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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 refugee crisis and peer relationships during childhood and adolescence

AUTHOR(S)
David Schwartz; Yana Ryjova; Annemarie R. Kelleghan (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
This paper is a call for empirical research, and theory development, that focuses on the peer relationships of children and adolescents who experience forced displacement. During the last decade, an escalating humanitarian crisis has developed with historic levels of involuntary migration occurring across the world. The extant research on youth who become refugees or internally displaced has primarily targeted issues related to mental health and basic survival needs. Less attention has been devoted to normative developmental processes including peer relationships. Nonetheless, peers can play a critical role in facilitating the adjustment of displaced children and adolescents. Friends can help these vulnerable youth through the transitions associated with resettlement. From a less adaptive perspective, interactions in the peer group will potentially contribute to intensification of risk and can accelerate trajectories toward negative outcomes.
Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean

By the end of 2019, 4.8 million refugees and migrants had left Venezuela – making it the largest external displacement crisis in the region’s recent history. Of these, 1 in 4 was a child.

Across Latin America and the Caribbean, since November 2020, 137 million girls and boys are missing out on their education due to the prolonged closure of schools during COVID-19. The implications are troubling, especially for migrant and refugee children, for whom access to inclusive and equitable education remains a major challenge.

This study collates evidence from Latin America, the Caribbean and across the world to gain a better understanding of the multifaceted linkages between education and migration. It estimates gaps in educational outcomes; identifies structural barriers to education; and highlights promising practices to inform policy.

Refugee children and families during the COVID-19 crisis: a resilience framework for mental health

AUTHOR(S)
Dillon Thomas Browne; Jackson Andrew Smith; Jean de Dieu Basabose

Published: February 2021   Journal: Journal of Refugee Studies
Children and families are undergoing unprecedented stress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in part, due to the disruption of daily life arising from mandated social distancing protocols. As such, the purpose of the present report is to raise awareness surrounding resilience-challenging and resilience-promoting factors for refugee children and families during the COVID-19 crisis. Issues surrounding family life, parenting, and potential for family conflict are described. Also, cultural and linguistic factors are discussed, which may limit access to information about the pandemic and, accordingly, uptake of public health recommendations.
An informal education intervention in response to the Covid-19 pandemic: homework mentorships in a Berlin refugee shelter

AUTHOR(S)
Courtney O’Connel; Luka Lucić

Published: January 2021   Journal: Human Arenas (
The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting damage is often portrayed in staggering numbers and statistics. This article offers, by contrast, a personal and qualitative account of employees, volunteers, and young residents at a refugee home in Berlin, Germany. Through the story of a boy who has spent the past 4 years in several of Berlin’s 84 remaining refugee accommodations, this article examines the inequalities that already existed in Germany and how the pandemic has exacerbated them. To provide ample context, it critically assess the so-called Welcome Classes that children and teens have been attending since their arrival to the country in or around 2015 and argues that the segregation experienced at school mirrors the isolation from the host society that refugees and people seeking asylum are subjected to residentially. An emergency response to school closures is then presented: a digital homework mentorship program designed to mitigate the heightened barriers to social interaction and access to education brought about by the pandemic.
Progress under threat: refugee education one year on from the Global refugee forum and the impact of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Sébastien Hine; Emma Wagner

Institution: Save the Children
Published: January 2021

The COVID-19 education emergency has not affected all children equally. Refugee children already faced significant barriers in accessing good quality learning because of poverty and discrimination. The pandemic has further compounded these challenges. Progress under threat highlights the impact this pandemic is having on refugee children, including in the ten countries with the largest refugee populations where Save the Children works. Refugees are much less likely to access remote learning, will have lost many months of learning and may drop-out of school. The pandemic has severely impacted their learning and wellbeing, which was already more complex than their host community peers due to the very nature of forced displacement.

Save our education now: an emergency COVID-19 education plan to get the poorest and most marginalised children safely back to school and learning

AUTHOR(S)
Hollie Warren; Oliver Fiala; Richard Watts

Institution: Save the Children UK
Published: January 2021

As we enter 2021, the world continues to grapple with containing the deadly spread of the COVID-19 virus. And education continues to be the silent victim of this pandemic. Save Our Education Now sets out five, evidence-based actions that governments should prioritize to ensure that children whose education has been disrupted by the pandemic can safely return to school and catch up on the learning they have missed out on. Our new analysis suggests that just over US$50 billion is needed from donors to implement these actions and protect the futures of the most marginalized children from the pandemic. 

