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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 82
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intimate partner violence during pregnancy: evidence from a multimethods study of recently pregnant women in Ethiopia

AUTHOR(S)
Shannon N. Wood; Robel Yirgu; Abigiya Wondimagegnehu (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMJ Open

This multimethods study aimed to: (1) compare the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy pre-COVID-19 and during the COVID-19 pandemic using quantitative data and (2) contextualise pregnant women’s IPV experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through supplemental interviews. Quantitative analyses use data from Performance Monitoring for Action-Ethiopia, a cohort of 2868 pregnant women that collects data at pregnancy, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1-year postpartum. Following 6-week postpartum survey, in-depth semistructured interviews contextualised experiences of IPV during pregnancy with a subset of participants (n=24).

Intimate partner violence during pregnancy and maternal and child health outcomes: a scoping review of the literature from low-and-middle income countries from 2016 - 2021

AUTHOR(S)
Thao Da Thi Tran; Linda Murray; Thang Van Vo

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is significantly associated with negative outcomes for both mother and child. Current evidence indicates an association between low levels of social support and IPV, however there is less evidence from low-and-middle income countries (LMIC) than high-income countries. Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered how women can access social support. Hence since 2020, studies investigating IPV and pregnancy have occurred within the changing social context of the pandemic. This scoping review summarizes the evidence from LMICs about the effects of IPV during pregnancy on maternal and child health. The review includes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social support as mentioned in studies conducted since 2020.

Children’s human rights in the contexts of domestic abuse and COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Fiona Morrison; Claire Houghton

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
Domestic abuse is a simultaneous attack on children’s and women’s human rights. Research underlines the relationality of domestic abuse, unveiling the entwined experiences of children and women. While these experiences may be connected, their rights are distinct and there are risks in viewing mothers as proxies for their children. Policy measures introduced to address COVID-19 had profound impacts on the lives of children and women experiencing domestic abuse. Drawing on an independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) in Scotland, the article explores the impacts such policy measures had on children’s human rights in the context of domestic abuse. It offers insight on the opportunities and limitations of CRIAs when considering the issue of domestic abuse. CRIAs make visible and prioritise children’s human rights; however, they risk masking the relationality of rights and therefore the implementation of children’s human rights. By integrating human rights instruments – the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention – the article offers ways to recognise children as victims of domestic abuse, while supporting connections between their rights and the women’s rights. It concludes that a Joint Protocol between the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention is needed to integrate children’s human rights with the relationality of domestic abuse.
The perceived effects of COVID-19 pandemic on female genital mutilation/cutting and child or forced marriages in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Senegal

AUTHOR(S)
Tammary Esho; Dennis J. Matanda; Timothy Abuya (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The effects of COVID-19 on harmful traditional practices such Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and Child or Forced Marriages (CFM) have not been well documented. We examined respondents’ perceptions on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected FGM/C and CFM in Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, and Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study design with a mixed methods approach was used. Data collection on participants’ perceptions on the effects of COVID-19 on FGM/C and CFM took place between October-December 2020. Household surveys targeting women and men aged 15–49 years in Kenya (n = 312), Uganda (n = 278), Ethiopia (n = 251), and Senegal (n = 208) were conducted. Thirty-eight key informant interviews with programme implementers and policymakers were carried out in Kenya (n = 17), Uganda (n = 9), Ethiopia (n = 8), and Senegal (n = 4).

Gender-responsive social protection post–COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Constanza Tabbush; Maja Gavrilovic; Monica Rubio (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Science
COVID-19 has reaffirmed that in the face of crises, social and economic fall-out is gendered. From the risk of job loss and economic instability to rising care responsibilities and the experience of violence inside the home, gender inequalities have tended to widen during the pandemic (12). While countries focus on health and mortality impacts of the disease, a mounting, damaging gendered social and economic crisis threatens to roll back decades of development progress, exposing the fragility of equality gains. Social protection has been a key policy response to address pandemic-related social and economic crises; however, attention to gender has been insufficient. Less than one in five global social protection measures during COVID-19 has addressed gender, such as supporting women in informal employment, mitigating risks of violence, and confronting the unequal distribution of care work. Policy priorities (see the box) must include closing gendered research gaps in the COVID-19 recovery.
I was not safe in his house: The COVID-19 pandemic and violence against refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy
Institution: *UNICEF, Washington University in St. Louis
Published: March 2022

This research explored the specific impacts of the pandemic on exposure to gender based violence risks among refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy. The research focused on refugee and migrant girls and women because of the intersectionality of vulnerabilities related to their gender and their migration status. It examined the availability and accessibility of gender based violence service provision over the course of the pandemic, and explored how services adapted in the face of this health emergency.

Gender-based violence during COVID-19 among adolescent girls and young women in Nairobi, Kenya: a mixed-methods prospective study over 18 months

AUTHOR(S)
Michele R. Decker; Kristin Bevilacqua; Shannon N. Wood (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: BMJ Global Health

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) disproportionately experience gender-based violence (GBV), which can increase during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. A cohort of youth ages 15–24 in Nairobi, Kenya was surveyed at three time points over an 18-month period prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic: June–August 2019 (prepandemic), August–October 2020 (12-month follow-up) and May 2021 (18-month follow-up). This study characterised (1) prevalence, relative timing and help-seeking for leading forms of GBV, (2) GBV trajectories over 18 months and (3) associations of individual, dyad and COVID-related factors on GBV trajectories among AGYW (n=612) in Nairobi, Kenya. Virtual focus group discussions (n=12) and interviews (n=40) contextualise quantitative results.

