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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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Save Our Education: Protect every child’s right to learn in the COVID-19 response and recovery

AUTHOR(S)
Emma Wagner; Hollie Warner

Published: July 2020   Save the Children International
New analysis in this global report shows how COVID-19 may impact the funding of education, as well as the countries most at risk of falling behind. It also highlights the change we want to see for children and recommendations for governments and the international community so we can keep learning alive, support every child to return to school and build back for better learning.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 102 | Tags: children, education, COVID-19 | Topics: Education | Publisher: Save the Children
Children wait for a teacher in a classroom at Treichville Regional School, in the city of Abidjan. Although the school reopened after being closed for many years due to armed conflict, most teachers remain absent. (2011)
Framework for reopening schools
Published: June 2020 UNICEF Publication
Global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic present an unprecedented risk to children’s education, protection and well-being. Schools do much more than teach children how to read, write and count. They also provide nutrition, health and hygiene services; mental health and psychosocial support; and dramatically reduce the risk of violence, early pregnancy and more. And it’s the most vulnerable children who are the hardest hit by school closures, and we know from previous crises that the longer they are out of school, the less likely they are to return.When deciding whether to reopen schools, authorities should look at the benefits and risks across education, public health and socio-economic factors, in the local context, using the best available evidence. This policy brief aims to inform the decision-making process regarding school reopening, support national preparations and guide the implementation process, as part of overall public health and education planning processes. The guidelines outline six key priorities to assess the readiness of those schools and inform planning.
Supporting Schools to Provide Safe Online learning Experience
Published: May 2020   End Violence Against Children

Across the world, COVID-19 and resulting isolation measures have taken more than 1.5 billion children out of the classroom. Most of those children are now learning online – and while digital solutions are essential to maintaining children’s education, they may also be increasing their exposure to online risks. Today, partners from the Safe to Learn coalition issued guidance for facilitating safe, effective online learning experiences for children during COVID-19. This guidance is directed at education ministries as they develop policies and resources to support schools in providing a safe online learning experience.

Impacts of COVID-19 on Vulnerable Children in Temporary Accommodation in the UK

AUTHOR(S)
Diana Margo Rosenthal; Marcella Ucci; Michelle Heys; et al.

Published: May 2020   The Lancet Public Health
There is no doubt that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has huge economic implications as highlighted by the media, but there are also a myriad of considerable direct and indirect health, social, and educational consequences for children and families experiencing homelessness, while living in temporary or insecure accommodation (eg, staying with friends or family, sofa surfing, shelters, bed and breakfast lodging). In particular, young children (aged ≤5 years) living in temporary accommodation have an invisible plight that might not seem obvious to many people because they are not on the streets as homeless (eg, rough sleepers), but are perhaps the most susceptible to viral infection because of pre-existing conditions (eg, diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, anxiety, depression).1 Additionally, these children rarely have the ability to self-isolate and adhere to social distancing, with previous extreme inequalities and inequities in accessing health care becoming exacerbated.
COVID-19 & Disruptions to Education
Published: May 2020  
The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking unprecedented havoc on the lives of millions, creating devastating impacts on children, families and communities around the world. This brief focuses on the pandemic’s impact on children’s education, which cannot be overstated. COVID-19 related school and university closures have disrupted the education of more than 1.5 billion learners—over 90% of the world’s student population.
COVID-19 Risks to Children's Health and Nutrition
Published: May 2020  
The COVID-19 pandemic is putting millions of children at heightened risk, and jeopardising their immediate and long-term health and well-being. As countries around the world battle to prevent, contain and respond to COVID-19, it is critical that their efforts reach those most vulnerable and ensure primary health care  is continued and accessible to all. All stakeholders must take proactive measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on children’s health and nutrition, and response efforts should consider vulnerable children’s needs and rights. Based on extensive experience working with children, families and communities in emergencies, including epidemics, World Vision outlines a number of recommendations for Governments, UN Agencies, Donors, NGOS, Private Sector, and Faith Leaders. 
COVID-19, School Closures, and Child Poverty: A Social Crisis in the Making

