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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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COVID’s Educational Time Bomb: Out of school children global snapshot
Published: November 2021
A snapshot survey carried out by Save the Children in 6 countries where schools have reopened, shows that 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 1 in 5 of the most vulnerable children have not returned. This is not typically because of fear of the virus itself, but a direct result of child labour, child marriage, financial hardship, relocation and other consequences of the pandemic – and girls are particularly at risk. 1 in 5 children at schools we surveyed have not returned to school and are at risk of dropping out for good – with potentially devastating consequences for their lives and their country’s future. Eighteen months into this crisis, the clock is ticking to get millions of children back to school. We must act now and invest in getting the world’s children safely back to school, to ensure that generations of the most vulnerable children are not left behind.
Analysis of the health, economic and environmental impacts of COVID-19: The Bangladesh perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Sneh Gautama; Shamsunnahar Setu; Mohd Golam Quader Khan (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Geosystems and Geoenvironment
Although COVID-19 has given an opportunity to the earth to restore her ecosystem, its role in bringing changes in every sector including social, economic, agricultural, industrial, education and health is enormous. The study was conducted to assess the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Bangladesh by collecting data from different sources. The result depicted that during the first wave of COVID-19, the detection rate was less than 5%, exceeding almost 30% after detecting the deadlier Indian variant where 65% of the death is noticed by the people older than 50 years. Among all the frontline service providers during Covid, the highest rate of death was observed for doctors in Bangladesh. This study also discussed the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and found that women faced more depression and anxiety than men as well as 43% of children had subthreshold mental disturbances. Three-fourths of the adolescents have been distressed with household stress during the pandemic. Women and girls have encountered increased domestic violence whereas early marriages dropped out many rural girls from education. Decreasing remittance from non-residents and shutting down of RMG industry resulted loss of job and have badly affected economic section. Almost 20 million workers lost their jobs in Bangladesh from the informal sector. Moreover, the healthcare workers who have treated the corona virus patients have been socially stigmatized due to the fear of infection. Corona Virus has jeopardized the agriculture sector and 66 % farmers (53% crop and vegetables, 99% fish farmers) got lower price than they used to get in a normal situation.
COVID-19 and Child Marriage: How COVID-19’s impact on hunger and education is forcing children into marriage

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Shaw; Tendai Chigavazira; Tamara Tutnjevic

Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2021

How COVID-19's impact on hunger and education is forcing children into marriage. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most experts estimated child marriage would continue for many more decades. Because the pandemic has increased poverty levels and hunger, and decreased access to education, the risk of girls becoming child brides is also increasing. This report pairs data from World Vision’s Youth Healthy Behaviour Survey with global literature to better understand the conditions which enable child marriage and how these conditions may be changing because of the global pandemic. The report analyzes 14,964 observations from children and youth aged 12 to 18 from World Vision programming sites in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, and Zimbabwe. Case studies also provide insights into the lives of girls within these communities.

"Evidence matters – now more than ever: results from a review of UNICEF’s evidence on COVID-19 and child protection"

AUTHOR(S)
Manahil Siddiqi; Ramya Subrahmanian

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2021

This paper presents a review of select evidence generated by UNICEF on the impact of COVID-19 on child protection. It takes stock of UNICEF’s contributions to the global COVID-19 child protection knowledge base and presents what has been learned so far from this evidence base on the impacts of COVID-19 on child protection and the response measures put in place since the pandemic. This review offers a starting point for UNICEF to further build its evidence base with external partners for continued evidence generation – so that it can be used to address child protection issues and lessons in the context of COVID-19.

Perturbed nuptiality, delayed fertility: childbirth effects of Covid19

AUTHOR(S)
Mazhar Mughal; Rashid Javed

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Population Research
An aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic that merits attention is its effects on marriage and childbirth. Although the direct fertility effects of people getting the virus may be minor, the impact of delayed marriages due to the first preventive lockdown, such as that imposed in Pakistan from March 14 to May 8 2020, and the closure of marriage halls that lasted till September 14 may be non-negligible. These demographic consequences are of particular import to developing countries such as Pakistan where birth rates remain high, marriage is nearly universal, and almost all child-bearing takes place within marriage. Based on historic marriage patterns, this study estimates that the delay in nuptiality during the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak may affect about half of the marriages that were to take place during the year. In Pakistan, childbearing begins soon after marriage, and about 37% of Pakistani married women give birth to their first child within twelve months of marriage. A sizeable number out of these, around 400,000 annual births that occur within twelve months of the marriage, may consequently be delayed. Postponement of marriages due to the accompanying difficult economic situation and employment precariousness will accentuate this fertility effect. The net fertility impact of the Covid-19 outbreak will ultimately depend not only on the delay in marriages but also on the reproductive behavior of existing couples.
Youth relationships in the era of COVID-19: a mixed-methods study among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Celia Karp; Caroline Moreau; Grace Sheehy (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

Measures to mitigate COVID-19's impact may inhibit development of healthy youth relationships, affecting partnership quality and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. This is a mixed-methods study aiming to understand how COVID-19 affected girls' and young women's relationships in Kenya. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression examined factors associated with relationship quality dynamics and SRH outcomes among 756 partnered adolescents aged 15–24 years. Qualitative data from in-depth interviews were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis to explore youth perceptions of how intimate relationships changed during COVID-19.

