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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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Spotlight on child abuse and neglect response in the time of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth York Thomas; Ashi Anurudran; Kathryn Robb; Thomas F. Burke

Published: July 2020   The Lancet Public Health
The article calls for adopting a public health approach toward pandemic-related increases in domestic violence ought to be heeded. Adoption of their framework for evaluating and addressing domestic violence and child abuse and neglect can create public health benefits that far outlast the current crisis. School systems and youth-serving organisations can and should play a vital role in addressing the increased abuse and neglect of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 5 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: e371 | Language: English | Tags: child abuse and neglect, public health, violence against children, COVID-19 | Topics: Child Protection | Publisher: The Lancet
COVID-19: Reducing the risk of infection might increase the risk of intimate partner violence

AUTHOR(S)
N. van Gelder; Amber Peterman; Alina Potts

Published: April 2020 UNICEF Innocenti Publication
The ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent of the acute respiratory distress syndrome COVID-19, is placing unprecedented stress on healthcare systems and societies as a whole. The rapid spread of the virus in the absence of targeted therapies or a vaccine, is forcing countries to respond with strong preventative measures ranging from mitigation to containment. In extreme cases, quarantines are being imposed, limiting mobility to varying degrees.
While quarantines are an effective measure of infection control, they can lead to significant social, economic and psychological consequences. Social distancing fosters isolation; exposes personal and collective vulnerabilities while limiting accessible and familiar support options. The inability to work has immediate economic repercussions and deprives many individuals of essential livelihoods and health care benefits. Psychological consequences may range from stress, frustration and anger to severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A recent review drawing on lessons from past pandemics shows the length of quarantine increases the risk for serious psychological consequences.

Family violence and COVID‐19: Increased vulnerability and reduced options for support

AUTHOR(S)
Kim Usher; Navjot Bhullar; Joanne Durkin; et al.

Published: April 2020   International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
The fear and uncertainty associated with pandemics provide an enabling environment that may exacerbate or spark diverse forms of violence. Actions such as social distancing, sheltering in place, restricted travel, and closures of key community resources are likely to dramatically increase the risk of family violence. Governments and policymakers must create awareness about an increased risk of violence during pandemics and highlight the need for people to keep in touch with each other (while observing precautionary measures) and the great importance of reporting any concerns of abuse. It is important to remember that maintaining social connectedness is an important strategy during times of isolation, even more so with family or friends you suspect may be at risk of family violence. In addition, information about services available locally (e.g. hotlines, tele‐health, respite services, shelters, rape crisis centres, and counselling) must be made known to the general public through a range of sources, including social media, the mainstream media, and health facilities. Mental health professionals can support people by providing first‐line psychological support, including listening empathetically and without judgment, enquiring about needs and concerns, validating peoples’ experiences and feelings, enhancing safety, and connecting people to relevant support services.
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Violence against Women and Girls

AUTHOR(S)
Erika Fraser

Published: March 2020   VAWG Helpdesk Report
This report from the VAWG Helpdesk explores the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic may impact on violence against women and girls, based on emerging evidence, including increased risk of corporal punishment, sexual exploitation, and abuse of girls, as well as intensification of child protection issues due to children being separated from caregivers.
COVID-19 and violence against women and girls: addressing the shadow pandemic
Published: 2020  
This brief presents emerging evidence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on violence against women and girls (VAWG). The brief advocates for measures that prevent and respond to VAWG in the current circumstances of lockdown as well as for investments that ensure the safety of women and girls in longer-term recovery plans. It makes recommendations to be considered by all sectors of society, from governments and multilateral institutions to civil society organizations, private companies and donors, with examples of actions already taken. In addition to providing the latest research and data on VAWG in the context of the public health crisis, the brief considers the social and economic implications of this ‘shadow pandemic’, which at present are on track to endure long after the immediate health threat posed by COVID-19 has passed.
Cite this research | Open access | Issue: 17 | No. of pages: 11 | Language: English | Tags: girls, violence against women, violence against children, COVID-19, multi-country | Topics: Child Protection | Publisher: UN Women
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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.