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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 85
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.
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.
Adolescent girls in crisis: the Venezuelan migration
Published: June 2021

This report presents the experiences, voices, challenges and opportunities of Venezuelan refugee and migrant girls and adolescent girls in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, from a feminist, intersectional and human rights perspective. The purpose of this report is to amplify adolescent girls' voices and make visible the risks to the protection of their rights, safety and integrity, as well as their experiences. The report highlights their main needs, opportunities, desires, projects and dreams, with the aim of contributing to the guarantee of their rights in the context of the humanitarian crisis confronting these three countries, as part 
of Plan International’s ‘Girls in Crisis’ global research series.

Magnifying inequalitues and compounding risks: the impact of COVID-19 on the health and protection of women and girls on the move
Institution: CARE
Published: June 2021
More than one year into the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic—with some countries seemingly on their way out of the crisis while others enter new waves—evidence of its impact is growing. COVID-19 is increasing short-term humanitarian needs and negatively affecting longer-term outcomes for marginalized populations and people in vulnerable situations, significantly setting back hard-won development gains, magnifying inequalities, and compounding risks. Among those worst affected are the more than 80 million people worldwide—approximately half of whom are women and girls—who have been forcibly displaced by drivers such as persecution, conflict, generalized violence or human rights violations.
Supporting vulnerable girls and young women in India: evidence from the Listening to Young lives at work COVID-19 phone survey

AUTHOR(S)
Renu Singh; Kath Ford

Institution: Young Lives
Published: June 2021
This policy brief focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of vulnerable girls and young women in India, particularly in relation to the combined pressures of interrupted education, increased domestic work, and widespread stresses on household finances. It analyses the current and potential long-term impact on mental health and well-being, increasing domestic violence and risks of early marriage and parenthood.
The impact of Covid-19 on women and girls with disabilities: a global assessment and case studies on sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence, and related rights

In 2020, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and Women Enabled International (WEI), alongside the U.N Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and eight local and regional organisations working to advance rights for persons with disabilities, partnered to undertake a global study of the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls with disabilities, particularly as related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and their right to be free from gender-based violence (GBV). Through virtual consultations with and written survey responses from over 300 women, girls, men, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities, their advocates, and their support persons from around the world, we have learned that in almost all contexts—Global North and Global South, in places hit hard by CO V I D -19 and others with a much lower rate of infection—women and girls with disabilities have been left behind. They have struggled to meet their basic needs, to access needed health services including those needed both because of their gender and disability, and have faced disproportionate risks of violence.

Intersecting exclusions: displacement and gender-based violence among people with diverse sexualities and gender identities in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Rachel George; Jenny Rivett; Fiona Samuels (et al.)

Published: June 2021
People in Kenya with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), especially those who are refugees and asylum-seekers, experience multiple forms of violence. There is, however, limited data and literature on intersectionality and experiences of violence in Kenya and the region, and further work is needed to better understand and prevent gender-based violence (GBV). Existing policies and programmes that focus on supporting refugees/migrants and people with diverse SOGIESC in Kenya are insufficient and inadequately integrated to address intersecting experiences and exclusions which drive and shape experiences of violence
‘Why is it so different now I’m bisexual?’: young bisexual people’s experiences of identity, belonging, self-injury, and COVID19

AUTHOR(S)
Brendan J. Dunlop; Cheryl Hunter; Matina Shafti (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Psychology & Sexuality
Bisexual people demonstrate higher rates of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) in comparison to other groups. This study aimed to explore bisexual people’s experiences of sexuality, NSSI and the COVID19 pandemic. Fifteen bisexual people (16–25 years old) with experience of NSSI participated in online qualitative interviews. Thematic analysis was used. Preliminary findings were shared with a subset of participants for member-checking. Participants described experiences of falling between the binary worlds of heterosexuality and homosexuality and described discrimination and invalidation related to this. Lack of access to positive bisexual representation contributed to feelings of self-loathing, with NSSI used to manage emotions or self-punish. The effect of lockdown was not clear cut, depending on personal circumstances and meanings of social interaction for participants. There is a need for greater recognition of significant societal narratives around bisexuality within clinical formulations of mental health difficulties and NSSI within this population.
COVID-19 feminist framework to address public health impact of violence, abuse, and trauma in children, women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ community: a preliminary observation

