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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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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.
Gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic response in Italy.

AUTHOR(S)
Rebecca Lundin; Benedetta Armocida; Paola Sdao (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Global Health
Gender-based violence (GBV), with one out of three women worldwide experiencing violence in their lifetime, has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a “global public health problem of epidemic proportions”. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO and other international authorities have warned about the increased risk of GBV related to more time spent indoors, isolation from social and protective networks, and greater social and economic stress re-lated to both the epidemic and response measures. In fact, since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, reports from many countries including France, Ger-many, Spain, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Argentina, Singapore, Canada, and the United States indicate that violence against women has increase.
The hidden pandemic of family violence during COVID-19: unsupervised learning of tweets

AUTHOR(S)
Jia Xue; Junxiang Chen; Chen Chen (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Journal of Medical Internet Research

Family violence (including intimate partner violence/domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse) is a hidden pandemic happening alongside COVID-19. The rates of family violence are rising fast, and women and children are disproportionately affected and vulnerable during this time. This study aims to provide a large-scale analysis of public discourse on family violence and the COVID-19 pandemic on Twitter.

COVID-19 pandemic impact on children and adolescents' mental health: biological, environmental, and social factors
Published: November 2020
Since the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was announced, we had an unprecedented change in the way we organize ourselves socially and in our daily routine. Children and adolescents were also greatly impacted by the abrupt withdrawal from school, social life and outdoor activities. Some of them also experienced domestic violence growing. The stress they are subjected to directly impacts their mental health on account of increased anxiety, changes in their diets and in school dynamics, fear or even failing to scale the problem. The aim of this study is to bring up a discussion under different aspects and to alert public health and government agents about the need for surveillance and care of these individuals. Hopefully, the damage to their mental health as a result of the side effect of this pandemic can be mitigated by adequate and timely intervention.
Invisible children and non-essential workers: child protection during COVID-19 in Israel according to policy documents and media coverage

AUTHOR(S)
Carmit Katz; Noa Cohen

Published: October 2020
The protection of children from maltreatment has become extremely challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. The public’s gaze is focused on the urgent health crisis, while many children are at risk due to social isolation and reduced social services. Examine child protection in Israel during COVID-19, as portrayed in mainstream news media and government policy documents. The study analyzed all policy documents and mainstream media reports published in Israel from March to May 2020, during the initial mandatory nationwide quarantine.
How does COVID-19 impact intrafamilial child sexual abuse? Comparison analysis of reports by practitioners in Israel and the US

AUTHOR(S)
Dafna Tener; Amitai Marmor; Carmit Katz (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

There is consensus in child sexual abuse (CSA) literature that intrafamilial child sexual abuse (IFCSA) has a tremendous impact on children and families while simultaneously creating challenges for practitioners. COVID-19 impacted countries worldwide and generated a global crisis resulting in impacts on daily life, however, it’s effect on IFCSA is unknown. This study aimed to compare professional perspectives and experiences working with IFCSA with respect to the context of the COVID-19 pandemic within the United States and Israel.

I sleep in my own deathbed: violence against women and girls in Bangladesh: barriers to legal recourse and support
Institution: Human Rights Watch
Published: October 2020

Women and girls in Bangladesh are facing increased domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is highlighting pre-existing systemic barriers to legal recourse, protection, and social services. This crisis comes as Bangladesh marks the anniversaries of two landmark pieces of legislation on gender-based violence (GBV) and enters the final phase of its plan to build a society free of violence against women and children. Despite this, evidence shows that women and girls still face extreme levels of violence. It is also apparent that survivors of GBV have little or no access to support or legal recourse. This report draws on 50 interviews to document the obstacles to realizing the Bangladeshi government’s goal of a society without violence against women and children. It presents key findings, as well as recommendations on how to move forward.

Parenting stress and risk of child maltreatment during the COVID-19 pandemic: a family stress theory-informed perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Qi Wu; Yanfeng Xu

Published: October 2020   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
The risk of child maltreatment is heightened during the pandemic due to multiple COVID-19 related stressors, such as physical and mental health concerns, economic stress, challenges in homeschooling, marital conflicts and intimate personal violence, and intensified child–parent relationships. Both parental internal (e.g., parenting styles) and external resources (e.g., social support), and parental perceptions toward stressors will affect how parents cope with these stressors, which may exacerbate or mitigate the risk of child maltreatment. Guided by family stress theory, this article identifies COVID-19 related stressors at the family level, and further elaborates on how these stressors are associated with child maltreatment via parents’ resources, perceptions, and coping strategies. Implications for future practice and research are discussed.
Girl-driven change: meeting the needs of adolescent girls during COVID-19 and beyond
Institution: CARE
Published: October 2020
As a result of the circumstances brought on by COVID-19, adolescent girls face a myriad of risks—ranging from an increased likelihood of exposure to violence and early marriage, to catastrophic learning, health and economic losses. This report draws upon available country data from CARE’s work as well as external sources, in order to highlight the initial impact of the pandemic on the health, well-being and safety of adolescent girls as well as their access to, and involvement in, essential services. It further provides examples of program adaptations developed during the pandemic to highlight the ways in which projects have continued to respond in targeted ways across sectors to the unique needs of girls.
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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.