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The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for forcibly displaced persons and the humanitarian organizations working to support them. With restrictions on movement and limited access to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and stateless persons across the globe, UNHCR is supporting displaced communities to take the lead in the prevention of, and the response to, the existing and emerging protection needs of women, men, girls and boys of diverse backgrounds. This brief provides an overview of UNHCRs approach to engaging communities in the prevention and response to COVID-19, and draws on examples from the field,where displaced communities are partnering with humanitarian actors to protect those at heightened risk.
Danzen You; Naomi Lindt; Rose Allen (et al.)
This article examines the socioeconomic challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for children on the move across four dimensions: poverty, survival and health, learning and protection and safety. It also considers how new laws and regulations enacted in response to the pandemic are impacting these children. It then suggests the necessary policies and actions to protect this intensely vulnerable population. Many displaced children will see their family’s income shrink or disappear and, globally, poverty levels are expected to worsen. Vulnerable populations are predicted to disproportionately bear the brunt of this economic contraction. Poor health systems and disrupted health services – a reality for many migrant and displaced children – are likely to further weaken, placing children at risk of intensified hardship, both physical and psychological. The crowded conditions and poor access to proper water and sanitation common among families living in displacement pose obvious risks at a time when social distancing and hygiene are so critical. Migrant and displaced learners regularly encounter obstacles in accessing education, and the online materials and remote classrooms functioning around the world today may be far from their reach. They are at risk of falling further behind in school. And given that economic downturns typically lead to more children working, getting pregnant or married, and being trafficked or sexually exploited, migrant and displaced children – who already face great risks to their safety — stand to see their situation worsen. Domestic violence is on the rise globally, and accounts of stigma and discrimination against the displaced are also increasing. The increasing global death toll means some migrant and displaced children will be orphaned and become vulnerable to child protection abuses.
Danzhen You; Naomi Lindt; Rose Allen
Millions of children live outside of their country of birth as migrants or refugees or are displaced within their own borders. Facing acute deprivations in their access to school, health care, clean water and protective services, these children are among the most vulnerable populations on the globe. How will COVID-19 impact their precarious existence? This article examines the enormous socioeconomic challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for children on the move across four dimensions: poverty, survival and health, learning and protection and safety. It also considers how new laws and regulations enacted in response to the pandemic are impacting these children. It then suggests the necessary policies and actions to protect this intensely vulnerable population.
This report has been compiled jointly by 36 international organizations, under the aegis of the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA).It covers different aspects of public and private life from economic and environmental fluctuations to changes that affect individuals in terms of income, education, employment and violence and changes affecting public services such as civil aviation and postal services. The report also puts a spotlight on the affects for some sub-population groups like women and children as well as geographical regions. Children already left behind will likely bear the brunt of the pandemic’s impact, whether through missing out on life-saving vaccinations, increased risk of violence, or interrupted education. Many children, especially those in the poorest households and the poorest parts of the world, risk losing their lives to pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, HIV and other preventable diseases unless urgent action is taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented situation whereby schooling has been disrupted for almost 1.6 billion children and youth as governments enforce total or partial closures of schools in efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Higher education institutions have also suspended classes. As of late April, UNESCO estimates that 91% of those enrolled in formal education programmes have been affected. The closure of schools, universities, technical and vocational training institutes has also affected refugee learners and students. In these challenging times, displaced and refugee students are at a particular disadvantage and there is a risk that progress in increased enrolment may be eroded. The suspension of school feeding programmes could affect the nutrition and health status of refugee children and youth. Lessons drawn from other pandemic responses that included extended school closures have shown that girls are less likely to return to school and are at greater risk of falling behind1. As many governments move to at-home learning modalities, many refugees are disadvantaged as they experience uneven access to distance education and online learning opportunities and hardware, and do not have access to support services such as language classes.
The UN Secretary-General has launched a policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on children. The brief lays out the ways in which the virus will impact children. Whilst they appear largely to be spared the worst symptoms of the disease, they may well be among the biggest victims of the crisis in the long run because their education, nutrition, safety and health will be significantly undermined by the socioeconomic impact and by unintended consequences of the pandemic response. The harmful effects of this pandemic will not be distributed equally. They are expected to be most damaging for children in the poorest countries, and in the poorest neighbourhoods, and for those in already disadvantaged or vulnerable situations. This policy brief provides a deeper analysis of these effects. It identifies also a series of immediate and sustained actions for the attention of governments and policymakers.
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.
The second digest discussed children and violence during the pandemic.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response
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