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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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Governance and the Rights of Children: Policy, implementation and monitoring
Governance and the Rights of Children: Policy, implementation and monitoring

AUTHOR(S)
B. Guy Peters

Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
Ensuring the proper functioning of public institutions is integral to good governance, yet ensuring and monitoring the requirements of human rights instruments is difficult and measurement of children’s rights even more so. This paper explores some of the factors which impede and promote public sector responsibilities towards children. The purpose of this analysis is to seek methods of assessing the performance of governments in their roles as protectors of the rights of children according to their international commitments. The multiplicity of actors involved in the process is described and the related problems for cooperation and effective implementation considered.
The Impact of Social Protection on Children: A review of the literature
The Impact of Social Protection on Children: A review of the literature
Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
Social protection is particularly important for children, in view of their higher levels of vulnerability compared to adults, and the role that social protection can play in ensuring adequate nutrition, access to and utilization of social services. While existing evidence shows that social protection programmes successfully address several dimensions of child well-being -often in an indirect way - a move towards a more "child sensitive" approach to social protection has recently been advocated at the highest level in the international development community.
Child Drowning: Evidence for a newly recognized cause of child mortality in low and middle income countries in Asia
Child Drowning: Evidence for a newly recognized cause of child mortality in low and middle income countries in Asia
Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
Drowning is a leading cause of death among children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Asia, but current data greatly underestimate mortality due to drowning. This is due to the way drowning data is collected, classified and reported as well as the difficulty in correcting and adjusting the data. The sum of all the biases and uncertainties has masked the fact that drowning is a leading cause of child death in LMICs in Asia. Cost-effective, affordable and sustainable interventions appropriate for LMICs are available to address this newly recognized and significant killer of children. Large numbers of these deaths could be prevented annually if these drowning interventions were included in current country programmes. When implemented at national scale and as an integral part of country programmes, the prevention of these drowning deaths, which mostly occur in early childhood, would result in a rapid decrease in early childhood mortality.
Assessing 'The Code of Conduct' for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism
Assessing 'The Code of Conduct' for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism
Published: 2012 Innocenti Discussion Papers
Sexual exploitation and abuse of children remains a worldwide problem. Despite a variety of national and international laws, including the introduction of extra-territorial legislation, there are still men and women who sexually abuse children at home and abroad. When tourism facilities are used by those who exploit children, the facility owners and managers are indirectly and unintentionally benefiting from these crimes. This has led to increasing recognition of the potential role of the travel and tourism sector in addressing this problem. The findings of this research are presented in two parts, covering four main themes. These are the effectiveness of The Code, and the strengths, weaknesses, lessons and gaps, which covers: i) the institutional arrangements for The Code; ii) membership of The Code; and iii) the implementation of the six Code criteria. Within the final category, special attention is paid to the reporting and monitoring of Code implementation.
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses. Technical report
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses. Technical report
Published: 2012 Innocenti Insights
The study was initiated with twin aims: improving understanding of child trafficking and responses in the region; and contributing to the international discourse on child trafficking by examining the linkages between anti-trafficking responses and child protection systems. Although the study was conceived with a primary focus on trafficking, its scope is much broader. It analyses how the general principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child are applied in relation to those children vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The study confirms that the Nordic countries have indeed made significant − and continuously evolving − attempts to address the issue of child trafficking, including through setting up relevant institutions, developing action plans and allocating budgets. However, while this has meant that specialized expertise is available for specific groups of children, it has sometimes also led to fragmentation of services, leaving some children unprotected. The research also finds that many existing gaps may be bridged by consistent and strengthened implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. At the same time, the study highlights that there is a way to achieve a fuller realization of rights for children who are vulnerable.
Child Safety Online: Global challenges and strategies. Technical Report
Child Safety Online: Global challenges and strategies. Technical Report
Published: 2012 Innocenti Publications
Expanding Internet access for all children and young people without discrimination and exclusion in all parts of the world, together with promoting digital citizenship and responsibility, ought to be critical objectives for policymakers concerned with enhancing opportunities for children. The study primarily addresses two issues: child sex abuse recorded in images; and the grooming of young people for sex. A third issue, cyberbullying, emerging from much research as an issue of particular significance to children, is also touched on in this report. There are many knowledge gaps about the protection challenges raised by the Internet, particularly in parts of the world where its penetration is so far more limited. There has been significant work undertaken to analyse children’s online behaviour and investments made in strategies to address and prevent abuse in parts of Asia, across Europe and the United States of America. But there has been less exploration of online child abuse and exploitation across many low- and middle-income countries.
La seguridad de los niños en línea: retos y estrategias mundiales
La seguridad de los niños en línea: retos y estrategias mundiales
Published: 2012 Innocenti Insights
La mayor accesibilidad a Internet de todos los niños y jóvenes del mundo, sin discriminación ni exclusión alguna, junto con la promoción de la ciudadanía y la responsabilidad digitales, deben ser objetivos fundamentales para los responsables de trazar políticas destinadas a incrementar las oportunidades de los niños y las niñas. El desarrollo de un acceso más seguro a Internet forma parte de este proyecto. El propósito del presente informe es examinar las pruebas disponibles en el plano mundial. El estudio aborda esencialmente dos cuestiones: los abusos sexuales de niños grabados en imágenes y la captación de menores con fines sexuales. El presente informe también aborda una tercera, el ciberacoso, que numerosas investigaciones han puesto de manifiesto como tema de particular importancia para los menores.
