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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 COVID‐19 pandemic: a first‐year review through the lens of IJGO

AUTHOR(S)
Sophie Maprayil; Amy Goggins; Francis Harris

Published: March 2021   Journal: International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
A policy brief for UN Women on the impact of COVID‐19 on women has noted that, across the board, the impacts of COVID‐19 are exacerbated for women and girls. The health of women in general has been adversely affected, with resources being reallocated in the emergency response to COVID‐19 and frequently leading to the suspension or limitation of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH) services. The UN Women brief also paints a stark picture in terms of gender‐based violence, noting that as the pandemic deepens both social and economic stress, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, many women have been forced to isolate with their abusers, a situation which has coincided with disruption or lack of access to the support services which they so desperately need. The UNFPA have predicted that the pandemic is also likely to cause significant delays to programs dedicated to preventing child marriage and female genital mutilation; the estimated projections are stark, with over 2 million more cases of FGM and 13 million more child marriages over the next 10 years than would otherwise have occurred. As the official journal of the International Federation for Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IJGO is a major source for global cutting‐edge research and reports on issues affecting women's health, as well as addressing economic, social, and human rights issues.
Listen to us: adolescent girls in North West South West Cameroon on conflict and COVID-19
Institution: Plan International
Published: March 2021

This report is the result of a multi-sectoral needs assessment exercise focusing on the rights and needs of adolescents living in the Anglophone territories of North West South West (NWSW) Cameroon. Conducted under extremely challenging circumstances, the assessment used innovative methods pioneered by Plan International to capture the voices of adolescent girls and young women, alongside adolescent boys, young men and their parents and caregivers. It spoke directly to adolescent girls themselves, in particular adolescent girls who are mothers, pregnant, or married, whose ideas, and needs, are often ignored. The NWSW regions of Cameroon have been engulfed in crisis since late 2016, yet this conflict, and its impacts on adolescents, have received limited attention from the international community. This report, which gives adolescents the space to voice their concerns and priorities can be used to engage with states, donors and other humanitarian actors on this neglected crisis and highlight what needs to be done to address adolescents’ needs, rights and aspirations.

COVID-19: a threat to progress against child marriage
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: March 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic is profoundly affecting the everyday lives of girls: their physical and mental health, their education, and the economic circumstances of their families and communities. Changes like these increase the likelihood of child marriage, and over the next decade, up to 10 million more girls will be at risk of becoming child brides as a result of the pandemic.
Battling the perfect storm: adapting programmes to end child marriage to COVID-19 and beyond
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: March 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic is quickly exacerbating key factors that put children at risk of marrying before their 18th birthday. This learning brief synthesizes evidence to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting child marriage risk factors and how UNICEF, within the UNFPA–UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage, is pivoting to identify and respond to risk factors and adapt programming to COVID-19 limitations. With a focus on UNICEF’s response in five Global Programme countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Nepal, Uganda and Yemen, the brief summarizes key lessons learned to inform current and future programme planning with evidence from the first and second waves of the pandemic.
Progress toward ending child marriage over the last decade: a missed opportunity to deliver for girls
Institution: Save the Children
Published: February 2021

Compared to the previous generation, the incidence of child marriage worldwide has declined. However, strides forward have suffered from substantial limitations. At the global level, child marriage is still too widespread, and progress too slow, to meet the SDG target in 2030. At the regional level, some areas have achieved remarkable progress, while others are lagging behind. Worryingly, in the majority of cases, progress over the past decade (2010-2020) has not matched advancements achieved in the decade prior (2000-2010). At the country level, inclusive progress hasn’t always materialized: in a number of countries, gaps are widening not only between wealth groups, but also on the basis of residence. In a nutshell, progress has been unevenly distributed not only across time, but also across geographies, with stark divides both among and within countries. COVID-19 is expected to have a damaging impact on child protection, including according to Save the Children’s own projections. Urgent efforts are needed to guarantee girls’ rights and prevent devastating setbacks. In the longer term, more research is needed to understand what drives child marriage, so as to tackle it more effectively in different regions.

Children’s right to be heard: we’re talking; are you listening?
Institution: Child Fund Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children
Published: January 2021
As countries usher in 2021, children throughout the world continue to grapple with unprecedented hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that turned the world upside down in 2020. The global health crisis prompted lockdown efforts that raised the risk of violence, hunger, child labor, child marriage, and school dropouts—particularly among girls. It also curtailed opportunities for children to engage in activities aimed at promoting their right to be heard. Recent research shows children are eager to have their voices heard and to play a pivotal role in halting the spread of the virus and minimizing its negative impacts. During consultations for this policy brief, children reported it was very important that they maintain strong peer participation groups and connections to other adolescents and children during lockdowns. They also shared that participation during lockdowns helped promote positive mental health and lessen anxiety and loneliness.
Influencing policy to reduce child marriage in India: reflections from young lives

