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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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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.
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.
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.

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.

UNICEF Argentina Encuesta rápida COVID-19: informe de resultados: segunda ola
Institution: UNICEF Argentina Country Office
Published: September 2020

UNICEF in Argentina carried out the Second Round of the Rapid Assessment as part of its Response Plan to COVID-19 in order to acquaint itself with the perceptions, habits, attitudes and changes caused by the pandemic among the population. The survey also investigates its economic and social effects on households with children and the implementation of the social protection system, as well as the implications of the pandemic and various response measures related to social and emotional wellbeing, focusing on early childhood and adolescence.

UNICEF Argentina COVID-19 survey: second round, report on findings
Institution: UNICEF Argentina Country Office
Published: September 2020
UNICEF in Argentina carried out the Second Round of the Rapid Assessment as part of its Response Plan to COVID-19 in order to acquaint itself with the perceptions, habits, attitudes and changes caused by the pandemic among the population. The survey also investigates its economic and social effects on households with children and the implementation of the social protection system, as well as the implications of the pandemic and various response measures related to social and emotional wellbeing, focusing on early childhood and adolescence.
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.
Increased proportion of physical child abuse injuries at a level I pediatric trauma center during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Mark L. Kovler; Susan Ziegfeld; Leticia M. Ryan (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced mass closures of childcare facilities and  schools. While these measures are  necessary to  slow  virus transmission, little is  known regarding the secondary health consequences of social distancing. The purpose of this study is to assess the proportion of injuries secondary to physical child abuse (PCA) at a level I pediatric trauma center during the Covid-19 pandemic.
From insights to action: Gender equality in the wake of COVID-19 
Institution: UN Women
Published: September 2020
This publication summarizes the data, research and policy work produced by UN Women on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls, including how it is affecting extreme poverty, employment, health, unpaid care and violence against women and girls. The publication also brings into focus the paucity of gender data and calls for greater investment and prioritization of data on the gendered effects of the crisis.
COVID-19 and violence against women and children: a second research round up

AUTHOR(S)
Amber Peterman; Megan O'Donnel

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: September 2020

COVID-19 has raised the profile of violence against women and children (VAW/C) within the global discourse. Nine months after the emergence of COVID-19, global stakeholders continue to advocate for increased funding and action to mitigate against the risk of violence on vulnerable populations and support survivors. How much have we learned from research since the beginning of the crisis?

La juventud opina sobre violencia durante la pandemia de la COVID-19 (U-Report)
Published: August 2020

Results of a survey recently carried out by UNICEF show that thousands of young people in Latin America and the Caribbean believe that tensions at home have increased because of COVID-19. Opinions were collected through U-Report, UNICEF's secure, free and confidential mobile empowerment platform that gives young people a voice on the big issues that affect them.

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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.