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
AbstractThrough 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.
Publication date: 2021
Journal: International Journal of Educational Development
Peer reviewed: YES