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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 COVID‐19 pandemic: a first‐year review through the lens of IJGO

AUTHOR(S)
Sophie Maprayil; Amy Goggins; Francis Harris

Published: March 2021   Journal: International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
A policy brief for UN Women on the impact of COVID‐19 on women has noted that, across the board, the impacts of COVID‐19 are exacerbated for women and girls. The health of women in general has been adversely affected, with resources being reallocated in the emergency response to COVID‐19 and frequently leading to the suspension or limitation of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH) services. The UN Women brief also paints a stark picture in terms of gender‐based violence, noting that as the pandemic deepens both social and economic stress, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, many women have been forced to isolate with their abusers, a situation which has coincided with disruption or lack of access to the support services which they so desperately need. The UNFPA have predicted that the pandemic is also likely to cause significant delays to programs dedicated to preventing child marriage and female genital mutilation; the estimated projections are stark, with over 2 million more cases of FGM and 13 million more child marriages over the next 10 years than would otherwise have occurred. As the official journal of the International Federation for Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IJGO is a major source for global cutting‐edge research and reports on issues affecting women's health, as well as addressing economic, social, and human rights issues.
Increased child abuse in Uganda amidst COVID‐19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Quraish Sserwanja; Joseph Kawuki; Jean H. Kim

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

Globally, COVID‐19 lockdown measures have exposed children to more sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect. Although the COVID‐19 pandemic is likely to have long‐lasting adverse psychological effects on children, there have been comparatively few studies on children's health as compared with adults, particularly in low‐income countries. Uganda implemented one of the most stringent lockdowns with bans on transportation and gatherings as well as the closure of schools, stores and places of worship. In order to address the dearth of information in less developed regions, the article aims to provide an insight into the increased cases of child abuse in Uganda during the COVID‐19 pandemic. 


Impact of Covid-19 on youth in the Lake Chad region

AUTHOR(S)
Josaphat Tchetan Awo

Institution: Plan International
Published: December 2020

The crisis affecting the Lake Chad Basin is one of the most severe humanitarian emergencies in the world, having displaced more than 2.4 million people, half of whom are children. Most are internally-displaced but this number also includes refugees and returnees. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, people living in humanitarian contexts are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic and will continue to feel the post-pandemic impacts. For people living in areas with weak health systems, disrupted social support networks, and ongoing conflict and instability, the coronavirus is an additional crisis that they have to face and adapt to. Within this population, youth face increased vulnerability. Youth groups however, provide a critical voice for accountability at the community, state/district and national level. In addition, most youth groups tend to be self-led, volunteer-based, internally-funded and informal with little to no structure. As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on nations’ economies, the pressure for economic survival is heightened for this group who already face bleak employment or income generation prospects. Beyond the impact on youth as individuals, there’s a threat to their ability to contribute to community building through youth groups, as their focus shifts to economic survival. This report seeks to highlight the effects of the pandemic on young people, and how they are facing their future.

Gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic response in Italy.

AUTHOR(S)
Rebecca Lundin; Benedetta Armocida; Paola Sdao (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Global Health
Gender-based violence (GBV), with one out of three women worldwide experiencing violence in their lifetime, has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a “global public health problem of epidemic proportions”. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO and other international authorities have warned about the increased risk of GBV related to more time spent indoors, isolation from social and protective networks, and greater social and economic stress re-lated to both the epidemic and response measures. In fact, since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, reports from many countries including France, Ger-many, Spain, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Argentina, Singapore, Canada, and the United States indicate that violence against women has increase.
Children on the brink: risks for child protection, sexual abuse, and related mental health problems in the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sheila Ramaswamy; Shekhar Seshadri

Published: November 2020   Journal: Indian Journal of Psychiatry
In developing contexts such as India, children in adversity form a high-risk group, one that cannot be subsumed under the general category of children, who are generally considered as a vulnerable group in disaster and crisis situations. Child mental health issues in contexts of protection risks and childhood adversity tend to be over-looked in such crises. This article focuses on examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences on children in adversity, describing the increased child protection and psychosocial risks they are placed at, during and in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and its lockdown situation. It specifically links the lockdown and the ensuing economic issues to sexuality and abuse-related risks, as occur in contexts of child labour, child sex work and trafficking, child marriage and child sexual abuse, and that result in immediate and long-term mental health problems in children.
How does COVID-19 impact intrafamilial child sexual abuse? Comparison analysis of reports by practitioners in Israel and the US

AUTHOR(S)
Dafna Tener; Amitai Marmor; Carmit Katz (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

There is consensus in child sexual abuse (CSA) literature that intrafamilial child sexual abuse (IFCSA) has a tremendous impact on children and families while simultaneously creating challenges for practitioners. COVID-19 impacted countries worldwide and generated a global crisis resulting in impacts on daily life, however, it’s effect on IFCSA is unknown. This study aimed to compare professional perspectives and experiences working with IFCSA with respect to the context of the COVID-19 pandemic within the United States and Israel.