La sécurité des enfants en ligne: Défis et stratégies mondiaux
La sécurité des enfants en ligne: Défis et stratégies mondiaux
Published: 2012 Innocenti Insights
L'expansion de l'accès à Internet pour tous les enfants et les jeunes, sans discrimination ni exclusion, dans toutes les parties du monde, ainsi que la promotion de la citoyenneté et de la responsabilité numériques doivent faire partie des objectifs prioritaires des décideurs politiques soucieux d'accroître les possibilités offertes aux enfants. La construction d'un accès plus sûr à Internet fait partie intégrante de ce projet. Le but du présent rapport consiste à passer en revue les données factuelles disponibles. Dans un premier temps, l'étude s'est penchée sur deux problèmes : la maltraitance sexuelle d'enfants enregistrée en images et la manipulation des jeunes à des fins sexuelles. Une troisième question, le harcèlement en ligne, que de nombreuses recherches s’accordent à qualifier de très important pour les enfants, est également évoqué dans ce rapport.
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses
Published: 2012 Innocenti Insights
The study was initiated with twin aims: improving understanding of child trafficking and responses in the region; and contributing to the international discourse on child trafficking by examining the linkages between anti-trafficking responses and child protection systems. Although the study was conceived with a primary focus on trafficking, its scope is much broader. It analyses how the general principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child are applied in relation to those children vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The study confirms that the Nordic countries have indeed made significant − and continuously evolving − attempts to address the issue of child trafficking, including through setting up relevant institutions, developing action plans and allocating budgets. However, while this has meant that specialized expertise is available for specific groups of children, it has sometimes also led to fragmentation of services, leaving some children unprotected. The research also finds that many existing gaps may be bridged by consistent and strengthened implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. At the same time, the study highlights that there is a way to achieve a fuller realization of rights for children who are vulnerable.
Child Safety Online: Global challenges and strategies
Child Safety Online: Global challenges and strategies
Published: 2011 Innocenti Publications
Expanding Internet access for all children and young people without discrimination and exclusion in all parts of the world, together with promoting digital citizenship and responsibility, ought to be critical objectives for policymakers concerned with enhancing opportunities for children. The study primarily addresses two issues: child sex abuse recorded in images; and the grooming of young people for sex. A third issue, cyberbullying, emerging from much research as an issue of particular significance to children, is also touched on in this report. There are many knowledge gaps about the protection challenges raised by the Internet, particularly in parts of the world where its penetration is so far more limited. There has been significant work undertaken to analyse children’s online behaviour and investments made in strategies to address and prevent abuse in parts of Asia, across Europe and the United States of America. But there has been less exploration of online child abuse and exploitation across many low- and middle-income countries.
Les institutions independantes des droits de l'homme pour les enfants en Afrique francophone : la situation au Mali, au Burkina Faso et au Sénégal
Les institutions independantes des droits de l'homme pour les enfants en Afrique francophone : la situation au Mali, au Burkina Faso et au Sénégal
Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
Tous les Etats francophones de l’Afrique de l’Ouest sont parties à la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant (CDE) ainsi qu’à la Charte africaine des droits et du bien-être de l’enfant (CADBE) et ont donc l’obligation de les mettre en œuvre, en particulier en suivant les indications des organes chargés du contrôle de leur application. Le Comité des droits de l’enfant a identifié les mesures générales essentielles à la mise en œuvre de la CDE. Parmi elles, figure l’établissement d’institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant. Ces institutions ont généralement pour mandat de contrôler les activités de divers acteurs – publics et privés – au regard des droits des enfants, de promouvoir les droits des enfants en émettant des recommandations et en éduquant le public, et d’examiner des plaintes individuelles concernant des violations de ces droits. Le présent document fait l’état des avancées pour l’établissement d’institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant à la lumière des standards internationaux et africains, en particulier au Burkina Faso, Mali et Sénégal.
La mise en place d'un mécanisme de recours et de suivi des droits de l'enfant au Maroc
La mise en place d'un mécanisme de recours et de suivi des droits de l'enfant au Maroc
Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
La présente étude a pour objet de préparer une base de travail pour soutenir le processus de réflexion en vue de Maroc d’un mécanisme indépendant de recours et de suivi des droits de l’enfant, conformément aux recommandations du séminaire international organisé, le 10 décembre 2009 sur ce thème. La revue des expériences étrangères montre qu’il n’existe pas un modèle unique. Le mécanisme de recours peut revêtir différentes formes, dont le choix doit résulter d’une large consultation prenant en considération l’environnement politique, social et les possibilités offertes au niveau national et au niveau local. Deux modèles sont proposés : le modèle intégré et le modèle séparé. Les avantages et les inconvénients sont décrits et mis en comparaison.
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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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