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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2021
Institution: CARE
Published: January 2022

In collaboration with the media monitoring service Meltwater, CARE analysed the humanitarian crises that received the least media attention in 2021. More than 1.8 million online articles were analysed between 1st January and 30th September 2021. To do this, we identified the countries where at least one million people were affected by conflict or climate-related disasters. The total number of people affected by each crisis is derived from data from ACAPS, Reliefweb and CARE. The result – a list of 40 crises – was subjected to media analysis and ranked by the number of online articles published on the topic. This report summarises the ten crises that received the least attention.

Education for non-citizen children in Malaysia during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study

AUTHOR(S)
Tharani Loganathan; Zhie X. Chan; Fikri Hassan (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Plos One
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted schooling for children worldwide. Most vulnerable are non-citizen children without access to public education. This study aims to explore challenges faced in achieving education access for children of refugee and asylum-seekers, migrant workers, stateless and undocumented persons in Malaysia during the pandemic. In-depth interviews of 33 stakeholders were conducted from June 2020 to March 2021. Data were thematically analysed.
Faith-sensitive mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to foster resilience in children on the move
Institution: World Vision, Arigatou international
Published: December 2021

“Children on the Move” is an umbrella term used to define children who are migrating or are moving due to various reasons that could include conflict, poverty, violence, natural disasters, climate change, discrimination, or lack of access to education or other services. They could be moving within or between countries and with or without their parents or other caregivers. Children affected by forced migration and displacement are one of the world’smost vulnerable populations that suffer from violations of their human rights and experience stressful, traumatic conditions that can have a severe impact on their psychosocial well-being. The root causes of displacement and forced migration are multi-faceted, ranging from political persecution to a lack of economic prospects. Many people find themselves in dramatically deteriorating realities due to the combination of COVID-19, violent conflict, and climate change. Crisis prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding, and effective trauma responses are key elements in tackling the root causes of displacement and in building peace and resilience.

World migration report 2022

AUTHOR(S)
Marie McAuliffe; Anna Triandafyllidou

Institution: International Organization for Migration
Published: December 2021

Since 2000, IOM has been producing its flagship world migration reports every two years. The World Migration Report 2022, the eleventh in the world migration report series, has been produced to contribute to increased understanding of migration and mobility throughout the world. This new edition presents key data and information on migration as well as thematic chapters on highly topical migration issues, and is structured to focus on two key contributions for readers: Part I: key information on migration and migrants (including migration-related statistics); and Part II: balanced, evidence-based analysis of complex and emerging migration issues. This flagship World Migration Report has been produced in line with IOM’s Environment Policy and is available online only. Printed hard copies have not been made in order to reduce paper, printing and transportation impacts.

The exacerbation of a crisis: the impact of COVID-19 on people on the move at the French-Italian border

AUTHOR(S)
Diletta Mastria; Jean Daniel Patierno

Published: September 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Europe, the situation for displaced people in the Italian border town of Ventimiglia deteriorated further. Vulnerable individuals and groups would face additional dangers and protection risks in this context, while unaccompanied children continued to be pushed back at alarming rates while being treated as adults, a tactical practice aimed at depriving them of their right to seek asylum in France. This report is based on a combination of desk and field research, and sheds a light on the grave impacts of COVID-19 on an already desperate situation at the French-Italian border. It underlines the acute impact of the pandemic on all aspects of life for people on the move, including access to adequate shelter, medical care, protection, and other rights violations such as racial profiling, pushbacks and detention.

