with adolescents and young people in two South African provinces (n = 12, ages 18–25) were conducted in April 2020 to explore and document their experiences, challenges and coping strategies during strict COVID-19 lockdown.
Counting pennies 2. Analysis of official development assistance to end violence against children

AUTHOR(S)
Ludwind Zamudio; Pratima Kollali

Institution: World Vision, *UNICEF, Child Fund Alliance
Published: February 2021

Violence against children impacts more than one billion children and costs world economies US $7 trillion annually. In 2015, the world’s leaders listed violence against children as one of the top priorities in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, thus acknowledging its serious impact on the health, education and long-term well-being of children and societies. Since then, an increasing number of countries have committed to accelerate progress in ending violence against children. However, progress has been slow and further undermined by the outbreak of COVID-19. Lack of political will and investment in child protection by national governments and donors are considered some of the critical obstacles to achieving results. However, without adequate mechanisms to monitor budget allocations at national or international levels, the quantity and effectiveness of investments are often difficult to determine. This report offers a rare glimpse into the state of donor investment to end violence against children and offers key findings and reccomendations for how to improve the situation in the future.

Physical and emotional sibling violence in the time of COVID -19

AUTHOR(S)
Nathan H. Perkins; Abha Rai; Susan F. Grossman

Published: February 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Violence
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted families in a variety of ways with much being written on the potential impact of sheltering in place and quarantining on intimate partner violence and parent-to-child abuse. One area that has received scant attention is that of physical and emotional sibling violence. While physical and emotional sibling violence is a predominant form of family violence, discussion of violence between siblings in the time of COVID-19 has not received the attention it warrants. This article examines the potential for family stress to place siblings at risk for engaging in physical and emotional sibling violence and how this is exacerbated in the time of COVID-19. Also discussed is the the connection between physical and emotional sibling violence and other forms of family violence including intimate partner violence and parent-to-child abuse and neglect which underwrites the need to place physical and emotional sibling violence on the radar of practitioners, policy makers, and researchers. Finally, implications for practice, policy, and research on physical and emotional sibling violence in the context of COVID-19 are discussed.
Transformative learning in early-career child and adolescent psychiatry in the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sowmyashree Mayur Kaku; Ana Moscoso; Jordan Sibeoni (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: The Lancet Psychiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has globally affected the practice of child and adolescent psychiatry, as well as the daily lives of early-career child and adolescent psychiatrists. There have been changes in continuity of care (eg, postponed, cancelled, or online consultations, and few functioning inpatient units, with others becoming COVID-19 units) and the usual work frame (eg, facemasks, physical distancing, and not offering toys). Work shifted to creating standard operating procedures for care with safety precautions; disseminating advice and information about mental health; offering mental health support to frontline workers; and helping with duties outside of child and adolescent psychiatry. As early-career clinicians in child and adolescent psychiatry, we feared potential problems, such as increased risk of child abuse, domestic violence; behavioural crisis or suicide in adolescents who rely mostly on peer support and their social life; diagnostic delays (eg, for neurodevelopmental disorders); and parental burn-out (as the only caregivers). The fear of infection reduced emergency visits, but probably made these at-risk families inaccessible to clinicians.
When “Shelter-in-place” isn’t shelter that’s safe: a rapid analysis of domestic violence case differences during the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders

AUTHOR(S)
Molly M. McLay

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Violence
This study explored the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on domestic violence (DV) with the following research questions: 1) Did DV occurring during the pandemic differ on certain variables from cases occurring on a typical day the previous year? 2) Did DV occurring after the implementation of shelter-in-place orders differ (on these same variables) from cases occurring prior to shelterin-place orders? Two logistic regression models were developed to predict DV case differences before and during the pandemic. DV reports (N = 4618) were collected from the Chicago Police Department. Cases from March 2019 and March 2020 were analyzed based on multiple variables.
Parental social isolation and child maltreatment risk during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Shawna J. Lee; Kaitlin P. Ward; Joyce Y. Lee (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Violence
On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The social isolation and economic stress resulting from pandemic have the potential to exacerbate child abuse and neglect. This study examines the association of parents’ perceived social isolation and recent employment loss to risk for child maltreatment (neglect, verbal aggression, and physical punishment) in the early weeks of the pandemic.
What the COVID-19 school closure left in its wake: evidence from a regression discontinuity analysis in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Reo Takaku; Izumi Yokoyama

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Economics
To  control  the  spread  of  COVID-19,  the  national  government  of  Japan  abruptly started the closure of elementary schools on March 2,  2020,  but preschools were exempted from this nationwide school closure.  Taking advantage of this natural experiment, we examined how the proactive closure of elementary schools affected various outcomes related to children and family well-being.  To identify the causal effects of the school closure, we exploited the discontinuity in the probability of not going to school at a certain threshold of age in months and conducted fuzzy regression discontinuity analyses.   The  data  are  from  a  large-scale  online  survey  of  mothers  whose  first born children were aged 4 to 10 years.
COVID-19 impact on intimate partner violence and child maltreatment

