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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
SPOTLIGHT

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems. Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.
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COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition
Blog Blog

COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition

In 2019, 135 million people in 55 countries were in food crises or worse, and 2 billion people did not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. COVID-19 has exacerbated these hardships and may result in an additional 121 million people facing acute food insecurity by the end of 2020. Further, since the beginning of the pandemic, an estimated 1.6 billion learners in 199 countries worldwide were affected by school closures, with nearly 370 million children not receiving a school meal in 150 countries. The paper presents the evidence on the potential negative short-term and long-term effects of school meal scheme disruption during Covid-19 globally. It shows how vulnerable the children participating in these schemes are, how coping and mitigation measures are often only short-term solutions, and how prioritizing school re-opening is critical. For instance, it highlights how girls are at greater risk of not being in school or of being taken out of school early, which may lead to poor nutrition and health for themselves and their children. However, well-designed school feeding programmes have been shown to enable catch-up from early growth failure and other negative shocks. As such, once schools re-open, school meal schemes can help address the deprivation that children have experienced during the closures and provide an incentive for parents to send and keep their children, especially girls, in school.
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Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially Women and Children, in Africa (second edition)
Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially Women and Children, in Africa (second edition)
Published: 2004 Innocenti Insights
Trafficking of human beings affects every country in Africa for which data are available, either as countries of origin or destination. The report looks at information from 53 African countries and provides an analysis of the patterns, root causes, and existing national and regional policy responses and effective practices. Trafficking occurs when a child's protective environment collapses as a result of conflict, economic hardship, or discrimination. Traditional attitudes and practices, early marriage, and lack of birth registration further increase the vulnerability of children and women to exploitation.
Asegurar los derechos de los niños indígenas
Asegurar los derechos de los niños indígenas

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Miller

Published: 2004 Innocenti Digest
En todo el mundo, tanto en las áreas rurales como en las urbanas, los niños indígenas a menudo constituyen uno de los grupos más desventajados y sus derechos (el derecho a la sobrevivencia y al desarrollo, al mejor nivel posible de salud, a una educación que respete su identidad cultural, y a la protección contra los abusos, la violencia y la exploitación) se ven frecuentemente comprometidos. Al mismo tiempo, sin embargo, los niños indígenas poseen recursos muy especiales: son los custodios de una multitud de culturas, idiomas, sistemas de valores y conocimientos, cada uno de los cuales es un precioso elemento de nuestro patrimonio colectivo. Como explica el presente Digest las inicitivas más eficaces para promover los derechos de los niños indígenas se basan precisamente en dichos elementos. Tales iniciativas reconocen la fuerza intrínseca de las comunidades, familias y niños indígenas, respetan su dignidad y les conceden la palabra en todas las cuestiones que los afectan.
Children in Institutions: The beginning of the end?
Children in Institutions: The beginning of the end?
Published: 2003 Innocenti Insights
There is a growing global consensus on the need to promote family-based alternatives to institutional care for children. No residential institution, no matter how well meaning, can replace the family environment so essential to every child. This Innocenti Insight examines efforts to prevent the institutionalization of children in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Italy and Spain, focusing on both public and private initiatives, as well as local and national policies. The study highlights the fact that policies to discourage institutionalization are not enough. The right climate is needed to create alternatives, including raising public awareness.
Child Trafficking in West Africa - Policy Responses
Child Trafficking in West Africa - Policy Responses
Published: 2002 Innocenti Insights
The trafficking of children is one of the gravest violations of human rights in the world today. Every year, hundreds of thousands of children are smuggled across borders and sold as mere commodities. Their survival and development are threatened, and their rights to education, to health, to grow up within a family, to protection from exploitation and abuse, are denied. The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre has worked with the UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa to identify effective policy solutions to this issue in eight countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Mali, Nigeria and Togo. This study focuses on a region that is badly affected by the phenomenon, aiming to increase understanding of this reality and maximize the effectiveness of measures to overcome it. It illustrates the importance of field-driven research and the essential role that research plays in policy formulation and the proper design of programmes.
La traite d'enfants en Afrique de l'ouest - réponses politiques
La traite d'enfants en Afrique de l'ouest - réponses politiques
Published: 2002 Innocenti Insights
La traite d’enfants est une des plus graves violations des droits humains dans le monde actuel. Chaque année, des centaines de milliers d’enfants sont transportés clandestinement au-delà des frontières et vendus comme de simples marchandises. Leur survie et leur développement sont menacés, et ils sont privés de leurs droits à l’éducation, à la santé, à grandir au sein d’une famille, à la protection contre l’exploitation et les abus.
Jim Grant - UNICEF Visionary
Jim Grant - UNICEF Visionary