AUTHOR(S)
Kath Ford; Renu Singh

Institution: Young Lives Longitudinal Study
Published: December 2020
In October 2017, India’s Supreme Court issued a landmark judgement ruling that a man who has sex with his wife where she is less than 18 years old, is committing rape. Evidence from Young Lives longitudinal data and national census analysis by the Young Lives India team contributed directly to this important change in the law, aiming to reduce child marriage. In June 2020, the Government of India established a task force to consider increasing the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years of age. Young Lives evidence is again making an important contribution to this debate, at a time of huge social and economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This report discusses how longitudinal research can influence policy change and what the potential impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic might be on levels of child marriage.
Child marriage in COVID-19 contexts: disruptions, alternative approaches and building programme resilience
Institution: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund, *UNICEF
Published: December 2020
This brief has been developed jointly by UNFPA and UNICEF regional offices in Eastern and Southern Africa. It provides an overview of child marriage in the region, particularly in the context of COVID-19, as well as an analysis of disruptions to child marriage programmes. The brief also describes alternatives to traditional programmatic work as a means to overcome challenges presented by COVID-19. It proposes a way forward for child marriage programming during the COVID-19 response and recovery phases, as well as outlining implications for future programming, including the need to strengthen programme resilience
A new generation: 25 years of efforts for gender equality in education
Institution: UNESCO - Global Education Monitoring Report Team
Published: October 2020
Over the past 25 years girls' access to education has dramatically improved. However, girls, particularly those with intersecting disadvantages in terms of poverty or disability, still face the worst forms of acute exclusion in world's poorest countries. Education is a critical lever for women's rights. The potential increase in early pregnancy is likely to be a result of increased early marriages, a consequence of households being plunged deeper into poverty due to the pandemic.
Adapting to COVID-19: pivoting the UNFPA-UNICEF Global programme to end child marriage to respond to the pandemic
Institution: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund, *UNICEF
Published: September 2020

The health, social, political and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are disproportionately affecting girls and women by exacerbating existing systemic gender inequalities at all levels, with potential implications for the incidence of child marriage. This brief describes how the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage has adapted its interventions to ensure we continue to reach and protect girls at risk of child marriage and already married girls during the pandemic.

 

COVID-19 and child marriage in West and Central Africa
Institution: Girls not Brides, Plan International
Published: August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic may cause 13 million additional child marriages by 2030, and West and Central Africa will be severely affected unless multi-sectoral, comprehensive efforts to end child marriage are accelerated in the region. This joint brief from Girls Not Brides and Plan International outlines the impacts of the pandemic on child marriage. It provides recommendations and an urgent call for action for governments, regional bodies and humanitarian actors to ensure that girls and young women's rights are upheld during and after the COVID-19 crisis response.

COVID-19 aftershocks: a perfect storm
Institution: World Vision
Published: May 2020

COVID-19 poses a grave threat to the world’s children. As it has been showed in a previous report, while the mortality rate for healthy children infected by the virus has been lower than for adults and those with pre-existing conditions, 30 million are still at risk of illness and death. It is the indirect effects and impacts of this disease that pose a clear and present danger to children, particularly the most vulnerable. This report looks at one those impacts of COVID-19 on girls and boys. Violence. It predicts a major spike in the cases of children experiencing physical, emotional and sexual violence, both now and in the months and years to come. Whether they are forced to stay at home, or, in time, are sent to work or pushed into early marriage, boys and girls face a bleak future – unless governments, UN agencies, donors, NGOs, and the private sector do everything thing they can now to protect them.

The links between girls’ life skills intervention in emergencies and their return to education post-crisis and prevention of unwanted pregnancies and early marriage

AUTHOR(S)
Tal Rafaeli

Published: April 2020
This rapid review focuses on identifying evidence and lessons learned on the links between life skills interventions in emergency settings and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and early marriage and return to education post crisis amongst adolescent girls. It seeks to enable learning from past emergencies to inform the design of effective support to adolescent girls throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the focus on adolescent girls and emergency settings, an area with limited rigorous evaluations (Nobel et al., 2019), this report is based on a rapid literature review of academic studies, grey literature and emerging evidence, to enable the capturing of any significant learnings from relevant programmes.
COVID-19 and child, early and forced marriage: an agenda for action
Institution: Girls not Brides
Published: April 2020
This brief provides recommendations and resources for responding to the needs of adolescent girls during and after the COVID-19 crisis, and its impact on child marriage. The global pandemic of COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges for us all.We have developed this brief on child marriage and COVID-19 for all our development partners, including civil society and governments. It provides insights, recommendations and resources for responding to the needs of adolescent girls during and after this crisis, including those at risk of early marriage, married girls, and those in informal unions.
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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.