Egyptian and Roma adolescents’ perspectives on their developmental assets in Albania during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Diana Miconi; Eglantina Dervishi; Nora Wiium (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
This mixed-method study explores the accessibility of developmental assets among Egyptian and Roma minority youth in Albania during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six focus groups were conducted in August 2020 with Egyptian (n = 16) and Roma (n = 15) adolescents (14–20 years, Mage = 16.71; SDage = 2.00; 14 girls and 17 boys). In addition, adolescents rated how much they experienced each developmental asset. Descriptive and thematic analyses highlighted: (1) low developmental assets and barriers to accessing resources, (2) mental health concerns and coping strategies, (3) the role of proximal contexts of life, and (4) experiences within the society in terms of discrimination, integration, and contribution to society. Inter-sectoral community-based interventions are urgently needed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on minority youth.
The exacerbated prevalence of acute malnutrition and growth retardation in Roma children living in camps

AUTHOR(S)
Rosaria Giampaolo; Rosaria Marotta; Francesco Saverio Biagiarelli (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Italian Journal of Pediatrics

Child malnutrition is still a concern in marginalized groups of populations, such as immigrants living in very low socio-economic conditions. Roma children are within the most hard-to-reach populations, susceptible to undernutrition and growth retardation. In the city of Rome (Italy), the Hospital “Bambino Gesù”, in collaboration with the Catholic Association Community of Saint’Egidio, is dedicating free services for the health and nutritional needs of vulnerable people. A retrospective analysis was conducted on immigrant children visited at different ages (0–11 years old). Records including nutritional and growth assessment were collected from 2016 up to May 2020. Malnutrition was classified following the WHO 2006 standards. Data for Roma children living in extra-urban camps and non-Roma immigrant children living in urban areas were analyzed, odds ratios and univariate binary regressions were performed to investigate the risk of malnutrition within the two groups.

Uncertain pathways: how gender shapes the experiences of children on the move

AUTHOR(S)
Jan Beise; Danzhen You (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2021

Age plays a critical role in a child’s migration, but how will gender mediate that experience? Which gender-specific vulnerabilities, needs, and opportunities influence the lives of girls and boys on the move? This report reviews the existing evidence base – official statistics and quantitative and qualitative studies from the community level to the global level – to shed light on these important questions. Examining the available information not only indicates where and how children on the move need targeted resources, support and protection, but also pinpoints areas needing further investigation. Available data and research demonstrate that gender plays a pivotal role from the time the decision to leave home is made, and continues to shape experiences and vulnerabilities throughout the child’s journey and integration process at the destination. COVID-19 has added another layer of complexity to the lives of children on the move, exacerbating pre-existing insecurities in some dimensions and introducing new ones. Girls in particular are feeling many of these effects acutely, such as gender-based violence.

The genes road: impact of migration on newborn screening and health amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Mediterranean region

AUTHOR(S)
Abdullahi Tunde Aborode; Christos Tsagkaris; Ajagbe Abayomi Oyeyemi (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Nearly two-thirds of migrants residing in camps in Europe are women and children. Many of these children, being born on the way without essential newborns screening, are at some point admitted to pediatric wards in asylum countries. With hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, taking appropriate care of newborns becomes a considerable burden. In this frame, prevention, in the form of adequate newborn screening, emerges as a better and more feasible strategy than healing.
A qualitative investigation of support workers’ experiences of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Dutch migrant families who have children with intellectual disabilities

AUTHOR(S)
Pauline M. Geuijen; Laura Vromans; Petri J. C. M. Embregts

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected families who have children with intellectual disabilities (ID). This study aimed to explore the pandemic’s impact on Dutch migrant families who have children with ID, by interviewing these families’ support workers. A descriptive qualitative methodology was employed, which resulted in semi-structured telephone interviews with 34 support workers. Interview transcripts that pertained to 27 Dutch migrant families who have children with ID were selected and themes and subthemes were identified using thematic analysis.

