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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Mask mandates for children during the COVID-19 pandemic: an international human rights perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Stephen Thomson

Published: March 2022   Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Epidemiological and physical safety issues form the core of the debate on whether children should be mandated to wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Largely absent from this debate are the crucial implications of international human rights law. Although the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund have different mask-wearing recommendations for children aged 0-5 years, 6-11 years, and 12+ years, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to children of all ages. Children's human rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other treaties require decision makers to tread particularly carefully when deciding whether to mandate mask-wearing for children. Special consideration must be given to the potential for any detrimental impact of mask-wearing on children's physical, psychological and psychosocial health and wellbeing. Other non-pharmaceutical interventions for children, such as physical distancing, good hand hygiene and improved indoor ventilation do not engage the legal complexities of mask-wearing and are a safer policy option for reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Joint evaluation of the protection of rights of refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic
Institution: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Itad, ALNAP
Published: December 2021

The evaluation focuses on specific rights: the right to seek and enjoy asylum; the right to health; protection against sexual and gender-based violence (GBV); child protection and family reunification; the rights of persons with specific needs; and access to information. The Management Group for this evaluation includes the Evaluation Units of UNHCR, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Governments of Colombia and Uganda, and the humanitarian system network ALNAP. The evaluation team is headed by Itad in partnership with VALID Evaluations and is a collaborative effort including a network of evaluators and academic institutions. This paper provides only a short, high-level summary of the emerging themes from the data collection period (August-October 2021). Some of the triangulation and analysis of data is still ongoing, and this paper outlines only emerging findings to date.

Social and economic situation of Palestinian women and girls July 2018 - June 2020
The present report reviews the situation of Palestinian women and girls during the period July 2018 – June 2020, focusing on political, social, economic and human rights developments. Building on research by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on the status of Palestinian women and girls, and drawing upon the most recent data, the present report highlights the complex situation of women and girls, revealing both progress and setbacks in the context of the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the blockade on Gaza.
United Nations comprehensive response to Covid-19
Institution: United Nations
Published: June 2020
This overview recounts UN's key guidance, lessons and support so far – and points the way to the crucial steps that must follow to save lives, protect societies and recover better. It amounts to a recipe for a comprehensive response to and recovery from COVID-19 that will leave no one behind and address the very fragilities and gaps that made us so vulnerable to the pandemic in the first place. It also points the way toward building resilience to future shocks – above all from climate change – and toward overcoming the severe and systemic inequalities that have been so tragically exposed by the pandemic.
COVID-19 and people on the move: Policy brief
Institution: United Nations
Published: June 2020
COVID-19 leaves few lives and places untouched. But its impact is harshest for those groups who were already in vulnerable situations before the crisis. This is particularly true for many people on the move, such as migrants in irregular situations, migrant workers with precarious livelihoods, or working in the informal economy, victims of trafficking in persons as well as people fleeing their homes because of persecution, war, violence, human rights violations or disaster, whether within their own countries — internally displaced persons (IDPs) — or across international borders — refugees and asylum-seekers.
Ensuring access to justice in the context of COVID-19
Addressing COVID-19 is foremost a public health concern. However, the impact of the crisis as well as the legal and policy responses developed by states to counter the spread of COVID-19 have much wider ramifications that affect a broad range of human rights, including the ability of people to access justice in a timely, fair, and effective manner. The crisis also presents specific justice ‘needs’, such as addressing the rise in gender based violence and making additional institutional reforms to strengthen the effectiveness of the justice chain in a radically shifted social context. A key concern is that the economic fallout of the crisis will put many groups in society further behind, including children, women, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons, displaced populations, stateless people, migrants, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, day labourers, and people living at or below the poverty line.
The social and economic impact of Covid-19 in the Asia-Pacific region
Institution: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
Published: April 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis are posing huge challenges, raising many unknowns and imposing wrenching trade-offs. Both crises are global, but their impacts are deeply local. The policy response to both crises needs to be rapid, even if it is rough around the edges. But countries cannot pull this off on their own—the global crises require global solidarity and coordination.
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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 children and disabilities.

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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.