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Victor Cebotari

Consultant (Former title)

Victor Cebotari (PhD Social Protection, Maastricht University) joined the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti in 2017. His research interests span social policy, education, migration, gender, child wellbeing, and multidimensional deprivation. Before joining UNICEF, Victor worked as a researcher at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. As part of this position, he studied the effects of migration on children’s life chances in a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe. Prior to this, Victor was a recipient of a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship at Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. During his career, Victor consulted for UNICEF, UNDP, NWO, EPRI, and several governmental agencies in Africa, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. At UNICEF Office of Research, Victor is working on topics that bridge child education, migration, and policy development.

Publications

Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean
Publication Publication

Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean

By the end of 2019, 4.8 million refugees and migrants had left Venezuela – making it the largest external displacement crisis in the region’s recent history. Of these, 1 in 4 was a child. Across Latin America and the Caribbean, since November 2020, 137 million girls and boys are missing out on their education due to the prolonged closure of schools during COVID-19. The implications are troubling, especially for migrant and refugee children, for whom access to inclusive and equitable education remains a major challenge. This study collates evidence from Latin America, the Caribbean and across the world to gain a better understanding of the multifaceted linkages between education and migration. It estimates gaps in educational outcomes; identifies structural barriers to education; and highlights promising practices to inform policy.
School-Related Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: Building an evidence base for stronger schools
Publication Publication

School-Related Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: Building an evidence base for stronger schools

The prevalence of school-related violence and, in particular, bullying is not a new or isolated phenomenon, nor is it limited to certain schools or countries. Abundant evidence indicates that bullying is widespread and has a negative impact on educational outcomes. Children who are victims of bullying can also be affected emotionally and physically in both the short and long terms. Evidence from low- and middle-income countries on bullying is less extensive when compared to the evidence available on predictors and effects of bullying from high-income countries. However, some findings for the Latin American and Caribbean region seem to suggest a similar picture, with a high prevalence of bullying victimization and association to lower reading scores in different subjects tested. This working paper first uses data from UNESCO’s Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study for nationally representative samples of sixth grade students to determine the prevalence of bullying and its association to learning outcomes in 15 countries of the LAC region. It then looks at interventions in countries of the region to mitigate the impacts of violence.
Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries
Publication Publication

Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries

COVID-19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations. While many high-income countries experienced the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, or have had national recessions, the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than that. COVID-19 is a social and economic crisis, sparked by a protracted health crisis. High-income countries have very limited experience of dealing with health crises, having their health and human services stretched beyond capacity, restricting the travel of their populations or having to close workplaces and schools – let alone experience of all of these things combined. These unique conditions create new and serious challenges for the economies and societies of all high-income countries. As these challenges evolve, children – as dependants – are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline. This new UNICEF Innocenti report explores how the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect children; the initial government responses to the crisis; and how future public policies could be optimized to better support children.
Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Publication Publication

Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Acknowledging that health, economic, and social crises can rapidly become a crisis for children, this paper seeks to contribute evidence to understanding what the crisis means for children and for families with children in the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In particular, what governments and stakeholders should be looking for when seeking to protect children from the worst outcomes of the crisis. In doing so, this paper asks: Through which mechanisms can COVID-19 affect children in the region? What can we learn from previous crises about the potential effects on children and those who care for children? How is vulnerability to poverty and child well-being likely to be affected? Are initial government responses to the crisis likely to worsen or mitigate risks to children’s well-being? And how might future public policies be optimized in the short and medium term to protect child outcomes?