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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Exacerbating, illuminating and hiding rights issues: COVID-19 and children in conflict with the law

AUTHOR(S)
Fiona Dyer; Claire Lightowler; Nina Vaswani (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
This article explores the impacts of the response to COVID-19 on the rights of children in conflict with the law. It focuses on three significant rights issues: responding to all children as children (UNCRC, Article 1); non-discrimination (UNCRC, Article 2) and deprivation of liberty as a last resort (UNCRC, Article 37). Completing a Child Right's Impact Assessment, a structured approach to considering children's rights issues, helped us identify the key concerns around these three UNCRC articles. This study argues that, while the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated an erosion of children's rights for those in conflict with the law, the response to the pandemic has primarily compounded and illuminated pre-existing rights issues. It has also further hidden from view some children and their experiences.
The pains and gains of COVID-19: challenges to child first justice in the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kathy Hampson; Stephen Case; Ross Little

Published: February 2022   Journal: Youth Justice
The global COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected justice-involved children. Youth justice policy changes and innovations have assisted communication and engagement with these vulnerable children during unprecedented times, while attempting to limit risks of contagion and criminalisation – all central tenets of the ‘Child First’ guiding principle for the Youth Justice System of England and Wales. While some changes have enhanced the experiences of some justice-involved children (gains), others have disproportionately disadvantaged justice-involved children in court, community and custody contexts (pains), increasing criminalisation, disengagement and anxiety. These pains of COVID-19 have effectively eroded the rights of this already-vulnerable group of children.
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.

Thirty years after the UNCRC: children and young people’s participation continues to struggle in a COVID-19 world

AUTHOR(S)
Patricio Cuevas-Parra

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, despite governments’ efforts to ‘flatten the curve’. The measures to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak have been perceived as retrogressive for children and young people’s rights to participation. A common denominator across countries and regions is the reduced spaces for children and young people to influence decision-making processes and policy responses associated with COVID-19. This article critically examines the meanings and implications of children and young people’s participation rights in the time of COVID-19. In particular, it explores how lockdowns and other physical distancing measures have a negative impact on social interactions, leaving behind hard-to-reach children and young people and undermining some children and young people’s rights to participate on the premise that their protection is more relevant in crisis situations. This article discusses children and young people’s perspectives on how their opportunities to be listened to during the pandemic have been restricted. The article considers children and young people’s ability to communicate online, considering how those without access to the Internet – practically half the world – are left out, and, in the end, demonstrating that this pandemic is producing and exacerbating existing inequalities.
Is the COVID-19 regulation that prohibits parental visits to their children who are patients in hospital invalid in terms of the Constitution? What should hospitals do?

AUTHOR(S)
D. J. McQuoid-Mason

Published: September 2020   Journal: South African Medical Journal
This article deals with whether the COVID-19 regulation that prohibits parental visits to their children who are patients in hospital is
invalid in terms of the Constitution of South Africa. The article contends that the ban on visits by parents to their children in hospital is
a violation of the children’s rights provisions of the Constitution regarding the ‘best interests of the child’, and the ‘best interests standard’
in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. The article also points out that the regulations are not saved by the limitations clause of the Constitution,
because the restriction is not ‘reasonable and justifiable’ and a ‘less restrictive means’ can be used to achieve the same purpose of preventing
the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The article concludes that the relevant regulation is legally invalid, and hospitals would be fully justified
in allowing parental visits to child patients provided proper precautions are taken to contain the virus.
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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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Check our quarterly thematic digests on children and COVID-19

Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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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.