AUTHOR(S)
Richard Jolly

Published: 2001 Innocenti Publications
This book glimpses the leadership and achievements of Jim Grant during his period as Executive Director of UNICEF (1980-1995). Each chapter is written by one of his close colleagues - one of those who was privileged to share in the excitement of the efforts and victories for children during those intense years. Jim Grant was a professional and a visionary, an analyst with vast experience and an activist of almost unlimited commitment. At the time of his death it was estimated that, because of his influence, at least 25 million children were alive who would otherwise have died in early life.
Intercountry Adoption
Intercountry Adoption
Published: 1999 Innocenti Digest
This Digest looks at intercountry adoption as one of a series of possible solutions for children unable to live with their families. Broadly accepted international instruments specify the conditions under which intercountry adoption should be undertaken if the rights and best interests of the children concerned are to be protected and fully respected. Although substantial efforts are being made to implement the standards and procedures set, current practices are often in violation of these norms. The Digest identifies abuses of intercountry adoption as well as the measures required to combat such violations and to uphold 'best practice' in this sphere. A commentary explores some popular fallacies about intercountry adoption, including the notion of 'the right to a child', and suggests measures that will ensure that the rights of the child will be "the paramount consideration". The Digest also provides information on existing Central Authorities under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.
Adozione internazionale
Adozione internazionale
Published: 1999 Innocenti Digest
Il Digest sulla adozione transnazionale presenta in maniera imparziale le problematiche relative alla adozione di bambini provenienti da un altro paese e da una diversa cultura. Il rapporto illustra le misure atte a garantire il rispetto dell'interesse superiore del minore nel corso del processo di adozione, facendo anche luce sulle pratiche illegali di adozione volte allo sfruttamento dei bambini dei loro genitori, sia biologici che adottivi.
Adopción Internacional
Adopción Internacional
Published: 1999 Innocenti Digest
Este Digest examina la adopción internacional como una de las soluciones posibles para aquellos niños que no pueden vivir con sus familias. Los documentos internacionales, generalmente aceptados, especifican las condiciones en las cuales se debe llevar a cabo la adopción internacional si se pretende proteger y respetar plenamente los derechos y el interés superior de los niños implicados en dicho proceso. Aunque se están realizando esfuerzos significativos por implementar las normas y los procedimientos establecidos, la práctica actual suele implicar la violación de estas reglas. El Digest indica cuáles son los abusos que se cometen en la adopción internacional, así como las medidas que hay que tomar para luchar contra tales violaciones y para defender las “prácticas mejores” en este campo. Un comentario titulado “Los niños y la adopción: Qué derechos y de quién” desenmascara algunos errores comunes relativos a la adopción internacional, como por ejemplo la noción del “derecho a tener un hijo”, y propone medidas que puedan garantizar que los derechos del niño sean “la consideración primordial”. El Digest proporciona también informaciones sobre las Autoridades Centrales que han adherido al Convenio de La Haya en Materia de Adopción Internacional y detalles sobre algunas de las organizaciones internacionales y regionales activas en este ámbito, y sugiere además lecturas ulteriores para quienes quieran profundizar el tema.
Child Rights in Latin America: From irregular situation to full protection
Child Rights in Latin America: From irregular situation to full protection
Published: 1998 Innocenti Essay
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has now been ratified by 192 nations. Notwithstanding, securing the principles and necessary legal safeguards remains a difficult achievement. Laws and jurisprudence must be firmly linked to the national reality to avoid them being well-meant placebos. Are all children comprehensively protected and defended? Do the means for implementing these laws exist? Is monitoring adequate? These are on-going questions of concern for both UNICEF and the broader international children's rights community. Many of the themes raised in this essay also echo those examined in other ICDC series and studies; violence against children, juvenile offenders, street children, are all inter-related problems for which children have the right to expect effective and full legal protection.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: Child Protection | Tags: child protection, children's rights, children's rights violation, implementation of the crc | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Violence Against Children in Europe: A preliminary review
Violence Against Children in Europe: A preliminary review
In-depth research (and even official statistics) covering all forms of violence experienced by children is available for very few countries. Many forms of violence are suffered by children across Europe, but country specific data is critical to determine the extent to which states are meeting their human rights obligations to protect children effectively from all forms of violence, and for the proper development of child protection and preventive services and the targeting of resources to where they are most needed. This review is not exhaustive, but it nevertheless highlights a number of problematic features of the available research which impede the construction of any accurate national or regional assessment of violent victimisation of children.
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Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic
Publication Publication

Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Italy was the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown. Children and their families lived in nearly complete isolation for almost two months. Students missed 65 days of school compared to an average of 27 missed days among high-income countries worldwide. This prolonged break is of concern, as even short breaks in schooling can cause significant loss of learning for children and lead to educational inequalities over time. At least 3 million Italian students may not have been reached by remote learning due to a lack of internet connectivity or devices at home. This report explores children’s and parents’ experiences of remote learning during the lockdown in Italy, drawing on data collected from 11 European countries (and coordinated by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center). It explores how children's access and use of digital technologies changed during the pandemic; highlights how existing inequalities might undermine remote learning opportunities, even among those with internet access; and provides insights on how to support children’s remote learning in the future. *** L'Italia e’ stata il primo paese in Europa ad aver applicato la misura del lockdown su tutto il territorio. I bambini e le loro famiglie hanno vissuto in quasi completo isolamento per circa due mesi. Gli studenti hanno perduto 65 giorni di scuola rispetto ad una media di 27 negli altri paesi ad alto reddito del mondo. Questa interruzione prolungata rappresenta motivo di preoccupazione, in quanto persino interruzioni piu’ brevi nella didattica possono causare significative perdite nel livello di istruzione dei ragazzi e portare col tempo a diseguaglianze educative. Almeno 3 milioni di studenti in Italia non sono stati coinvolti nella didattica a distanza a causa d una mancanza di connessione ad internet o di dispositivi adeguati a casa. Questo rapporto analizza l’esperienza della didattica a distanza di ragazzi e genitori in Italia durante il lockdown, sulla base dei dati raccolti in 11 paesi europei (e coordinati dal Centro comune di ricerca della Commissione Europea). Studia il cambiamento nell’accesso e nell’uso delle tecnologie digitali dei bambini e ragazzi durante la pandemia; mette in evidenza come le diseguaglianze esistenti possano diminuire le opportunità offerte dalla didattica a distanza, anche tra coloro che hanno accesso ad internet; e fornisce approfondimenti su come sostenere la didattica a distanza di bambini e ragazzi in futuro.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa

There is a learning crisis. Fifty-three per cent of children in low- and middle-income countries are in ‘learning poverty’, i.e. they cannot read and understand a simple text by the end of primary school age. In sub- Saharan Africa, the learning poverty rate is 87 per cent overall, and ranges from 40 per cent to as high as 99 per cent in the 21 countries with available data. Teachers attending lessons and spending quality time on task is a critical prerequisite to learning. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, teacher absenteeism ranges from 15 to 45 per cent. Teacher absenteeism and reduced time on task wastes valuable financial resources, short-changes students and is one of the most cumbersome obstacles on the path toward the education Sustainable Development Goal and to the related vision of the new UNICEF education strategy: Every Child Learns. Whilst the stark numbers are available to study, and despite teacher absenteeism being a foremost challenge for education systems in Africa, the evidence base on how policies and practices can influence teacher attendance remains scant. Time to Teach (TTT) is a research initiative that looks at primary school teacher attendance in eight countries and territories in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region: the Comoros; Kenya; Rwanda, Puntland, State of Somalia; South Sudan; the United Republic of Tanzania, mainland; the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar; and Uganda. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of teacher attendance, which include being at school, being punctual, being in the classroom, and teaching when in the classroom, and use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies.

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