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Tal Rafaeli; Geraldine Hutchinson
Shivit Bakrania; Cirenia Chávez; Alessandra Ipince; Matilde Rocca; Sandy Oliver; Claire Stansfield; Ramya Subrahmanian
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:
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.
Danzhen You; Naomi Lindt; Rose Allen
Millions of children live outside of their country of birth as migrants or refugees or are displaced within their own borders. Facing acute deprivations in their access to school, health care, clean water and protective services, these children are among the most vulnerable populations on the globe. How will COVID-19 impact their precarious existence? This article examines the enormous socioeconomic challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for children on the move across four dimensions: poverty, survival and health, learning and protection and safety. It also considers how new laws and regulations enacted in response to the pandemic are impacting these children. It then suggests the necessary policies and actions to protect this intensely vulnerable population.
COVID-19 poses a grave threat to the world’s children. As it has been showed in a previous report, while the mortality rate for healthy children infected by the virus has been lower than for adults and those with pre-existing conditions, 30 million are still at risk of illness and death. It is the indirect effects and impacts of this disease that pose a clear and present danger to children, particularly the most vulnerable. This report looks at one those impacts of COVID-19 on girls and boys. Violence. It predicts a major spike in the cases of children experiencing physical, emotional and sexual violence, both now and in the months and years to come. Whether they are forced to stay at home, or, in time, are sent to work or pushed into early marriage, boys and girls face a bleak future – unless governments, UN agencies, donors, NGOs, and the private sector do everything thing they can now to protect them.
Fatouma Zara Laouan
Women and men, girls and boys, urban and rural populations in West Africa are being impacted by the
COVID-19 pandemic. Immediate impacts at the time of this research center around reduced income and
access to basic needs due to government lockdowns, changing gender roles in households, and increased
gender-based violence. The COVID-19 pandemic in West Africa is currently exacerbating socio-economic
issues, with women bearing the largest burden of caring for their families while also seeking to lead
communities in prevention and adaptation. Gender-based inequality is extensive in the region.
Women are at a higher risk for exposure to infection
due to the fact that they are often the primary caregivers
in the family and constitute most of frontline healthcare
responders. Women and girls are at increased risk of violence
during the COVID-19 period. Further, women are more likely to lose income as many
are in the informal sector.
Nan Yang; Siyi Che; Jingyi Zhang (et al.)
In December 2019, a pneumonia caused by a previously unknown coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. During the subsequent weeks and months, the disease, later named COVID-19, spread rapidly nationwide and globally, and was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Existing studies have confirmed that all people are susceptible to this novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Cases of COVID-19 among pregnant and lactating women have also been confirmed. Chinese guidelines recommend suspending breastfeeding if the mother is suspected or confirmed with COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the USA have published recommendations for mothers with COVID-19 and their family members and healthcare providers on whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding. However, none of the above recommendations provide relevant supporting evidence. As existing recommendations on whether mothers with COVID-19 should continue breastfeeding are still conflicting. We aimed to conduct a rapid review of the mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19 during breastfeeding.
Qianling Shi; Qi Zhou; Xia Wang (et al.)
Xiao-Bo Zhang; Yong-Hao Gui; Xiu Xu (et al.)
This report has been compiled jointly by 36 international organizations, under the aegis of the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA).It covers different aspects of public and private life from economic and environmental fluctuations to changes that affect individuals in terms of income, education, employment and violence and changes affecting public services such as civil aviation and postal services. The report also puts a spotlight on the affects for some sub-population groups like women and children as well as geographical regions. Children already left behind will likely bear the brunt of the pandemic’s impact, whether through missing out on life-saving vaccinations, increased risk of violence, or interrupted education. Many children, especially those in the poorest households and the poorest parts of the world, risk losing their lives to pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, HIV and other preventable diseases unless urgent action is taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.
The second digest discussed children and violence during the pandemic.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response
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