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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Supporting parenting among Syrian refugees in Lebanon: a randomized controlled trial of the caregiver support intervention

AUTHOR(S)
Kenneth E. Miller; Alexandra Chen; Gabriela V. Koppenol-Gonzalez (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Parenting interventions in humanitarian settings have prioritized the acquisition of parenting knowledge and skills, while overlooking the adverse effects of stress and distress on parenting—a key mediator of refugee children's mental health. We evaluated the effectiveness of the Caregiver Support Intervention (CSI), which emphasizes caregiver wellbeing together with training in positive parenting. This research conducted a two-arm randomized controlled trial of the CSI with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, with an intent-to-treat design, from September 2019–December 2020. A total of 480 caregivers from 240 families were randomized to the CSI or a waitlist control group (1:1). Retention from baseline to endline was 93%. Data on parenting and caregiver psychological wellbeing were collected at baseline, endline, and three-month follow-up.

COVID-19 and the Rohingya revugees in Bangladesh: socioeconomic and health impacts on women and adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Bezon Kumar; Susmita Dey Pinky; Orindom Shing Pulock (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies 1
COVID-19 has exacerbated the existing crisis that the vulnerable refugee population faces. More than a million Rohingya refugees live in Bangladesh. COVID-19 has affected both males and females. It is critical to understand how this population group is coping during this trying period. They are constituted by 52% women and 55% adolescents. The socioeconomic and physiological repercussions of the pandemic on the Rohingya people are contextualised in this study. The socioeconomic and health impacts of COVID-19 on Rohingya women and adolescents in Bangladesh are investigated. Because of the restrictions imposed, over 63% of Rohingya adolescent females suffered from food scarcity. The vast majority of respondents (87%) stated that they had reduced their meal frequency, resulting in a protein deficiency. Since their arrival in Bangladesh, they have had limited access to medical and educational facilities. The pandemic has further exacerbated the situation. Girls are more vulnerable to sexual and gender-based abuse, early marriage, school dropout, and pregnancy. This research aims to add to existing knowledge on refugees, Rohingya, women, and adolescents
Girls’ and boys’ voices on the gendered experience of learning during COVID-19 in countries affected by displacement

AUTHOR(S)
Nicole Dulieu; Silvia Arlini; Mya Gordon

Published: June 2022   Journal: The Journal on Education in Emergencies
This paper presents research on girls’ and boys’ gendered perceptions of their learning during school closures due to COVID-19. The research was conducted in ten countries affected by displacement across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. It applied statistical analysis using multivariate logistic regression models from the results of a survey conducted with parents or caregivers and their children. It complemented the quantitative study with qualitative methodology, which provided a nuanced understanding of girls’ and boys’ perceptions of their learning and their voiced concerns during the COVID-19-related school closures.
Barriers to refugee adolescents’ educational access during COVID-19: exploring the roles of gender, displacement, and social inequalities

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones; Kate Pincock; Silvia Guglielmi (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: The Journal on Education in Emergencies
As of 2021, more than 80 million people worldwide have been displaced by war, violence, and poverty. An estimated 30 to 34 million of these are under age 18, and many are at risk of interrupting their education permanently—a situation aggravated in recent years by the global COVID-19 pandemic. This article adopts an intersectional conceptual framework to explore the roles gender and other social inequalities have played in shaping adolescents’ access to education during the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines two refugee populations: the Rohingya, who have been excluded from formal education opportunities in Bangladesh, and Syrian refugees in Jordan, who have access to formal education in their host country. It provides novel empirical data, as well as insights into the adolescent refugee experience and the short-term consequences for education resulting from the pandemic. The article draws from quantitative survey data on 3,030 adolescents, and from in-depth qualitative interviews conducted in the spring of 2020 with a subset of 91 adolescents who are part of an ongoing longitudinal study. A 40 key informant interviews with community leaders and service providers was also conducted.
A lost generation: perpetual education insecurity among the Rohingya

