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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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1 - 15 of 135
COVID-19 and school closures: one year of education disruption
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: March 2021

We are facing a COVID-19 education crisis. As this report finds, schools for more than 168 million children globally have been closed for almost a full year. With every day that goes by, these children will fall further behind and the most vulnerable will pay the heaviest price. The unique findings presented in this report provide an overview of school closures from March 11, 2020 to February 2, 2021 in more than 200 countries and territories, relying primarily on the data from the UNESCO tracker of school closures and UIS database on school enrollment. As we enter the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, no effort should be spared to keep schools open or prioritize them in reopening plans. Children cannot afford another year of school closures.

Higher SARS-CoV-2 infection rate in pregnant patients

AUTHOR(S)
Erica M. Lokken; G. Gray Taylor; Emily M. Huebner (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

During the early months of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, risks to pregnant women of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were uncertain. Pregnant patients can serve as a model for the success of the clinical and public health response during public health emergencies as they are typically in frequent contact with the medical system. Population-based estimates of SARS-CoV-2 infections in pregnancy are unknown due to incomplete ascertainment of pregnancy status or inclusion of only single centers or hospitalized cases. Whether pregnant women were protected by the public health response or through their interactions with obstetrical providers in the early pandemic is poorly understood. This study aims to estimate the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate in pregnancy and examine disparities by race/ethnicity and English-language proficiency in Washington State.

U.S. children “learning online” during COVID-19 without the internet or a computer: visualizing the gradient by race/ethnicity and parental educational attainment

AUTHOR(S)
Joseph Friedman; Hunter York; Ali H. Mokdad (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Socius
The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to education in the United States, with a large proportion of schooling moving to online formats, which has the potential to exacerbate existing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in learning. The authors visualize access to online learning technologies using data from the Household Pulse Survey from the early fall 2020 school period (August 19 to October 26). The authors find that 10.1 percent of children participating in online learning nationally did not have adequate access to the Internet and a computer. Rates of inadequate access varied nearly 20-fold across the gradient of parental race/ethnicity and education, from 1.9 percent for children of Asian parents with graduate degrees to 35.5 percent among children of Black parents with less than a high school education.
COVID-19 and the right to education in Chile: an opportunity to revisit our social contract

AUTHOR(S)
Denisse Gelber; Carolina Castillo; Luciano Alarcón (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: International Review of Education
The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing the world into a devastating economic and social scenario. The consequences of this crisis largely impact children and teenagers, both now and in the future. School closures have particularly affected vulnerable children, deepening the effects of their unequal socio-economic circumstances. In this context, the actions governments are taking to protect their citizens’ right to education will be crucial to reducing or exacerbating inequality in the long term. The authors of this article analyse the case of Chile, one of the most successful countries in Latin America regarding educational achievement and enrollment, as well as the most segregated educational system among member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Reimagining girls’ education: solutions to keep girls learning in emergencies
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2021

This report presents an empirical overview of what works to support learning outcomes for girls in emergencies. Research shows that girls in emergencies are disadvantaged at all stages of education and are more likely to be out-of-school than in non-emergency settings. Girls are also struggling to learn. This solutions book seeks to highlight promising evidence-based actions in education for decision makers who are designing and implementing interventions to support girls’ education in low and middle-income country humanitarian settings and settings where education has been interrupted by the COVID‑19 pandemic. It documents practical examples of approaches that have been or are being tested, and from which lessons can be drawn. The overarching aim is that this evidence be used to inform programming in crises and support diverse stakeholders in mitigating the impact of emergencies on girls’ education.

Prevalence and potential consequences of child labour in India and the possible impact of COVID-19 – a contemporary overview

AUTHOR(S)
Navpreet Kaur; Roger W. Byard

Published: February 2021   Journal: Medicine, Science and the Law
Child labour is a global phenomenon occurring predominantly in countries with lower socioeconomic status and resources. Societal and familial poverty, loss or incapacitation/illness of parents, lack of social security and protection, and ignorance about the value of, or limited access to, education are among the myriad reasons for the involvement of children in the workforce. Child labour is a barrier to the development of individual children and their society and economy. Global estimates indicate that 152 million children (64 million girls and 88 million boys) are working, accounting for almost one in 10 of all children worldwide. Currently the COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market consequences are having a major impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, impoverished families and their children are often the first to suffer, which may push many more vulnerable children into child labour situations. Child labour in India is more prevalent than in many other countries, with approximately 10 million children actively engaged in, or seeking, work. This paper focuses on the issue of child labour, its causes and its ill effects. Further, it also reviews the international legal framework relating to child labour and legislative issues in India.
What the COVID-19 pandemic reveals about racial differences in child welfare and child well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Zachary Parolin

Published: February 2021   Journal: Race and Social Problems
This paper introduces the special issue on race, child welfare, and child well-being. In doing so, I summarize the evidence of racial/ethnic disparities in child well-being after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent findings demonstrate that, compared to white children, black and Latino children are more likely to have experienced poverty and food insufficiency, to have had parents lose their jobs, and to be exposed to distance learning and school closures during the pandemic. I argue that though COVID-19 has indeed worsened racial/ethnic disparities in child well-being, it has also served to place a spotlight on the American welfare state’s historical mistreatment of low-income families and black and Latino families in particular. Consider that around three-fourths of black and Latino children facing food insufficiency during the pandemic also experienced food insufficiency prior to the onset of the pandemic. Moving forward, analyses of racial/ethnic disparities in child well-being during the pandemic, I argue, must not only consider the economic shock and high unemployment rates of 2020, but the failure of the American welfare state to adequately support jobless parents, and black and Latino parents in particular, long before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.
Assessing the impact of changes in household socioeconomic status on the health of children and adolescents: a systematic review

