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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Childhood confined by COVID-19 in Italy and the impacts on the right to education

AUTHOR(S)
Fernando Donizete Alves; Aline Sommerhalder; Concetta La Rocca (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: International Journal of Early Years Education
This article aimed to assess the impact of school closures in Italy on children's lives, particularly in Early Childhood Education, as a result of the Covid-19 containment measures. A set of documents published by the Italian government related to the measures to contain the covid-19 were analyzed. Based on content analysis, three categories of analysis were defined: 1) containment measures and social life; 2) school closures and distance education; 3) the return of face-to-face activities in early childhood education. The results indicated that the containment measures imposed severe restrictions on children's social interaction, such as the closing of public and private spaces (parks, museums, etc.) and the impossibility of moments of interaction and collective play. They impacted the right to education by closing schools when distance education was implemented as a measure to reduce potential damage to children's learning and overall development. For the resumption of in-person activities in schools, there should be priority use of open spaces, social distancing, and measures of personal and collective hygiene. Another significant result is the consideration of daycare centers and pre-school as essential services by the Italian government.
Global education monitoring report, 2021/2: non-state actors in education: who chooses? who loses?
Institution: UNESCO - Global Education Monitoring Report Team
Published: December 2021

Non-state actors’ role extends beyond provision of schooling to interventions at various education levels and influence spheres. Alongside its review of progress towards SDG 4, including emerging evidence on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, the 2021/2 Global Education Monitoring Report urges governments to see all institutions, students and teachers as part of a single system. Standards, information, incentives and accountability should help governments protect, respect and fulfil the right to education of all, without turning their eyes away from privilege or exploitation. Publicly funded education does not have to be publicly provided but disparity in education processes, student outcomes and teacher working conditions must be addressed. Efficiency and innovation, rather than being commercial secrets, should be diffused and practised by all. To that end, transparency and integrity in the public education policy process need to be maintained to block vested interests. The report’s rallying call – Who chooses? Who loses? – invites policymakers to question relationships with non-state actors in terms of fundamental choices: between equity and freedom of choice; between encouraging initiative and setting standards; between groups of varying means and needs; between immediate commitments under SDG 4 and those to be progressively realized (e.g. post-secondary education); and between education and other social sectors.

Justice-centered education amid the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Michelle E. Forsythe; Yun-Wen Chan

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Journal of Environmental Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new saliency to educational efforts to ensure every person is able to make effective personal decisions and participate in civic affairs. However, social and political systems often constrain individual opportunities to enact personal decision-making. These sociopolitical contexts necessitate an increased emphasis on justice-centered education that equips students to recognize and respond to inequities in local and global contexts. This article presents three case studies of areas relevant to K-12 education to which the pandemic has drawn critical attention: how scientific knowledge changes, how decisions are made about science-based issues, and how the impacts of such decisions cascade in the environment. Collectively, these cases highlight the importance of justice-centered pedagogies for learning about complex socioscientific issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and how transboundary justice-centered education could support the meaningful convergence of environmental education, science education, and social studies education.
Learning in the shadow of a conflict: barriers to education in Syria

AUTHOR(S)
Jiwan Said

Institution: Save the Children
Published: September 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the bleak situation of education in Syria. Recurrent lockdowns and suspension of activities over 2020 and 2021 have limited children’s physical access to school and has worsened the poor economic situation across the country obliging many Syrian families to apply coping mechanisms including removing their children from schools. All of the above has resulted in an estimated 2.5 million children aged 5-17 years – one-third of the school-age population – are out of school. They are unable to exercise their basic right to education as laid out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). A further 1.6 million school-age children are at risk of being denied this right. These astonishing numbers indicate that a generation is growing up deprived of school in Syria. Those children are also more likely to suffer further violations, including falling victim to violence, child marriage, and engagement in worst form of child labour.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the rights of the child in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Arisa Yamaguchi; Mariko Hosozawa; Ayaka Hasegawa (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Pediatrics International

Few studies have used direct reports by children to assess how the rights documented in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) have been affected during the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Data were obtained from the CORONA-CODOMO Survey, a web-based survey conducted from April to May 2020 in Japan, targeting children aged 7–17 and parents/guardians of children aged 0–17. This study focused on self-reports from children, including two open-ended questions asking their needs and opinions. The results were analyzed according to the five categories of rights defined by the CRC: education, health, safety, play, and participation.

Education for children's rights in Ireland before, during and after the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Benjamin Mallon; Gabriela Martinez-Sainz

Published: June 2021   Journal: Irish Educational Studies
This paper analyses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the ‘education rights’ of children in the Irish context, with a particular focus on children's/human rights education (C/HRE). C/HRE can support children and young people to understand and explore the issues which limit people's lives and consider actions to uphold their own rights and the rights of others. The breadth and depth of the provision of HRE can be considered across ‘education about rights’ (including knowledge and understanding of human rights values, norms and frameworks), ‘education through rights’ (rights respecting educational approaches) and ‘education for rights’ (empowerment to realising and upholding rights) (UN 2011). The paper situates this framework against three additional dimensions. Firstly, it considers the children's rights issues within a historical national context. Secondly, it explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the education rights of children in Ireland. Finally, with a future orientation, the paper considers how C/HRE can strengthen education, meeting the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the legacies of longstanding children's rights issues, and future human rights challenges.
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.
The hidden impact of COVID-19 on child rights

AUTHOR(S)
Nicole Dulieu; Melissa Burgess; Chiara Orlassino (et al.)

Institution: Save the Children
Published: September 2020
This report is one in a series presenting findings from the Global COVID-19 Research Study. The results presented in this report focus on implications for child rights, drawing on data from our representative sample of 17,565 parents/caregivers and 8,069 children in our programme participants group. Comparisons with our general public sample are made in some places. The research presents differences in impact and needs of children by region, age, gender, disability, minority group, indicators of poverty and more.
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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.