AUTHOR(S)
Robin E. Al-Haddad; Kendra L. Duran; Saleh Ahmed

Published: May 2022   Journal: Race Ethnicity and Education
Education security exists when every child has equal access to quality education. Rohingya refugee children suffer widespread rates of education insecurity both in their home country, Myanmar and in their host country, Bangladesh. While the right to education is recognized in several human rights instruments, access to education is not ubiquitous, making the ability to achieve this right challenging for many Rohingya. Government restrictions on accredited education, COVID-19 related school closures, failures in launching a pilot of the Myanmar curriculum, and recent government plans to relocate refugees to Bhasan Char Island have created a ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya youth. This study traces the development of education insecurity among the Rohingya, a stateless ethnic minority group who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 in response to ethnic violence in Myanmar. Drawing upon available literature and primary fieldwork, this study examines the social, cultural, and political determinants of learning opportunities for Rohingya children.
Effects of occupational therapy via telerehabilitation on occupational balance, well-being, intrinsic motivation and quality of life in Syrian refugee children in COVID-19 lockdown: a randomized controlled trial

AUTHOR(S)
Sümeyye Belhan Çelik; Esma Özkan; Gonca Bumin

Published: April 2022   Journal: Children
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an occupational training program via telerehabilitation on well-being (WB), occupational balance (OB), intrinsic motivation (IM), and quality of life (QoL) in Syrian refugee children resettled in Turkey during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a single-center, prospective, randomized, non-blinded trial in which children aged 13–15 years and attending a secondary school were recruited. OB, WB, IM, and QoL were evaluated via the OB Questionnaire (OBQ11), the Well-Star Scale (WSS), the IM Scale (IMS), and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). The intervention group attended online occupational therapy classes. Online classes were carried out as five sessions per week, each session lasting 1 h, for 3 weeks. Questionnaires were performed at the outset of the study and following the training program. Overall, 52 refugee children were randomized into the intervention and control groups, each including 26 children. The mean OBQ11, WSS, IMS, and PedsQL scores significantly improved more in the intervention group than in the control group. This was the first study investigating the effects of a customized online training course on OB, WB, IM, and QoL in Syrian refugee children, also affected unfavorably by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Examination of PTSD and depression levels and demographic data of Syrian refugee children during the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Elif Erol; Dilara Demirpençe Seçinti

Published: April 2022   Journal: Psych
Background: The worldwide population of child refugees is estimated to be over 10 million. Refugee children and adolescents are among the most vulnerable groups in the world, and the pandemic created new challenges for them. Objective: This study aimed to examine the PTSD and depression levels of Syrian refugee children and adolescents, the difficulties they experienced in access to food and education, and the changes in their family income, and evaluate the effects of these factors on symptom severities of depression and PTSD. It used data obtained from 631 Syrian refugee children between the ages of 7 and 15. Assessment measures for exposure to PTSD and depression included a socio-demographic form, stressors related to COVID-19, the Child and Adolescent Trauma Survey (CATS), and the patient-rated Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI). ANCOVA is conducted to evaluate the differences between the symptoms of PTSD and depression. The regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between the scales and the demographic data.
Adolescent lives in Jordan: what are we learning from longitudinal evidence? Lessons from longitudinal research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

Jordan is a small, highly resource-constrained country situated in the heart of the Middle East. Long a haven for refugees fleeing regional conflict, over one-third of Jordan’s 10 million residents are not Jordanian. Jordan is home to approximately 1.5 million Syrians, half of whom are registered as refugees with UNHCR. Jordan is also hosting 2.5 million registered Palestine refugees. In Jordan, GAGE has collected mixed-methods baseline data (between mid-2018 and early 2019) with approximately 4,000 Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian and Dom adolescents living in host communities, formal refugee camps and informal tented settlements; fielded three rounds of covid-19 phone surveys; and is running ongoing participatory research groups with older married girls, out-of-school boys and adolescent girls and boys with disabilities (15–19 years). GAGE is also evaluating a variety of UNICEF Jordan’s programming. This brief highlights headline emerging findings and provides links to fuller publications.

