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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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Children, Agency and Violence: In and beyond the United Nations study on violence against children
Children, Agency and Violence: In and beyond the United Nations study on violence against children
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper examines the role of child agency as it relates to child protection. The focus arises from recognition that child protection approaches can be ineffective, and even counterproductive, when local context is not given sufficient attention (Bissell et al., 2007). The prevailing child protection models - child rescue, social services and medical models - commonly neglect local community assets, including the role of children themselves. Yet in many cases these assets may play a critical role, particularly when family and community are the primary line of defence to protect children from violence and exploitation. Rethinking child protection from a rights perspective requires building on empirical and theoretical understandings of child agency and child development, and the interactions between them.
Promoting Children's Participation in Democratic Decision-Making
Promoting Children's Participation in Democratic Decision-Making

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2001 Innocenti Insights
In this Innocenti Insight, Gerison Lansdown examines the meaning of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says that children are entitled to participate in the decisions that affect them. Lansdown takes a close look at the full meaning of this Article as a tool that can help children themselves to challenge abuses of their rights and take action to defend those rights. She also stresses what the Article does not do. It does not, for example, give children the right to ride roughshod over the rights of others, particularly parents. The Insight makes a strong case for listening to children, outlining the implications of failing to do so and challenging many of the arguments that have been levelled against child participation. It is, above all, a practical guide to this issue, with clear checklists for child participation in conferences and many concrete examples of recent initiatives.
Independent Institutions Protecting Children's Rights
Independent Institutions Protecting Children's Rights

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2001 Innocenti Digest
This Digest focuses on independent human rights institutions for children, and the urgent need to create such institutions in every country in the world to protect, promote, and monitor children's rights. Children are among the most vulnerable group in any society, with no vote, no access to the powerful lobbies that influence government agendas, and little access to the legal system and courts to protect their rights. Their needs in terms of education, health, child care, and housing are critical, and the costs of failing children are high for any society. This Digest evaluates the effectiveness and impact of existing institutions, examines the essential characteristics required if such institutions are to fulfil their functions, and challenges the objections frequently presented. Information on existing independent, statutory bodies - their constitutional base, mandate and activities - is also included.
Promouvoir la participation des enfants au processus decisionnel democratique
Promouvoir la participation des enfants au processus decisionnel democratique

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2001 Innocenti Insights
Dans cet Insight Innocenti, Gerison Lansdown examine l’article 12 de la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant, selon lequel les enfants ont le droit de participer aux décisions qui les concernent. Lansdown se livre à une étude approfondie de la signification de cet article en tant qu’instrument au service des enfants pour protester contre les violations de leurs droits et agir pour défendre ces droits. Elle met aussi l’accent sur ce que l’article n’énonce pas, par exemple le fait qu’il ne donne pas aux enfants le droit de fouler aux pieds les droits des autres - en particulier des parents. Elle recommande avec insistance d’écouter les enfants, indique les conséquences d’un manquement en ce sens et récuse un grand nombre des arguments qui ont été émis contre la participation des enfants. L’Insight se veut, avant tout, un guide pratique sur la question, fournissant des listes récapitulatives claires pour la participation des enfants aux conférences, et de nombreux exemples concrets d’initiatives récentes.
Promuovere la partecipazione dei ragazzi per costruire la democrazia
Promuovere la partecipazione dei ragazzi per costruire la democrazia

