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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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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.
High risk, low priority: refugees excluded from COVID-19 vaccine rollout

AUTHOR(S)
Delphine Vallette; Nina Nepesova; Natalia Korobkova (et al.)

Institution: World Vision
Published: June 2021
The COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone, but people living on the world’s margins, including the forcibly displaced who face some of the highest risks but remain the lowest priority in national and global responses to the pandemic. Yet, vaccine justice is not only essential to protect the most at risk but it is also critical to prevent even more catastrophic impact globally. The pandemic will not end anywhere until it ends everywhere
From faith to action: inter-religious action to protect the rights of children affected by migration

AUTHOR(S)
Susanna Trotta; Johanne Kjaersgaard; Mario Mosquera (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: June 2021

This publication highlights the actual and potential roles of faith actors in contributing towards an effective and holistic response to child displacement in Europe and Central Asia. It illustrates a plurality of ways in which faith actors actively support children and youth on the move, including through ensuring protection and social inclusion, providing spiritual and psychosocial support, countering xenophobia and discrimination, and advocating for policy changes.

Transnational communication between children and grandparents during the COVID-19 lockdown. The case of migrant children in Poland

AUTHOR(S)
Anzhela Popyk; Paula Pustułka

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Communication
Transnational intergenerational communication between migrant children and their grandparents depends on family relationships and the specific migration context, but also shifts in response to emerging factors, such as the current COVID-19 crisis. The goal of this study is to offer an agile typology of communication between migrant children in Poland and their grandparents in other countries. It points to two types of family communication practices, namely direct (face-to-face) and technology-mediated communication (TMC). Drawing on data from a qualitative study of immigrant children (n = 19) and parents (n = 18) conducted during the lockdown and associated travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, the study offers a typology of emotional, symbolic, mediated, and discontinuous modes of intergenerational family communications. It also indicates that cessation of direct contact during an “immobility regime” reduces the scope of intergenerational communication in transnational families.
Social protection and Venezuelan migration in Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an enormous challenge for all countries due to its public health consequences and socio-economic effects on families. In this difficult context, the Latin America and the Caribbean region is facing the largest displacement in its recent history, with approximately 4.2 million Venezuelans now living in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. This migrant population faces various risks, whether linked to the migration process or their migratory status, or others that were aggravated by the health emergency. Their extreme vulnerability to the socioeconomic impacts of the measures adopted in response to COVID-19, given their overrepresentation in the informal sector of the economy, coupled with their low inclusion in social protection mechanisms, profoundly jeopardizes their welfare and compromises public health as well as the overall well-being of local populations. Faced with this scenario, social protection may play a fundamental role in reducing the vulnerabilities of migrants and in helping to mitigate the impact of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reimagining migration responses learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Lucy Hovil; Mark Gill; Iolanda Genovese (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: March 2021

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.

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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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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.