I sleep in my own deathbed: violence against women and girls in Bangladesh: barriers to legal recourse and support
Institution: Human Rights Watch
Published: October 2020

Women and girls in Bangladesh are facing increased domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is highlighting pre-existing systemic barriers to legal recourse, protection, and social services. This crisis comes as Bangladesh marks the anniversaries of two landmark pieces of legislation on gender-based violence (GBV) and enters the final phase of its plan to build a society free of violence against women and children. Despite this, evidence shows that women and girls still face extreme levels of violence. It is also apparent that survivors of GBV have little or no access to support or legal recourse. This report draws on 50 interviews to document the obstacles to realizing the Bangladeshi government’s goal of a society without violence against women and children. It presents key findings, as well as recommendations on how to move forward.

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Gender Alert on COVID-19 Afghanistan
Institution: UN Women, *UNICEF, Human Rights Watch
Published: October 2020
Families already living in poverty, many of whom are internally displaced persons or returnees, have little ability to weather a new crisis. They will be most under pressure to relieve financial crises through child labor or child marriage. In addition to dropping out of school, education disruption puts girls and young women at increased risk of numerous abuses: child marriage, exploitation, child labor, early pregnancy, and gender-based violence. An increase in reported cases of child marriage within the first few weeks/months of the pandemic has been documented.

How the humanitarian response to COVID-19 failed to protect women and girls
Institution: International Rescue Committee
Published: October 2020
As COVID-19 spread across the globe, gender-based violence experts and women’s rights activists around the world raised the alarm that the pandemic and its ensuing movement restrictions would negatively impact the safety of women and girls. From the first week of March, the media regularly highlighted the increased risk of violence faced by women and girls locked into homes with their abusers and the barriers they experienced in trying to access lifesaving services. This rapid recognition of the link between COVID-related restrictions and violence against women and girls was echoed within the humanitarian sector.
Pan-African Girlhood Report 2020: how COVID-19 is putting progress in peril
Institution: Save the Children
Published: October 2020
Lack of legal protection to protect women from domestic violence and sexual abuse, as well as gender inequality when it comes to accessing political and economic opportunities are some of the remaining challenges faced by girls and women across Africa. When COVID-19 struck, rather than being the year of opportunity and change, 2020 risks being a year of irreversible setbacks and lost progress for girls. Unless the world acts fast and decisively, the impact on girls’ futures – and on all our futures – will be devastating. Even before the COVID-19 crisis hit, progress for girls on some issues was already under threat.
Child sexual abuse during COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jugal Kishore; Monica Lakhanpal Gaggar; Jitender

Published: September 2020   Journal: International Journal of Preventive, Curative & Community Medicine
Prevalence of child sexual abuse during epidemic and disaster is common. There are evidences that children are victims of sexual exploitation during the lockdown period. They undergo multiple physical and mental injuries which could last lifelong. In presence of law, the child sexual abuse will not stop till the society is sensitive enough for the child emotional and physical health need. Responsibility of care lies not only on parents but also on everybody because they are the asset of nation. Mass awareness program along with behaviour change communication could be better solution during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moving beyond the numbers: what the COVID-19 pandemic means for the safety of women and girls
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020

This article illustrates some of the limitations of the statistics that have been widely publicized in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, provides additional contextual information to better understand the risks women and girls are facing, and outlines some priority recommendations to Governments, policy makers, donors and key humanitarian and development actors for addressing gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19.

Ascending child sexual abuse statistics in India during COVID-19 lockdown: a darker reality and alarming mental health concerns

AUTHOR(S)
Shuvabrata Poddar; Urbi Mukherjee

Published: August 2020   Journal: Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
This short commentary is about the need for proper circulation of information and services for protection of children from violence, abuse, and neglect during COVID-19 in India.
Vulnerability of children in Botswana during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Thabile A. Samboma

Published: August 2020   Journal: International Social Work
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Botswana is at a time of economic uncertainty which is linked to increased child sexual abuse. Although Botswana is among the least hit by COVID-19 in Africa, evidence from Botswana police suggests that the government’s move to apply strict measures such as lockdown, extreme social distancing and movement restriction has led to an increase in the number of child sexual abuse cases in Botswana. Evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on children needs urgent attention.
COVID-19: a public health approach to manage domestic violence is needed

AUTHOR(S)
Joht Singh Chandan; Julie Taylor; Caroline Bradbury-Jones (et al.)

Published: June 2020   Journal: The Lancet Public Health
The negative consequential effects of the measures adopted by the UK and other countries to tackle the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on society are beginning to unfold. An area of concern is the impending crisis of domestic violence—gender-based violence and child abuse and neglect, due to movement restrictions, loss of income, isolation, overcrowding, and stress and anxiety, all which put women and children at a disproportionally increased risk of harm.
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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.