AUTHOR(S)
Sonia Mukhtar; Shamim Mukhta; Waleed Rana

Published: May 2021   Journal: Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health
This article explores the development and implementation of inclusive COVID-19 (corona disease 2019) Feminist Framework (CFF) on the equitability of response for researchers, health care advocates, and public health policymakers at international platforms. Mechanism of CFF entails the process to address and mitigate the institutional inequities, violation of human rights, public health, and race/sex/gender-based violence amid COVID-19. This framework is about institutional building, raising consciousness, ensuring freedom, collective liberation, bodily autonomy, equality, and giving women, children, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and racial- and gender-diverse people the freedom to make choices to promote a sense of greater control over their own lives.
Impacts of health-related school closures on child protection outcomes: a review of evidence from past pandemics and epidemics and lessons learned for COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Cirenia Chavez Villegas; Silvia Peirolo; Matilde Rocca (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: International Journal of Educational Development
Through a rapid review drawing on pandemics and epidemics with associated school closures, this article aims to understand first, the state of the evidence on impacts of school closures on select child protection outcomes and second, how governments have responded to school closures to protect the most vulnerable children. Only 21 studies out of 6433 reviewed met the inclusion criteria, with most studies exploring the effects of Ebola. While few studies were identified on harmful practices, a more robust evidence base was identified in regards to adolescent pregnancy, with studies pointing to its increase due to the epidemic or infection control measures, including school closures. The evidence base for studies exploring the impact on violence outcomes was limited, with sexual violence and exploitation located in a few studies on Ebola. Important lessons from this exercise can be applied to the COVID-19 response, particularly the inclusion of the most vulnerable children in programming, policy and further research.
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.

A gendered analysis of child protection systems responses in Covid-19 programming in South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Deborah Fry; Karina Padilla; Lakshmi Neelakantan (et al.)

Institution: University of Edinburgh, *UNICEF
Published: May 2021
Across South Asia child protection actors have been critical in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring children have continued access to services, mitigating new and increased risks and promoting mental health and wellbeing. This study explores the changes which took place in child protection systems across South Asia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and documents promising practices, programmatic innovations, challenges and lessons learnt from UNICEF’s programming with partners. The study found that key elements of complex adaptive systems are present within the child protection system responses to COVID-19 in the South Asia region. Importantly, there were three common factors across all case study examples that contributed to the success of the interventions and were highlighted as lessons learned: multi-level strategies, strong partnerships and building on existing initiatives and systems.
Let's go digital! Using digital technology to end child, early and forced marriage and reduce adolescent pregnancy

AUTHOR(S)
Raša Sekulović

Institution: Plan International
Published: April 2021
This report examines the role that digital technologies and online solutions can play in ending child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) in the Asia-Pacific region. Based on an in-depth literature review and key informant interviews, it explores the ways in which Plan International Asia-Pacific Regional Hub (APAC) and other child-rights based development organisations have integrated digital technologies in their programmatic and influencing approaches towards eliminating CEFM in the region. It also introduces some of the digital technologies that have been developed by the private sector, which can be effective in CEFM prevention. Drawing on these insights, the report develops a series of recommendations about how digital technologies can be leveraged most effectively to reach scale and generate impact in eradicating CEFM.
The pitfalls of modelling the effects of COVID-19 on gender-based violence: lessons learnt and ways forward | BMJ Global Health

AUTHOR(S)
Michelle Lokot; Amiya Bhatia; Shirin Heidari; Amber Peterman

Published: April 2021   Journal: BMJ Global Health
Since early 2020, global stakeholders have highlighted the significant gendered consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including increases in the risk of gender-based violence (GBV). Researchers have sought to inform the pandemic response through a diverse set of methodologies, including early efforts modelling anticipated increases in GBV. For example, in April 2020, a highly cited modelling effort by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners projected headline global figures of 31 million additional cases of intimate partner violence due to 6 months of lockdown, and an additional 13 million child marriages by 2030. In this paper, we discuss the rationale for using modelling to make projections about GBV, and use the projections released by UNFPA to draw attention to the assumptions and biases underlying model-based projections.
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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.