AUTHOR(S)
Wim Van Lancker; Zachary Parolin

Published: April 2020   The Lancet Public Health
While coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe, many countries have decided to close schools as part of a physical distancing policy to slow transmission and ease the burden on health systems. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization estimates that 138 countries have closed schools nationwide, and several other countries have implemented regional or local closures. These school closures are affecting the education of 80% of children worldwide. Although scientific debate is ongoing with regard to the effectiveness of school closures on virus transmission, the fact that schools are closed for a long period of time could have detrimental social and health consequences for children living in poverty, and are likely to exacerbate existing inequalities. We discuss two mechanisms through which school closures will affect poor children in the USA and Europe.
The implications of COVID-19 for the care of children living in residential institutions

AUTHOR(S)
Philip S Goldman; Marinus H van Ijzendoorn; Edmund J S Sonuga-Barke

Published: April 2020   The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
Around the world reports are emerging of numerous residential institutions for children being closed as a result of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Children appear to be being sent back to their communities without proper consideration of where they will reside, how their transition will be supported, and whether their safety will be monitored. Our view as international experts on institutional care reform is that although overall a shift from institutional to family-based care is a priority, these transitions need to be carefully planned and managed, with effective and sustained family preparation, strengthening, monitoring, and other support provided to ensure the best interests of the child are maintained.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 4 | Issue: 6 | No. of pages: 1 | Language: English | Tags: child care, child care services, education, pandemic, COVID-19 response, COVID-19 | Topics: Child Protection, Health
Mitigate the Effects of Home Confinement on Children During the COVID-19 Outbreak

AUTHOR(S)
Guanghai Wang; Yunting Zhang

Published: March 2020   The Lancet
In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the Chinese Government has ordered a nationwide school closure as an emergency measure to prevent spreading of the infection. Public activities are discouraged. The Ministry of Education estimates that more than 220 million children and adolescents are confined to their homes; this includes 180 million primary and secondary students and 47 million preschool children). Thanks to the strong administrative system in China, the emergency home schooling plan has been rigorously implemented. Massive efforts are being made by schools and teachers at all levels to create online courses and deliver them through TV broadcasts and the internet in record time. The new virtual semester has just started in many parts of the country, and various courses are offered online in a well organised manner. These actions are helping to alleviate many parents' concerns about their children's educational attainment by ensuring that school learning is largely undisrupted.
Considering inequalities in the school closure response to COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Richard Armitage; Laura B Nellums

Published: March 2020   The Lancet Global Health
As COVID-19 is declared a pandemic and several countries declare nationwide school closures, these measures are affecting hundreds of millions of children.1More countries are entering delay and mitigation phases of pandemic control, with an urgent need for proactive and multifaceted responses addressing children's social, economic, and health needs to avoid widening disparities and honour commitments to the UN Convention on Child Rights and Sustainable Development Goals.
Impacts of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection: Lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Alessandra Ipince; Cirenia Chávez; Claire Stansfield; Matilde Rocca; Ramya Subrahmanian; Sandy Oliver; Shivit Bakrania

 

This rapid review collates and synthesizes evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities.

The evidence on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection outcomes is limited and skewed towards studies on the effects of HIV/AIDS on stigma. There is also some evidence on the effects of Ebola on outcomes such as orphanhood, sexual violence and exploitation, and  school enrolment, attendance and dropout. The evidence on other pandemics or epidemics, including COVID-19, is extremely limited.

There are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities - such as being orphaned, stigmatization and discrimination and reductions in household income - leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy.

Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks:

  • Responding to children in vulnerable circumstances, including orphans (e.g. throughpsychosocial interventions focused on improving mental health and community-based interventions that provide families with resources and access to services)
  • Responding to stigmatization and discrimination (e.g. throughinformation and communication campaigns and support from public health systems, communities and schools)
  • Investing in social protectionenable livelihoods during outbreaks and to counteract shocks
  • Promoting access to health, protective and justice services, which may be restricted or suspending during infectious disease outbreaks
  • Ensuring continued access to education, particularly for girls, who may be adversely affected

There is a high burden of proof for data collection during the current COVID-19 outbreak than there would be in normal circumstances. Evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes – particularly where there is ongoing longitudinal data collection. There should also be efforts to synthesize evidence from existing research on the effectiveness of interventions that respond to the key risk pathways identified in this review.

 

 

 

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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. Learn more.

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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.