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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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Realizing an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Well-being: An inventory of laws and policies for adolescents in South Asia
Realizing an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Well-being: An inventory of laws and policies for adolescents in South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Camilletti

Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Report

This paper takes stock of legal and policy frameworks for adolescents in the eight countries of South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The eight countries display a rich diversity of cultural, historical, political, social and economic institutions, which is reflected in their national legal and policy frameworks for adolescents. This paper sheds light on the similarities and differences among South Asian countries regarding the translation of international human rights law into their national normative frameworks, and aims to provide a nuanced understanding of how ‘adolescent-sensitive’ their legal and policy frameworks are.

The paper reviews the legal coverage across  nine sets of rights: the right to political participation; the right to protection; the right to education; the right to health; the right to marriage; the right to decent work and protection from child labour; the right to social protection; digital rights; the right to equality and non-discrimination. It compares the legal and policy frameworks for adolescents of the eight South Asian countries against the requirements of the international standards signed and ratified by each country.
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.
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.
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.
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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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