Covid-19 and female learners in South Sudan: the impact of school closures in Juba, Rumbek, Kapoeta, Torit and Pibor
Institution: Institute of Social Policy and Research
Published: August 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting closure of South Sudan’s schools in March 2020 exacerbated many of the challenges female learners face in pursuing an education. Research found that increased poverty, domestic care work, early and forced marriage, and teenage pregnancy would make it difficult for female learners to return to schools when they reopened in May 2021. Greater financial and material support to female learners and their schools; more inclusive school environments for mothers, married or pregnant learners; and improved availability of services for learners experiencing gender-based violence, early and forced marriage or pregnancy are necessary to adequately support female learners to continue their education.
COVID-19 and children’s school resilience : evidence from Nigeria

AUTHOR(S)
Sylvain Dessy; Horace Gninafon; Luca Tiberti (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: July 2021
This paper analyzes the impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on children's school resilience. Using an individual fixed-effect linear probability model on Nigeria data, it exploits the quasi-randomness of these measures to estimate their effect on school attendance after the lockdown was lifted. The results show that COVID-19 lockdown measures reduced children's probability of attending school after the school system reopened. This negative impact increased with children's age, reaching a peak among those whose education was no longer compulsory. For schoolchildren in that age group, the negative effect of COVID-19 lockdown measures is likely to be permanent, which, if not reversed, will undermine the quality of the economy-wide future labor force. The paper also finds evidence that in the child marriage-prone North-West part of Nigeria that these measures increased gender inequality in education among children aged 12 to 18. This result suggests that COVID-19 lockdown measures may exacerbate harmful traditional practices such as child marriage.
COVID-19: the turning point for gender equality

AUTHOR(S)
Senait Fisseha; Gita Sen; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; Henrietta H. Fore (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: The Lancet
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have gone far beyond the disease itself. In addition to the increasing number of COVID-19 deaths, the pandemic has deepened social and economic inequalities. These indirect impacts have been compounded by pervasive gender inequalities, with profound consequences, especially for women, girls, and people of diverse gender identities. There has been an escalation in gender-based violence within households, increasing numbers of child marriages and female genital mutilation, and an increased burden of unpaid care work, with impacts on mental health. Communities of people affected by HIV are, again, at the crossroads of injustice and targeted discrimination. Measures to control the pandemic have reduced access to essential health and social welfare services, including sexual and reproductive health services, reduced employment and labour force participation, and decimated many household incomes. Here again, women have borne the brunt of marginalisation, particularly those working in the informal sector. Intersectionality analyses have highlighted the inextricable effects of poverty, racial discrimination, harmful gender norms, and limited agency and opportunities for women, especially already marginalised women, even when they represent most of the front-line health workers. The diversion of funds from other health and development programmes into economic recovery means that the pandemic is further eroding health gains made over decades, stalling progress on tackling gender inequalities.
COVID-19 and the surge of child marriages: a phenomenon in Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia

AUTHOR(S)
Maila D. H. Rahiem

Published: July 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Worldwide, there has been a massive increase in child marriages following the COVID-19 crisis. In Indonesia, too, this figure has risen with Indonesia ranked amongst ten countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world. One of the Indonesian provinces with a high incidence of child marriage cases is in Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB). This study aims to examine what is causing the rate of child marriages to increase since the outbreak of COVID-19 in NTB.

Promises to keep: impact of COVID-19 on adolescents in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Julie Mwabe; Karen Austrian; Sheila Macharia

Institution: Population Council
Published: July 2021

This new report is one of the first in the world to look exclusively at the impact of COVID-19 on adolescents’ lives. It leverages data collected on the social, education, health, and economic effects of COVID-19 on adolescents in June 2020 and again in February 2021, and features contributions and recommendations from girls and boys who are part of advisory groups in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kilifi and Wajir counties, where the data was collected.

Early marriage and teenage pregnancy: the unspoken consequences of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria

AUTHOR(S)
Shuaibu Saidu Musa; Goodness Ogeyi Odey; Muhammad Kabir Musa (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Public Health in Practice
Early marriage and its sad consequences to the girl child and socio-economic development of the nation has been an age-long issue being advocated against in many parts of Nigeria. At the onset of COVID-19, the teeming efforts to curb this issue almost got jeopardized with harsh economic situations in many households due to the lockdown and the willingness to marry off their girls to reduce this burden. Closure of schools and cases of sexual gender based violence also impacted the prevalence of early marriage during the pandemic in Nigeria.
Child Marriage in the context of COVID-19: Analysis of trends, programming and alternative approaches in the Middle East and North Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Camilla Landini; Shadia Elshiwy

Documented good practices, programmatic interventions and alternative approaches that has been implemented in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child marriage in the Middle East and North Africa region is presented in this study. Furthermore, key recommendations for strengthening child marriage prevention programming during the COVID-19 pandemic are presented.
Pandemic pivot: achieving transformative results in the Covid-19 pandemic
Institution: United Nations Population Fund
Published: June 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic gained momentum in 2020, UNFPA implemented the third year of its Strategic Plan 2018–2021. The plan’s targets are three transformative results to be achieved by 2030: ending preventable maternal deaths, ending unmet need for family planning, and ending GBV and harmful practices, including female genital mutilation and child marriage. UNFPA adapted and responded quickly to the global emergency, focusing immediately on maintaining the provision of SRH information and services and on mitigating the impact of the pandemic on progress towards the three transformative results.
Breaking the chain: empowering girls and communities to end child marriages during COVID-19 and beyond
Institution: World Vision
Published: May 2021

Right now, there are 650 million child brides living in every region of the world. Child marriage is a fundamental violation of human rights, which severely impacts the global economy, peace and security, as well as hampering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Progress has been made over the last decade, but 2020 saw the greatest surge in child marriage rates in 25 years. Global projections of girls married by 2030 have shot up from 100 million to 110 million, as an additional 10 million girls will now be married due to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. According to anecdotal data from our programmes, between March-December 2020, child marriages more-than doubled in many communities compared to 2019.This report compiles research and data from four unique contexts – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Senegal and Uganda – where World Vision has been working to address the issue of child marriage. In each of these countries, case studies were developed using first-hand accounts of promising practices towards eliminating child marriage.

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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.