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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Intersecting exclusions: displacement and gender-based violence among people with diverse sexualities and gender identities in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Rachel George; Jenny Rivett; Fiona Samuels (et al.)

Published: June 2021
People in Kenya with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), especially those who are refugees and asylum-seekers, experience multiple forms of violence. There is, however, limited data and literature on intersectionality and experiences of violence in Kenya and the region, and further work is needed to better understand and prevent gender-based violence (GBV). Existing policies and programmes that focus on supporting refugees/migrants and people with diverse SOGIESC in Kenya are insufficient and inadequately integrated to address intersecting experiences and exclusions which drive and shape experiences of violence
The impact of COVID-19 related lockdown on the prevalence of spousal violence against women in Kurdistan region of Iraq

AUTHOR(S)
Kazhan I. Mahmood; Sherzad A. Shabu; Karwan M. M-Amen (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence
There is increasing concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown’s social and economic consequences on gender-based violence. This study aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender-based violence by comparing the prevalence of spousal violence against women before and during the COVID-19 related lockdown periods. This study was conducted in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq using a self-administered online questionnaire survey after the COVID-19 lockdown period in June 2020.
Violence against children and adolescents in the time of COVID-19

During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, factors such as limitations on economic activity, school closures, reduced access to health-care services and physical distancing increase the likelihood of children and adolescents becoming vulnerable and being exposed to violence and other violations of their rights. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the gradual deterioration in socioeconomic factors in the past decade has reduced essential elements of protection and may generate an even sharper increase in violence against children and adolescents in the time of COVID-19 than before the crisis. Factors such as pre-existing inequalities in the region. This document examines the exacerbation of risks and the erosion of protection factors relating to physical, psychological and sexual violence in the home experienced by adolescents and children, especially girls, within the context of COVID-19 in the region. It also provides recommendations on the integration of concrete actions into the response mechanisms developed by Latin American and Caribbean States to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Violence against women and girls and COVID-19 in the Arab region
Institution: United Nations
Published: December 2020
The policy brief is based on the collective work of United Nations agencies active in the Arab region. Launched during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, the policy brief examines quantitative and qualitative data as well as the provision of services for survivors of violence during the outbreak of COVID-19. Key findings from the brief include noticeable increase in the prevalence of violence in all its forms during the pandemic. The risks are further compounded for vulnerable population including women and girls with disabilities, women refugees and internally displaced persons, women in prisons and detention centres among others. The policy brief continues to examine the various service provision examining its accessibility, availability, and quality. Finally, the policy brief provides recommendations to governments, humanitarian organisations and UN agencies.
Pre-pandemic influences on Kenyan girls’ transitions to adulthood during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Meghan Bellerose; Maryama Diaw; Jessie Pinchof (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Girlhood Studies
COVID-19 containment measures have left adolescent girls in Nairobi, Kenya vulnerable to negative educational, economic, and secondary health outcomes that threaten their safe transitions into adulthood. In June 2020, the Population Council conducted phone-based surveys with 856 girls aged between 10 and 19 in 5 informal settlements who had been surveyed prior to COVID-19 as part of five longitudinal studies. We performed bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses to assess the relationship between COVID-19 outcomes and potential protective or risk factors. We found that younger girls are experiencing high levels of food insecurity and difficulty learning from home during school closures, while many older girls face the immediate risk of dropping out of school permanently and have been forgoing needed health services.
The COVID-19 pandemic: theoretical and practical perspectives on children, women and sex trafficking

AUTHOR(S)
Simplice A. Asongu; Usman M. Usman

Published: December 2020   Journal: Health Care for Women International
This article aims to provide theoretical and practical perspectives on children, women, and sex trafficking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Process tracing is employed as a primary research instrument. It is an analytical technique used for either theory-building or theory-testing purposes that is employed to elucidate causation and change as well as to develop and evaluate extant theories in social sciences. This study illustrates that a policy is needed that will strengthen the capacity of existing structures in the fight against the underlying trafficking so that these attendant structures are efficiently used to stop the trafficking and avoid the corresponding threats to public health safety.
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.
Violence against Jordanian women during COVID‐19 outbreak

AUTHOR(S)
Sawsan Abuhammad

Published: November 2020   Journal: The International Journal of Clinical Practice

Extraordinary steps have been taken to alleviate the current quick transmission of the Jordanian COVID‐19 pandemic. The obligatory lock‐down affects their obedience to measures to fight COVID‐19. This research aims to determine the prevalence rate of violence amongst women in Jordan and identify possible correlates of violence amongst women during the COVID‐19 outbreak.

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.

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.
Moving beyond the numbers: what the COVID-19 pandemic means for the safety of women and girls
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020

On 5 April 2020, UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” since Governments around the world had begun imposing lockdowns, quarantines and movement restrictions in order to control the spread of COVID-19. In his remarks, the Secretary General noted that in some countries calls to gender-based violence (GBV) support services had doubled.1 Similarly, a plethora of reports from around the world have signaled an increase in reported cases of gender-based violence – particularly intimate partner violence – since the beginning of the pandemic. However, in some places, the service provision statistics actually show the opposite – that fewer GBV survivors are reaching out for support from service providers as compared to the levels seen prior to COVID-19.

Mitigating violence against women and young girls during COVID-19 induced lockdown in Nepal: a wake-up call

AUTHOR(S)
Minakshi Dahal; Pratik Khanal; Sajana Maharjan (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Globalization and Health
Nepal was in nationwide lockdown for nearly three months in 2020 with partial restrictions still in place. Much worryingly, COVID-19 induced restrictions have confined women and young girls in their home, increasing the risk of domestic violence. The available support system to respond to violence against women and girls (VAWG) has also been disrupted during this period. The figures of violence against women, and child sexual abuse are increasingly being reported during the lockdown and thereafter. To mitigate this, a response against VAWG should not be a missing agenda. This commentary focuses on the situation of VAWG during COVID-19 induced restrictions in Nepal and offers a way forward for addressing the issue.
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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.