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2001 Innocenti Insights
In questa Indagine Innocenti, Gerison Lansdown prende in esame il significato dell'articolo 12 della Convenzione sui diritti dell'infanzia, nel quale si afferma che i bambini hanno il diritto di partecipare alle decisioni che li riguardano direttamente. Lansdown analizza attentamente il senso profondo di quest'articolo come strumento per aiutare i bambini e gli adolescenti a far fronte alle violazioni dei propri diritti e ad agire in loro tutela.
I giovani nelle società in trasformazione - Sintesi
I giovani nelle società in trasformazione - Sintesi
Published: 2000 Regional Monitoring Report
'I giovani nelle società in trasformazione' analizza le esperienze della 'generazione della transizione', i 68 milioni di giovani tra i 15 e i 24 anni di età dell'Europa centrale e orientale e della CSI. Essendo la prima generazione a terminare gli studi, cercare lavoro e fondare una famiglia in un clima sociale ed economico nuovo, essi mettono alla prova le riforme dello scorso decennio. Di questa generazione il Rapporto esamina le condizioni di salute, l'ingresso nel mercato del lavoro, i possibili conflitti con la legge ed il ruolo di giovani cittadini, e mostra come il progresso della condizione dei giovani e l'avanzamento della transizione siano processi che si rafforzano a vicenda. I giovani colgono le nuove opportunità con iniziativa, creativa e flessibilità. Ma le nuove libertà portano anche nuovi rischi, inclusi problemi sconosciuti alle generazioni precedenti: disoccupazione, droga, aumento delle disparità e dell'esclusione.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: adolescents, children's participation, economic transition, education, health, juvenile justice | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
La participación de niños y adolescentes en el contesto de la Convención Sobre los Derechos del Niño: visiones y perspectivas. Actas del Seminario, Bogotà 7-8 de deciembre 1998
La participación de niños y adolescentes en el contesto de la Convención Sobre los Derechos del Niño: visiones y perspectivas. Actas del Seminario, Bogotà 7-8 de deciembre 1998
Published: 1999 Innocenti Publications
La participación infantil constituye un elemento de gran relevancia en la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño y su consideración es de primordial importancia para asegurar la implementación de todas las disposiciones del tratado. La participación infantil sirve además como enfoque de base para el desarrollo de estrategias y programas en beneficio de los niños. Al mismo tiempo, constituye tal vez el más innovador de los principios básicos de la Convención y seguramente el que ha suscitado más controversias. Existe actualmente una tendencia generalizada de las "organizaciones para el desarrollo", sin excluir la misma UNICEF, a hacer demasiado hincapié en los "programas" formales que promueven la participación, incluidos los eventos organizados a nivel nacional y destinados a llamar la atención de la opinión pública. Lamentablemente, estos eventos son casi siempre diseñados, en buena parte, fuera del mundo real de los "beneficiarios" para quienes se llevan a cabo, es decir los niños mismos. Una estrategia que consista esencialmente en multiplicar las experiencias reales de la participación "de todos los días" de los niños tiene buenas probabilidades de traer consigo un modo diferente de enfocar la promoción de los derechos del niño en cuanto se refiere a los padres, maestros y otros adultos clave en la vida cotidiana de los niños.
La participación de los niños: de la participación simbolica a la participación autentica
La participación de los niños: de la participación simbolica a la participación autentica

AUTHOR(S)
Roger A. Hart

Published: 1993 Innocenti Essay
Una nación es democratica en la medida en que sus ciudadanos participan, especialmente a nivel comunitario. La confianza y la competencia para participare deben adquirirse gradualmente con la práctica. Por esta razón debe haber oportunidades crecientes para que los niños participen en cualquier sistema que aspire a ser democrático y particularmente en aquellas naciones que ya creen ser democraticas. Con el creciente reconocimiento de los derechos de los niños estamos comenzando a ver también un mayor reconocimiento de las habilidades de los niños.
Children's Participation: From tokenism to citizenship
Children's Participation: From tokenism to citizenship

AUTHOR(S)
Roger A. Hart

Published: 1992 Innocenti Essay
A nation is democratic to the extent that its citizens are involved, particularly at the community level. The confidence and competence to be involved must be gradually acquired through practice. It is for this reason that there should be gradually increasing opportunities for children to participate in any aspiring democracy, and particularly in those nations already convinced that they are democratic. With the growth of children’s rights we are beginning to see an increasing recognition of children’s abilities to speak for themselves. Regrettably, while children’s and youths’ participation does occur in different degrees around the world, it is often exploitative or frivolous. This Essay is written for people who know that young people have something to say but who would like to reflect further on the process. It is also written for those people who have it in their power to assist children in having a voice, but who, unwittingly or not, trivialize their involvement.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 44 | Thematic area: Children's Participation | Tags: children's participation, children's rights, right to be heard | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Participatory Development: Global Seminar Report, 1990
Participatory Development: Global Seminar Report, 1990
Published: 1991 Innocenti Global Seminar
This Report is organized in three main sections: 1) Introduction: Basic concepts and practices of participation.Characteristics and elements of participatory development. 2) Transformation strategies: what can be done to support the practice on a wider scale? 3) Programming, management, and policy issues: recommendations for UNICEF and its partners.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 60 | Thematic area: Children's Participation | Tags: children's participation, participatory development, right to be heard | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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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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