Reflections of methodological and ethical challenges in conducting research during COVID-19 involving resettled refugee youth in Canada

AUTHOR(S)
Zoha Salam; Elysee Nouvet; Lisa Schwartz

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Medical Ethics
Research involving migrant youth involves navigating and negotiating complex challenges in order to uphold their rights and dignity, but also all while maintaining scientific rigour. COVID-19 has changed the global landscape within many domains and has increasingly highlighted inequities that exist. With restrictions focusing on maintaining physical distancing set in place to curb the spread of the virus, conducting in-person research becomes complicated. This article reflects on the ethical and methodological challenges encountered when conducting qualitative research during the pandemic with Syrian migrant youth who are resettled in Canada. The three areas discussed from the study are recruitment, informed consent and managing the interviews. Special attention to culture as being part of the study’s methodology as an active reflexive process is also highlighted. The goal of this article is to contribute to the growing understanding of complexities of conducting research during COVID-19 with populations which have layered vulnerabilities, such as migrant youth. This article hopes that the reflections may help future researchers in conducting their research during this pandemic by being cognizant of both the ethical and methodological challenges discussed.
Unintended trauma: the role of public health policy in the detention of migrant children

AUTHOR(S)
Michele Statz; Lauren Heidbrink

Published: July 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas
Within the first three months of 2021, an unprecedented 33,000 unaccompanied children arrived at the United States-Mexico border. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responded by opening new facilities for detained migrant children in converted convention centers, stadiums, and military bases. Ranging from 1000 to 5000 beds, these facilities are not unique to the U.S.: Europe and Australia have adopted similar models of detaining arriving migrants and refugees.1 Responding to these trends, global public health scholars have identified how large post-reception models negatively impact migrants’ mental and physical health and further contribute to increased vulnerability to COVID-19.2 Considerably less attention has been paid to how pandemic-related public health policies have actually fueled the recent demand for mass detention facilities.
Talent on the move: listening to children and young people on the move to unlock their potential

AUTHOR(S)
Verena Knaus; Danzhen You

Institution: *UNICEF, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Published: July 2021

There are an estimated 281 million international migrants. One in five is a young person and 36 million are children. Worldwide, more than 4 out of 10 forcibly displaced persons are younger than 18, with 33 million children living in forced displacement at the end of 2019 – either as internally displaced persons within their country or abroad as refugees or asylum seekers. Young migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) across continents represent a unique, untapped pool of talent, ideas, and entrepreneurship. Often resilient, motivated and with experience in overcoming adversity, they have the potential to help solve some of our greatest challenges. Powered by the voices of youth, this report harnesses the technology of U-Report to ask 8,764 young people on the move, aged between 14 and 24, if they felt heard and invited them to share their aspirations to learn and earn. According to this poll, nearly 40 per cent of young people on the move identify education and training as their biggest priorities, and 30 per cent prioritized looking for a job. As the examples in this report highlight, young people on the move are a force for success. But only by creating incentives and opportunities for them to fulfil their aspirations can we turn their passions, energy and hopes into something productive and empowering.

Unaccompanied children at the gates of Europe: voices from Samos

AUTHOR(S)
Emma Musty

Institution: Save the Children, Refugee Rights Europe
Published: June 2021

This report investigates the situation facing unaccompanied minors during Covid-19 in Samos. Drawing from desk research, interviews with unaccompanied minors and staff working with them, the report findings underline the further deterioration of an already acute and protracted situation. The children are trapped in dismal reception conditions without appropriate and adequate services. The access to medical care and psychological rehabilitation is grossly insufficient and unaccompanied children face acute safety risks due to being treated as adults, in clear contravention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In consequence, these conditions and the lack of protection has bred a mental health crisis on the island.

Refugees and migrants in times of COVID-19: mapping trends of public health and migration policies and practices
Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: June 2021
Refugees and migrants have been disproportionately affected by both the direct effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictive migration measures put in place, which, in turn, have hampered coordinated and consistent public health responses. This report maps how the needs of refugee and migrant have been addressed in COVID-19 responses across countries and how these have varied considerably from inclusive policies to discriminatory practices. Many countries ensured access to health care for refugees and migrants regardless of migration status, and several countries also suspended forced returns and prioritized alternatives to immigration detention. An integrated approach to migration and public health policies covering protection-sensitive access to territories, a flexible approach to migration status and non-discriminatory access to health care is suggested as a policy consideration to uphold international conventions protecting the right to health without discrimination for refugees and migrants.
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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.