Responding to women experiencing domestic and family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: exploring experiences and impacts of remote service delivery in Australia
Published: January 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
The COVID-19 health pandemic has increased women's vulnerability to all forms of domestic and family violence (DFV). In the first weeks of March 2020, most Australian states and territories, like many other jurisdictions, entered into a period of government-directed restrictions including stay-at-home orders, physical distancing limitations and closure of a significant number of community services. With more people confined to their homes, the risk of DFV increased at the same time as access to support services was reduced. This article presents the findings of two surveys conducted in the Australian states of Victoria and Queensland to explore the professional experiences of practitioners supporting women experiencing violence during the pandemic. This analysis offers new insights into the ways in which practitioners pivoted their services to respond remotely to women experiencing violence and the challenges of effectively undertaking safety planning and risk assessment without face-to-face contact. The second half of this article examines the implications of remote service delivery on practitioner mental health and well-being.
COVID-19 feminist framework and biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective for social workers and mental health practitioners to manage violence, abuse, and trauma against children, women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ during and post-COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Sonia Mukhtar

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Social Work
This article explains the integrated implementation of a COVID-19 Feminist Framework (CFF) and biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective (BPSS-P) on the inclusive equitability of social service providers, practitioners, and policy-developers on global platforms. Mechanisms of CFF and BPSS-P entail the process to address/mitigate institutional inequities, mental health issues, violation of human rights, race/sex/gender-based violence, abuse, and trauma amid COVID-19. This discourse is about raising consciousness, collective liberation, wellbeing, and equality for women, children, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and gender-diverse people. This article further discusses social workers and mental health practitioners’ uniqueness for short-term and long-term support for emotional, cognitive-behavioral, and psychosocial repercussions on the individual and community levels.
Weaponizing COVID-19: how the pandemic influenced the behavior of those who use violence in domestic and family relationships

AUTHOR(S)
Shane Warren; Christine Morley; Jo Clarke (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Violence Against Women
COVID-19 has increased threats to women's safety in Australia and globally. This research is based on a 2020 nationwide survey about the impacts of COVID-19 on domestic and family violence (DFV) services and allied sectors throughout Australia. This study focuses on how perpetrator behaviors—coercion, control, and violence—changed and intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two central themes identified from this qualitative analysis were the increase in complexity and severity of DFV during COVID-19. The analysis highlights how perpetrator behavior reflects the weaponizing of COVID-19 against women and children. The article concludes with a discussion about the theoretical, practice, and policy implications.
Joint assessment of adaptations to the UNFPA-UNICEF global programme to end child marriage in light of COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund
Published: November 2021

The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage was designed as a 15-year programme (2016-2030) to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 5.3, which aims to eliminate all harmful practices, including child marriage. The COVID-19 pandemic hit at the very beginning of Phase II (2020-2023) of the Global Programme, and we know that it profoundly affected the everyday lives of girls, including their physical and mental health, education, and the economic circumstances of their families and communities. Up to 10 million more girls are estimated to becoming child brides by 2030, as a result of the pandemic. UNFPA and UNICEF Evaluation Offices conducted a joint assessment of the Global Programme adaptations to the COVID-19 crisis in 2021.

A diagonal and social protection plus approach to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 syndemic: cash transfers and intimate partner violence interventions in Latin America

AUTHOR(S)
Merike Blofield; Felicia M. Knaul; Renzo Calderón-Anyosa (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Lancet Global Health
Latin America has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 syndemic, including the associated economic fallout that has threatened the livelihoods of most families. Social protection platforms and policies should have a crucial role in safeguarding individual and family wellbeing; however, the response has been insufficient to address the scale of the crisis. This viewpoint focuses on two policy challenges of the COVID-19 syndemic: rapidly and effectively providing financial support to the many families that lost livelihoods, and responding to and mitigating the increased risk of intimate partner violence (IPV). It argues that building programmatic linkages between social protection platforms, particularly cash transfers, and IPV prevention, mitigation, and response services, creates synergies that can promote freedom from both poverty and violence.
COVID-19 global gender response tracker: factsheets
Institution: UN Women, UNDP
Published: November 2021
The COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker monitors responses taken by governments worldwide to tackle the pandemic, and highlights those that have integrated a gender lens. It captures two types of government responses: women’s participation in COVID-19 task forces and national policy measures taken by governments. It analyzes which of the policy measures address women’s economic and social security, including unpaid care work, the labour market and violence against women. The Tracker can provide guidance for policymakers and evidence for advocates to ensure a gender-sensitive COVID-19 policy response.
Measuring the shadow pandemic: violence against women during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Papa Seck

Institution: UN Women
Published: November 2021
Violence against women (VAW) is a human rights violation, with often devastating immediate and long-term consequences. Women around the world experience it in various forms, settings, levels of frequency and severity, at the hands of intimate partners, family members or others. In addition, women’s feelings of insecurity restrict their lives in myriad ways, hampering their health, as well as their civil, political, economic and social rights. Women’s safety is the gateway to basic health, living standards and empowerment, and a necessary condition to achieve gender equality.
COVID-19-related household job loss and mental health in a nationwide United States sample of sexual minority adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Luis Armando Parra; Rory Patrick O’Brien; Sheree Michelle Schrager (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Behavioral Medicine
Household job loss during COVID-19 constitutes a public health crisis. Research suggests associations between household job loss, harsher parenting practices, and mental health challenges in the general population. Sexual minority adolescents (SMA) face high rates of family stress and rejection, but evidence linking household job loss to SMA mental health is lacking. This study evaluated associations between household job loss, family rejection, and mental health with a national sample of SMA who were sheltering in place with families during the pandemic. SMA from an ongoing prospective study completed an online questionnaire between May 13-31, 2020. It was hypothesized that household job loss during the pandemic would be associated with elevated depressive and anxiety symptoms through family rejection. Household job loss during the pandemic was indirectly associated with SMA mental health through family rejection. These findings highlight how socioeconomic change and policy carry implications for SMA health.
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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.