AUTHOR(S)
Alexander Ryan Levesque; Sarah MacDonald; · Selinda Adelle Berg (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Adolescent Research Review
Understanding how child and adolescent health is influenced by fluctuations in socioeconomic status has important public health and policy implications, as children are often subjected to both micro and macro-level socioeconomic events. This study provides the first systematic review to date on the relationship between changes in household or parental socioeconomic status and subsequent child and adolescent health outcomes.
Progress toward ending child marriage over the last decade: a missed opportunity to deliver for girls
Institution: Save the Children
Published: February 2021

Compared to the previous generation, the incidence of child marriage worldwide has declined. However, strides forward have suffered from substantial limitations. At the global level, child marriage is still too widespread, and progress too slow, to meet the SDG target in 2030. At the regional level, some areas have achieved remarkable progress, while others are lagging behind. Worryingly, in the majority of cases, progress over the past decade (2010-2020) has not matched advancements achieved in the decade prior (2000-2010). At the country level, inclusive progress hasn’t always materialized: in a number of countries, gaps are widening not only between wealth groups, but also on the basis of residence. In a nutshell, progress has been unevenly distributed not only across time, but also across geographies, with stark divides both among and within countries. COVID-19 is expected to have a damaging impact on child protection, including according to Save the Children’s own projections. Urgent efforts are needed to guarantee girls’ rights and prevent devastating setbacks. In the longer term, more research is needed to understand what drives child marriage, so as to tackle it more effectively in different regions.

What is the association between income loss during the COVID-19 pandemic and children’s dental care?

AUTHOR(S)
Jacqueline M. Burgette; Robert J. Weyant; Anna Ettinger

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of the American Dental Association
The degree to which children experience unmet need for dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its association with pandemic-related household job or income loss, is unknown. The authors performed a cross-sectional household survey of 348 families in Pittsburgh, PA during the week June 25 to July 2, 2020. Unmet need for child dental care and pandemic-related household job or income loss were assessed using caregiver self-report.
Children’s right to be heard: we’re talking; are you listening?
Institution: Child Fund Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children
Published: January 2021
As countries usher in 2021, children throughout the world continue to grapple with unprecedented hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that turned the world upside down in 2020. The global health crisis prompted lockdown efforts that raised the risk of violence, hunger, child labor, child marriage, and school dropouts—particularly among girls. It also curtailed opportunities for children to engage in activities aimed at promoting their right to be heard. Recent research shows children are eager to have their voices heard and to play a pivotal role in halting the spread of the virus and minimizing its negative impacts. During consultations for this policy brief, children reported it was very important that they maintain strong peer participation groups and connections to other adolescents and children during lockdowns. They also shared that participation during lockdowns helped promote positive mental health and lessen anxiety and loneliness.
Corona pandemic in the United States shapes new normal for young children and their families

AUTHOR(S)
W. Steven Barnett; Rolf Grafwallner; Georgenne G. Weisenfeld

Published: January 2021   Journal: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic tremendously disrupted ECE in the U.S., closing many private programs and nearly all public preschool and primary classrooms. To understand this impact, this study used multiple strategies, including a nationwide survey of parents; a review of state policies, guidance and resource documents; and scans of media coverage to obtain information on how the pandemic has shaped policy and the ECE experiences of young children and their families across the U.S. beginning in the spring and continuing through the fall of 2020.
Thirty years after the UNCRC: children and young people’s participation continues to struggle in a COVID-19 world

AUTHOR(S)
Patricio Cuevas-Parra

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, despite governments’ efforts to ‘flatten the curve’. The measures to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak have been perceived as retrogressive for children and young people’s rights to participation. A common denominator across countries and regions is the reduced spaces for children and young people to influence decision-making processes and policy responses associated with COVID-19. This article critically examines the meanings and implications of children and young people’s participation rights in the time of COVID-19. In particular, it explores how lockdowns and other physical distancing measures have a negative impact on social interactions, leaving behind hard-to-reach children and young people and undermining some children and young people’s rights to participate on the premise that their protection is more relevant in crisis situations. This article discusses children and young people’s perspectives on how their opportunities to be listened to during the pandemic have been restricted. The article considers children and young people’s ability to communicate online, considering how those without access to the Internet – practically half the world – are left out, and, in the end, demonstrating that this pandemic is producing and exacerbating existing inequalities.
Exploring resource scarcity and contextual influences on wellbeing among young refugees in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement, Uganda: findings from a qualitative study

AUTHOR(S)
Carmen H. Logie; Moses Okumu; Maya Latif (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Conflict and Health
Contextual factors including poverty and inequitable gender norms harm refugee adolescent and youths’ wellbeing. Our study focused on Bidi Bidi refugee settlement that hosts more than 230,000 of Uganda’s 1.4 million refugees. We explored contextual factors associated with wellbeing among refugee adolescents and youth aged 16–24 in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement.
The impact of COVID-19 on children's access to justice
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: January 2021

When children encounter the justice system – as alleged offenders, victims, witnesses or as parties to civil or administrative matters – they are entitled to specialized processes and procedures that are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international standards. Yet many justice systems are neither child-friendly nor gender-sensitive and often fail to meet the needs or uphold the rights of all children. Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic – along with previous infectious disease outbreaks – suggests that existing child protection violations are exacerbated, and new risks emerge, in times of crisis. In addition to the adverse impacts of detention and incarceration on their well-being, children risk contracting the virus when detained in confined and overcrowded spaces. They are also more vulnerable to neglect and abuse, especially if staffing levels or care are undermined by the pandemic or containment measures.

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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.