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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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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.
COVID-19 aftershocks: a perfect storm
Institution: World Vision
Published: May 2020

COVID-19 poses a grave threat to the world’s children. As it has been showed in a previous report, while the mortality rate for healthy children infected by the virus has been lower than for adults and those with pre-existing conditions, 30 million are still at risk of illness and death. It is the indirect effects and impacts of this disease that pose a clear and present danger to children, particularly the most vulnerable. This report looks at one those impacts of COVID-19 on girls and boys. Violence. It predicts a major spike in the cases of children experiencing physical, emotional and sexual violence, both now and in the months and years to come. Whether they are forced to stay at home, or, in time, are sent to work or pushed into early marriage, boys and girls face a bleak future – unless governments, UN agencies, donors, NGOs, and the private sector do everything thing they can now to protect them.

Impact of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls and service provision: UN Women rapid assessment and findings
Institution: UN Women
Published: May 2020
This report synthesizes information from a rapid assessment to understand the impact of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls and service provision. The information was collected from partners—governments and civil society organizations—in 49 countries in five regions. The synthesis sheds light on the impact of COVID-19 on the availability of and accessibility to services for women and girls who experience violence, and measures taken by service providers to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls during the pandemic, despite resource and capacity constraints.
The links between girls’ life skills intervention in emergencies and their return to education post-crisis and prevention of unwanted pregnancies and early marriage

AUTHOR(S)
Tal Rafaeli

Published: April 2020
This rapid review focuses on identifying evidence and lessons learned on the links between life skills interventions in emergency settings and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and early marriage and return to education post crisis amongst adolescent girls. It seeks to enable learning from past emergencies to inform the design of effective support to adolescent girls throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the focus on adolescent girls and emergency settings, an area with limited rigorous evaluations (Nobel et al., 2019), this report is based on a rapid literature review of academic studies, grey literature and emerging evidence, to enable the capturing of any significant learnings from relevant programmes.
COVID-19 and ending violence against women and girls
Institution: UN Women
Published: April 2020
This brief highlights emerging evidence of the impact of the recent global pandemic of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls. It makes recommendations to be considered by all sectors of society, from governments to international organizations and to civil society organizations, in order to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, at the onset, during, and after the public health crisis, with examples of actions already taken. It also considers the economic impact of the pandemic and its implications for violence against women and girls in the long term.

It is a living document that draws upon the knowledge and experience of a wide range of experts who support solutions to end violence against women and girls, attentive to the country context in which the crisis is occurring.

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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.