AUTHOR(S)
Holly Gunn; Suzanne McCormack

Published: December 2020
This report provides an overview of the evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 and related restrictions on intimate partner violence and child maltreatment. The report also includes information on risk factors for violence, access to support for those at risk, and measures to mitigate the risk of intimate partner violence and child maltreatment during this period. The findings of this report are based on a focused literature review.
Violence against children and adolescents in the time of COVID-19

During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, factors such as limitations on economic activity, school closures, reduced access to health-care services and physical distancing increase the likelihood of children and adolescents becoming vulnerable and being exposed to violence and other violations of their rights. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the gradual deterioration in socioeconomic factors in the past decade has reduced essential elements of protection and may generate an even sharper increase in violence against children and adolescents in the time of COVID-19 than before the crisis. Factors such as pre-existing inequalities in the region. This document examines the exacerbation of risks and the erosion of protection factors relating to physical, psychological and sexual violence in the home experienced by adolescents and children, especially girls, within the context of COVID-19 in the region. It also provides recommendations on the integration of concrete actions into the response mechanisms developed by Latin American and Caribbean States to address the COVID-19 crisis.

It’s time for care, prioritizing quality care for children - Challenges, opportunities and an agenda for action

AUTHOR(S)
Gillian Huebner

Institution: *UNICEF, Better Care Network
Published: December 2020
COVID-19 is having unprecedented impacts on children and families across the globe; however, these are not being evenly experienced. While the challenges of caregiving are increasing for most families, the effects are particularly acute for those already engaged in low-wage or in-kind work, often in the informal economy where there are few safeguards. Caregivers are stretched, and there is a lack of quality, affordable childcare, with limited access to social protection, services and support to address the multiple and cumulative risks associated with the pandemic, as well as persistent poverty, systemic inequality and discrimination.
The perfect storm: hidden risk of child maltreatment during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Christina M. Rodriguez; Shawna J. Lee; Kaitlin P. Ward (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Child Maltreatment
The Covid-19 pandemic upended the country, with enormous economic and social shifts. Given the increased contact from families living in virtual confinement coupled with massive economic disarray, the Covid-19 pandemic may have created the ideal conditions to witness a rise in children’s experience of abuse and neglect. Yet such a rise will be difficult to calculate given the drop in official mechanisms to track its incidence. The current investigation utilized two studies conducted early in the pandemic to evaluate maltreatment risk.
Modelling the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on violent discipline against children

AUTHOR(S)
Camilla Fabbri; Amiya Bhatia; Max Petzold (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

The COVID-19 pandemic could increase violence against children at home. However, collecting empirical data on violence is challenging due to ethical, safety, and data quality concerns. This study estimated the anticipated effect of COVID-19 on violent discipline at home using multivariable predictive regression models.

Increased child abuse in Uganda amidst COVID‐19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Quraish Sserwanja; Joseph Kawuki; Jean H. Kim

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

Globally, COVID‐19 lockdown measures have exposed children to more sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect. Although the COVID‐19 pandemic is likely to have long‐lasting adverse psychological effects on children, there have been comparatively few studies on children's health as compared with adults, particularly in low‐income countries. Uganda implemented one of the most stringent lockdowns with bans on transportation and gatherings as well as the closure of schools, stores and places of worship. In order to address the dearth of information in less developed regions, the article aims to provide an insight into the increased cases of child abuse in Uganda during the COVID‐19 pandemic. 


Impact of COVID-19 on protection and education among children in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya September 2020
Institution: Save the Children
Published: December 2020

Save the Children conducted research in three refugee camps in Dadaab in Kenya which explored the impact of COVID-19 on children’s education, young mothers’ livelihoods and gender-based violence. This study highlights programmatic adaptations made in response to COVID-19, identifying what has worked well or less well and considers practical recommendations for the sector. The research gathered views from children, young mothers, caregivers and key stakeholders working in child protection and education in the camp.

SARS-CoV-2 in Malawi: are we sacrificing the youth in sub-Saharan Africa?

AUTHOR(S)
Biplap Nandi; Andreas Schultz; Minke H. Huibers (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Global Health
In response to the SARS-COV-2 threat Malawi has closed schools and universities. As a result, pupils risk losing their only good meal a day, shelter from household violence and stipends, delaying graduation and their first job in life. Moreover, Malawi blood transfusion service depends on schools, colleges, places of worship, and workplaces. Decreased blood stocks will increase preventable mortality.
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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.