Adolescent lives in Lebanon: what are we learning from participatory evidence? Lessons from participatory research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

Since 2019, Lebanon’s economy has been caught in an accelerating downward spiral, which the World Bank predicts will rank in the top three most severe global economic crises in the last 150 years. Food prices have now climbed more than 500%, over half of the country is living below the poverty line and the electrical grid is on the verge of collapse as fuel has become unavailable. For the 1.5 million Syrian refugees and nearly 200,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, the situation is even more dire. In Lebanon, GAGE is running participatory research groups with 83 vulnerable Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese adolescents. These young people are between the ages of 15 and 19 and live in host communities, formal refugee camps served by UNRWA (Palestinians), and informal tented settlements  (Syrians). The participatory research groups were established in 2019 and meet every four to six weeks  to discuss themes related to GAGE’s conceptual framework. This brief highlights headline emerging findings and provides links to fuller publications.

Adolescent lives in Cox’s Bazar: what are we learning from longitudinal evidence? Lessons from longitudinal research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

From August 2017, the largest wave of Rohingya refugees crossed the Myanmar border into Bangladesh, fleeing crimes that the UN Special Rapporteur has claimed ‘bear the hallmarks of genocide’. Over 880,000 displaced Rohingya now live in 32 makeshift and 2 registered refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar district, one of Bangladesh’s poorest regions, where 1.36 million people – comprising both refugees and host community residents – remain in need of humanitarian assistance. This brief draws on mixed-methods data collected both before and after the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from younger (aged 10–14) and older (aged 15–19) cohorts at baseline, our research captures the voices of Rohingya and Bangladeshi adolescents and their views on everyday life, including the structural and socio-cultural constraints they face and whether they are being left behind.

The Syrian refugee life study: first glance

AUTHOR(S)
Edward A. Miguel; Bailey Palmer; Sandra Rozo Villarraga (et al.)

Published: February 2022
This paper presents descriptive statistics from the first wave of the Syrian Refugee Life Study (S-RLS), which was launched in 2020. S-RLS is a longitudinal study that tracks a representative sample of 2,500 registered Syrian refugee households in Jordan. It collects comprehensive data on socio-demographic variables as well as information on health and well-being, preferences, social capital, attitudes, and safety and crime perceptions. This study uses these novel data to document the socio-demographic characteristics of Syrian refugees in Jordan, and compare them to those of the representative Jordanian and non-Jordanian populations interviewed in the 2016 Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey. The findings point to lags in basic service access, housing quality, and educational attainment for the Syrian refugee population, relative to the non-refugee population. The impacts of the pandemic may serve to partially explain these documented disparities. The data also illustrate that most Syrian refugees have not recovered economically from the shock of COVID-19 and that this population has larger gender disparities in terms of income, employment, prevalence of child marriage, and gender attitudes than their non-refugee counterparts. Finally, mental health problems are common for Syrian refugees in 2020, with depression indicated among over 61 percent of the population.
Education and an ethics of care when working with refugee families during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Anne Keary; Andrea Reupert; Mervi Kaukko (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Early Years
Provision of early childhood education and care services for refugee families took on heightened challenges during COVID-19 restrictions. This study undertook a small-scale study to explore how Australian educators worked with and cared for refugee families during the COVID-19 outbreak in an urban Australian setting. This study emerges from a larger project that aimed to support social inclusion and cultural and linguistic diversity for refugee families in Australia. It draws on two group interviews conducted during a COVID-19 lockdown with four educators working with refugee families in early childhood education and care. Data analysis is framed by the ethics of care work of Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings. On the basis of these theories and the interview data, two vignettes on an ethics of care were developed. The importance of being cared for and cared about and genuinely listening were identified as crucial aspects of the care provided to refugee children and their families.
Implications of updated protocol for classification of childhood malnutrition and service delivery in world’s largest refugee camp amid this COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Afsana Anwar; Probal Kumar Mondal; Uday Narayan Yadav (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities made a change in the classification of malnutrition and concomitant service delivery protocol among the Rohingya children, residing in world’s largest refugee camp, located in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. In this paper, we discussed the potential implications of this updated protocol on the malnutrition status among children residing in the Rohingya camps. This paper reviewed relevant literature and authors’ own experience to provide a perspective of the updated protocol for the classification of malnutrition among the children in the Rohingya camps and its implication from a broader perspective.

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.

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.
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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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