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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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COVID-19 and the desire of children to return to nature: Emotions in the face of environmental and intergenerational injustices

AUTHOR(S)
Clementina Rios; Alison Laurie Neilson; Isabel Menezes

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Journal of Environmental Education
The global COVID-19 public health crisis has driven policies of lockdowns and social distancing that have had negative social and economic impacts, worsening inequalities and social exclusions, and mixed environmental impacts. This study engaged children from schools with diverse environmental pedagogies in online focus groups about nature and their experiences with nature during the pandemic. Participants expressed fear of the unknown virus, sadness from isolation, longing for family and friends, and yearning for the freedom to enjoy the outside world. They revealed knowledge of both positive and negative impacts of lockdowns on the environment. Their experiences with nature demonstrate how environmental injustice affects the lives of children from public schools in urban contexts, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who reported less contact with nature during the lockdown. As a group, children are aware and very critical of intergenerational environmental injustice and argue for the need for adults to act.
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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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Read the latest quarterly digest on violence against children and women during COVID-19.

The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.