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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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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.
Mediating effects of parental stress on harsh parenting and parent-child relationship during Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Singapore

AUTHOR(S)
Gerard Chung; Paul Lanier; Peace Yuh Ju Wong

Published: September 2020   Journal: Journal of Family Violence
Because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, “Circuit-breaker” safety distancing was implemented in Singapore from April to May 2020. Schools and workplaces were closed and parents had to balance telecommuting with parenting responsibilities. Coupled with the high degree of economic uncertainty and reduced social support, these circumstances are hypothesized to increase parenting stress. Based on the Parental Stress Model, this study aims to understand how parents’ perceived impact of COVID-19 increased harsh parenting and reduced parent-child relationship closeness through the mediating effects of parenting stress.
Moving beyond the numbers: what the COVID-19 pandemic means for the safety of women and girls
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020

On 5 April 2020, UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” since Governments around the world had begun imposing lockdowns, quarantines and movement restrictions in order to control the spread of COVID-19. In his remarks, the Secretary General noted that in some countries calls to gender-based violence (GBV) support services had doubled.1 Similarly, a plethora of reports from around the world have signaled an increase in reported cases of gender-based violence – particularly intimate partner violence – since the beginning of the pandemic. However, in some places, the service provision statistics actually show the opposite – that fewer GBV survivors are reaching out for support from service providers as compared to the levels seen prior to COVID-19.

UNICEF Argentina Encuesta rápida COVID-19: informe de resultados: segunda ola
Institution: UNICEF Argentina Country Office
Published: September 2020

UNICEF in Argentina carried out the Second Round of the Rapid Assessment as part of its Response Plan to COVID-19 in order to acquaint itself with the perceptions, habits, attitudes and changes caused by the pandemic among the population. The survey also investigates its economic and social effects on households with children and the implementation of the social protection system, as well as the implications of the pandemic and various response measures related to social and emotional wellbeing, focusing on early childhood and adolescence.

UNICEF Argentina COVID-19 survey: second round, report on findings
Institution: UNICEF Argentina Country Office
Published: September 2020
UNICEF in Argentina carried out the Second Round of the Rapid Assessment as part of its Response Plan to COVID-19 in order to acquaint itself with the perceptions, habits, attitudes and changes caused by the pandemic among the population. The survey also investigates its economic and social effects on households with children and the implementation of the social protection system, as well as the implications of the pandemic and various response measures related to social and emotional wellbeing, focusing on early childhood and adolescence.
UNICEF Haiti: Violence familiale dans le contexte COVID-19 (mai 15, 2020)
Institution: UNICEF Haiti Country Office
Published: September 2020
Domestic violence against children and adolescents is widespread in Haiti, and it takes many different forms. This survey provides a current snapshot of the situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using social media data for assessing children’s exposure to violence during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Pouria Babvey; Fernanda Capela; Claudia Cappa (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unforeseen challenges that could forever change the way societies prioritize and deal with public health issues. The approaches to contain the spread of the virus have entailed governments issuing recommendations on social distancing, lockdowns to restrict movements, and suspension of services. There are concerns that the COVID-19 crisis and the measures adopted by countries in response to the pandemic may have led to an upsurge in violence against children. Added stressors placed on caregivers, economic uncertainty, job loss or disruption to livelihoods and social isolation, may have led to a rise in children’s experience of violence in the home. Extended online presence by children may have resulted in increased exposure to abusive content and cyberbullying. This study uses testimonial-based and conversational-based data collected from social media users.

Violence against children during COVID-19 Assessing and understanding change in use of helplines

AUTHOR(S)
Nicole Petrowski; Claudia Cappa; Andrea Pereira (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Many of the measures taken by countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in disruptions to child protection services. Despite this, many countries have worked to ensure that child helplines remain operational, making such mechanisms even more critical for reporting and referring cases of violence and for providing support to victims. The purpose of this paper is to document what has occurred, and been reported, to child helplines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mitigating violence against women and young girls during COVID-19 induced lockdown in Nepal: a wake-up call

AUTHOR(S)
Minakshi Dahal; Pratik Khanal; Sajana Maharjan (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Globalization and Health
Nepal was in nationwide lockdown for nearly three months in 2020 with partial restrictions still in place. Much worryingly, COVID-19 induced restrictions have confined women and young girls in their home, increasing the risk of domestic violence. The available support system to respond to violence against women and girls (VAWG) has also been disrupted during this period. The figures of violence against women, and child sexual abuse are increasingly being reported during the lockdown and thereafter. To mitigate this, a response against VAWG should not be a missing agenda. This commentary focuses on the situation of VAWG during COVID-19 induced restrictions in Nepal and offers a way forward for addressing the issue.
The hidden impact of COVID-19 on child protection and well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Daniela Ritz; Georgina O’Hare; Melissa Burgess (et al.)

Institution: Save the Children
Published: September 2020
This report is one in a series presenting findings from the Global COVID-19 Research Study. The results presented here focus on the implications for Child Protection issues, drawing on data from our representative sample of 17,565 parents/caregivers and 8,069 children in our programme participants group. Comparisons with our general public sample have been made in some places.Topics investigated include violence occurring in the home, the separation of children from their caregivers, mental health and psycho-social well-being of caregivers and children, child labour, online safety and child protection support and services. Available data was analysed and presented considering the socio-ecological model in order to highlight the interconnectedness of the broader socio-ecological environment which places children within their households and communities. This enabled the detailing of the range of associated risks and protective factors in relation to these child protection issues as well as drawing attention to the complexity of their interrelationship. Differences in impact and the needs of children by region, age, gender, disability, minority group, indicators of poverty, and more, were explored.
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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.