Restructuring institutional care: challenges and coping measures for children and caregivers in post-COVID-19 era

AUTHOR(S)
Sudeshna Roy

Published: December 2020   Journal: Institutionalised Children Explorations and Beyond

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has rattled the world and has severely compromised not only the public health system but has decelerated the global economy. In this backdrop, the article explores the dynamics of the institutional care of the out-of-home care (OHC) children, adolescents and children who are residing in alternative care homes, childcare institutes (CCIs), foster homes and who are in conflict with law like refugees or in juvenile correctional centres. The article attempts to highlight the risk factors and systematic barriers that CCIs and associated functionaries have been confronting in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. It would also catalogue the remedial, preventive and protective initiatives undertaken as best practices. 


Impact of COVID-19 on protection and education among children in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya September 2020
Institution: Save the Children
Published: December 2020

Save the Children conducted research in three refugee camps in Dadaab in Kenya which explored the impact of COVID-19 on children’s education, young mothers’ livelihoods and gender-based violence. This study highlights programmatic adaptations made in response to COVID-19, identifying what has worked well or less well and considers practical recommendations for the sector. The research gathered views from children, young mothers, caregivers and key stakeholders working in child protection and education in the camp.

COVID-19 water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: a safe return to schools for refugee children and youth
Institution: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Published: October 2020
This document presents the results of a survey assessing the WASH readiness of schools in UN-HCR-supported refugee camps and refugee settlements. UNHCR and partners are using the results to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) COVID-19 mitigation measures in schools and design targeted improvements to WASH facilities to allow for safe operation of schools.
How COVID-19 school closures interrupted teachers’ care for newly arrived migrant and refugee learners in Denmark

AUTHOR(S)
Nina Langer Primdahl; Anne Sofie Borsch; An Verelst (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies
Teachers play a critical role in providing social and emotional support for newly arrived migrant and refugee learners. Such care ordinarily takes place in the classroom, raising questions about the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 school closures on their care work. In this article we analyze qualitative data from phone interviews with eight teachers in Danish preparatory classes, paying particular attention to the challenges they faced staying in contact with, and supporting, migrant and refugee learners during the school closure. The interviews were coded and thematically analysed, revealing significant changes in the teachers’ care work.
Implementing the Global Compact on Refugees for children: examples of child-focused work
Institution: Save the Children
Published: October 2020
The Initiative for Child Rights in the Global Compacts is a multi-stakeholder partnership bringing together over 30 UN, civil society and philanthropic organizations around a shared agenda: to ensure that children’s rights are at the heart of the two global compacts on migration and on refugees in practice and to create a continuum of care, protection and support for all migrant and refugee children.
Coming together for refugee education
Institution: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Published: September 2020
This report, the fifth annual education report from UNHCR, predicts that unless the international community takes immediate and bold steps against the catastrophic effects of COVID-19 on refugee education, the potential of millions of young refugees living in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities will be further threatened. It is based on 2019 data from twelve countries hosting more than half of the world’s refugee children.
Downward spiral: the economic impact of COVID-19 on refugees and displaced people
Institution: Norwegian Refugee Council
Published: September 2020

The economic impact of public health measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is having a devastating effect on communities affected by conflict and displacement. Compounding numerous existing crises and challenges, Covid-19 related travel restrictions, the closure of markets and businesses, and the general economic downturn are causing these communities to lose work and income. This, in turn, makes it even harder for them to feed their families, keep a roof over their heads, and send their children to school. This report is based on a survey of 1,400 people affected by conflict and displacement in eight countries, and more detailed surveys and needs assessment in a total of 14 countries.

The right to health: a case study of unaccompanied children and the challenges of minimum access to healthcare in Greece

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer Bitter

Published: September 2020
COVID-19 as well as age assessment procedures can expose unaccompanied minors to a higher risk of an insufficient protection and access to healthcare. This paper examines he situation of unaccompanied children in detention in Greece in order to elaborate current circumstances and challenges regarding access to medical healthcare for those detained on the Greek islands as well as homeless children on the mainland. The work of Non-Governmental-Organizations (NGOs) as a parallel healthcare system to the national and local healthcare system is also examined as well as the practical challenges and barriers within the country. 
Protecting forcibly displaced children during the COVID-19 pandemic
Institution: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Published: August 2020
This brief provides a snapshot of child protection interventions by UNHCR and its partners during the pandemic, covering community engagement, case management, alternative care and capacity building.
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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.