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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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Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World: A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes
Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World: A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes
Published: 2021 Innocenti Discussion Papers

Children’s lives are increasingly mediated by digital technologies. Yet, when it comes to understanding the long-term effects of internet use and online experiences on their well-being, mental health or resilience, the best we can do is make an educated guess. Our need for this knowledge has become even more acute as internet use rises during COVID-19.

This report explores what has been learned from the latest research about children’s experiences and outcomes relating to the internet and digital technologies. It aims to inform policy-makers, educators, child-protection specialists, industry and parents on the best evidence, and it proposes a future research agenda.

Is there a ladder of children’s online participation? Findings from three Global Kids Online countries
Is there a ladder of children’s online participation? Findings from three Global Kids Online countries
Published: 2019 Innocenti Research Briefs
There is broad agreement that internet access is important for children and provides them with many opportunities. Yet crucial questions remain about what we hope children will do online and if the  opportunities provided are translating into clear benefits. What do children actually need to be able to benefit from the opportunities that the internet brings? Is there a gap between expectations and reality? The answers to these questions matter to: Governments striving to provide connectivity for families in homes, schools and communities; parents and educators who must overcome problems of cost, risk, or lack of skill, so that children may benefit from online opportunities; child rights advocates and practitioners who call for resources to empower and protect children online; and children themselves, many of whom want to take advantage of online opportunities for personal benefit.
Global Kids Online Research Synthesis, 2015-2016
Global Kids Online Research Synthesis, 2015-2016
Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Report

With children making up an estimated one third of internet users worldwide, living in the ‘digital age’ can have important implications for children’s lives. Currently, close to 80 per cent of people in Europe, North America and Australia have internet access, compared with less than 25 per cent in some parts of Africa and South Asia. The international community has recognized the importance of internet access for development, economic growth and the realization of civil rights and is actively seeking ways to ensure universal internet access to all segments of society. Children should be an important part of this process, not only because they represent a substantial percentage of internet users but also because they play an important part in shaping the internet. The internet in turn plays an important part in shaping children’s lives, culture and identities.

La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños
La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Las instituciones independientes aportan un enfoque claro hacia la infancia en unos sistemas de gobernanza que tradicionalmente se centran en los adultos. Suelen ofrecer mecanismos directos para mejorar la rendición de cuentas del Estado y otros garantes de la protección del menor, palian deficiencias en los mecanismos de control y equilibrio y trabajan para que se comprenda y se reconozca la relevancia de las políticas y prácticas en favor de los derechos de los niños. Cuando las cosas salen mal, o cuando los resultados son insuficientes, apoyan medidas para poner remedio a la situación y reformar el sistema.
UNICEF Research for Children: From evidence to action
UNICEF Research for Children: From evidence to action
Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
This volume represents the first systematic attempt to showcase the breadth and depth of UNICEF's research work. At the end of 2012, the Office of Research invited UNICEF's country and regional offices, national committees and headquarters to submit recent examples of research for children. Some 91 submissions of research were received and ten were selected to illustrate the best of UNICEF research. The result is a compilation of research activities that covers themes as diverse as the scaling up of early child development and the impact of repatriation on children's lives, and covers geographical areas from latin America to to Asia and from Africa to Europe.
In difesa dei diritti dell'infanzia: Uno studio globale sulle istituzioni indipendenti dei diritti umani per l'infanzia - relazione di sintesi
In difesa dei diritti dell'infanzia: Uno studio globale sulle istituzioni indipendenti dei diritti umani per l'infanzia - relazione di sintesi

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Il ruolo di queste istituzioni è quello di monitorare le azioni dei governi e di altri enti, promuovere la realizzazione dei diritti dell’infanzia, raccogliere reclami, fornire rimedi a eventuali violazioni e offrire uno spazio per il dialogo su bambini e adolescenti all’interno della società e fra I minorenni e lo Stato. Difendere gli interessi superiori dei bambini e dar voce a questi ultimi sono compiti centrali per la loro missione.
Défendre les droits de l’enfant: Rapport de synthèse de l’étude mondiale sur les institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant
Défendre les droits de l’enfant: Rapport de synthèse de l’étude mondiale sur les institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2012 Innocenti Publications
Les institutions indépendantes placent explicitement les enfants au centre des systèmes de gouvernance traditionnellement axés sur les adultes. Fournissant souvent des mécanismes directs assurant une responsabilisation accrue de l’État et des autres protecteurs de l’enfance, elles comblent les lacunes entre les pouvoirs et les contrepouvoirs et veillent à ce que les répercussions des politiques et des pratiques sur les droits de l’enfant soient comprises et reconnues. Lorsque les choses vont mal ou que les résultats ne sont pas à la hauteur des attentes, elles soutiennent les voies de recours et les réformes qui s’imposent.
Commercial Pressures on Land and Their Impact on Child Rights: A review of the literature
Commercial Pressures on Land and Their Impact on Child Rights: A review of the literature
Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of the existing literature on the political economy of CPLs with the specific intention of mapping the relevant channels of impact on the rights and well-being of children living in rural areas where CPLs are fast-proliferating. Although there are some documented benefits, according to the large majority of the literature reviewed, the twin outcomes of displacement and dispossession are found to be critical negative socio-economic changes resulting from CPLs. In conjunction with a pervasive lack of transparency in the land transfer negotiation and implementation processes, the twin outcomes are in turn associated with a number of transmission channels that can impact the rights and well-being of children in affected rural communities.
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.
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.
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children

AUTHOR(S)
Jaap Doek

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
This working paper addresses the role, contribution and impact of independent human rights institutions for children (IHRICs), also referred to as children’s ombudspersons or children’s commissioners. It looks at these institutions from the perspective and jurisprudence of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) and the global perspective on the perception of the child and childhood resulting from contributions of these institutions to the process of implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
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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