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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 and Transitional Justice: Truth-telling, accountability and reconciliation
Children and Transitional Justice: Truth-telling, accountability and reconciliation
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
The volume analyzes key issues from the transitional justice agenda through a child rights lens. On the basis of research, the authors begin to formulate responses to a number of crucial questions and debates: how to end impunity for crimes against children; what policies and procedures can better protect children and enable them to contribute to reconciliation and reconstruction efforts; what strategies are most effective in supporting children’s roles and ensuring their voices are heard in peace-building efforts; how to enable children to reunite and reconcile with their families, peers and communities; how to build children’s skills to become part of a stable economy; and how to reaffirm children’s self-esteem and agency in the aftermath of armed conflict that has violated their childhood. A number of cross-cutting issues and themes are introduced. Chapters 1 through 3 outline the human rights-based approach for children and transitional justice and examine the basic assumptions and international legal framework that provide a foundation for further analysis of accountability and reconciliation in different country contexts. This is followed, in Chapters 4 through 6, by case studies of children’s involvement in the truth commissions of South Africa, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Chapters 7 through 10 address thematic issues and institutional reform.
Children and Reparation: Past lessons and new directions
Children and Reparation: Past lessons and new directions
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper is among the first to analyse children's experiences of reparations programmes, taking into consideration programmes from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The violence, abuse and hardship that girls and boys suffer during armed conflict and political violence under authoritarian and dictatorial regimes continues to severely affect their development long after the end of war or demise of the violent regime. They experience violations of their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, including the rights to life, freedom of movement and association, education, health and family, which embraces the right to knowing and being cared for by their parents. Their rights to development and to a safe and healthy environment are also violated. It is not possible to fully repair children who have experienced such harms. Nonetheless, girls and boys have a right to remedy and reparation under international law – to benefit from reparation in material, symbolic, individual and collective forms. This working paper draws from reparation as conceived in the United Nations Resolution on Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law (2005). It offers a concise overview of trends in reparation programmes set up to address situations of armed conflict and under authoritarian and dictatorial regimes where children are subjected to systematic forms of grave violence. The authors demonstrate the failure to name and address grave rights violations against children in www.unicef-irc.org.past reparations programmes and efforts, much to the detriment of surviving children. The authors argue that at the heart of much of the violence against children in situations of armed conflict is the terrible damage done to relationships and social fabric among individuals, communities, societies and cultures. Recognizing the need to address the healing of relationships and reweaving of social fabric, in part through reparation, the paper offers suggestions for reparation approaches that could lead to better informing and shaping reparation responses for child victims.
Children and Security Sector Reform in Post-conflict Peace-building
Children and Security Sector Reform in Post-conflict Peace-building

AUTHOR(S)
David Nosworthy

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
The restoration of justice and security is a priority of post-conflict peace-building, but children and youth - two groups especially affected by armed conflict - rarely receive consideration in this process. This paper considers how reform of the security sector can contribute to making security provision more relevant to the concerns of young people and more reflective of their needs and aspirations. Security sector reform and transitional justice have been recognized as central elements of post-conflict peace-building, and engaging children constructively in these processes will assist in successfully establishing long-term stability. The central role of civil society receives particular attention. The paper concludes with policy recommendations aimed at assisting decision-makers to integrate the security concerns and expectations of children into programme responses.
Children, Education and Reconciliation
Children, Education and Reconciliation

AUTHOR(S)
Alan Smith

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper examines truth and reconciliation commissions that have made reference to a longer-term role for education in coming to terms with the past and contributing towards future reconciliation. The countries reviewed are Guatemala, Liberia, Peru, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Timor-Leste. Some have developed strategies for children's participation and made recommendations for inclusion in the formal school curriculum. However, recommendations regarding a role for education have usually been very general in nature, with little specification of what is expected of educators in practical terms and little follow-through by education authorities. The paper therefore identifies a number of challenges if education is to have a role in truth and reconciliation. It also identifies potential areas for educational development and recommendations for future actions.
Transitional Justice and the Situation of Children in Colombia and Peru
Transitional Justice and the Situation of Children in Colombia and Peru
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This working paper provides an overview of the transitional process in Colombia and Peru, focusing on the situation of children. The adoption of judicial and administrative measures to deal with human rights violations from the past (Peru) and the present (Colombia) is a tool towards the consolidation of democratic institutions. While individual initiatives have been undertaken in both countries, addressing the situation of children in an integrated, comprehensive way is a persistent challenge, as is the exploration of legal tools as a means to demand responsibility.
Transitional Justice and Youth Formerly Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups: Acceptance, marginalization and psychosocial adjustment
Transitional Justice and Youth Formerly Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups: Acceptance, marginalization and psychosocial adjustment
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
To support true healing of war-affected populations, including children formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups, transitional justice efforts must attend to the often lasting psychosocial consequences of war in the post-conflict environment. We use key informant and focus group interviews (2002, 2004) to examine the war and post-war experiences of youth, with particular attention to the reintegration experiences of former child soldiers. We found that war-affected youth continued to struggle with a number of issues that thwart their desires and efforts to fulfil their life ambitions, including limited school access, economic instability, social isolation and stigma. Young people were better able to navigate daily stressors when endowed with individual agency and perseverance and surrounded by robust family and community supports. Our findings support the need to adopt a broader view of transitional justice to meet the needs of war-affected children and families, particularly former child soldiers. A developmental view of the impact of war experiences on children is needed that includes advocacy for investments in social services to monitor and support healthy family and community reintegration over time.
A Decade of Transition
A Decade of Transition
Published: 2001 Regional Monitoring Report
The MONEE project Regional Monitoring Report of the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre is a unique source of information on the social side of the transition taking place in the 27 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Each year’s Report contains an update on the social and economic changes affecting people in the region and includes a wealth of data in a detailed Statistical Annex. The present Report provides a review of the first 10 years of transition, exploiting the fact that data are now available on many issues that cover the entire 1990s. The core chapters examine the record of the decade in four key areas affecting human welfare: income inequality and child poverty, health, education, and child protection. An introductory chapter analyses key economic and demographic trends. In each case, the Report summarizes developments to the end of the decade, discussing both the outcomes measured with statistical data and the policy options.
A Decade of Transition (Russian)
A Decade of Transition (Russian)
Published: 2001 Regional Monitoring Report
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 paved the way for changes in every aspect of life in this region. New opportunities and new risks emerged for all members of society. The main drive for change has been bold economic and political reform - the transition from planned systems to market economies and from authoritarian regimes to more participatory societies. But the 1990s also saw a broader, worldwide transition: a change in thinking about what constitutes social progress. The 1990s represent only the first period in a continuing process of economic and social change. Nevertheless, a decade is sufficient time to see the main trends clearly and to identify both the advances and the setbacks that the transition has entailed for different aspects of human welfare, together with the possibilities for progress in the future.
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
Young People in Changing Societies
Young People in Changing Societies
Published: 2000 Regional Monitoring Report
This seventh Regional Monitoring Report focuses on the experiences of young people during the transition. It examines the advantages and the obstacles youth encounter as they grow up in rapidly transforming societies. The Report covers a broad range of issues, including the participation of adolescents in education and of young men and women in the political lives of their nations. It examines the special problems of young people in the area of health and in the labour market. It notes trends among youth in conflict with the law. The Report calls for the full implementation of existing human rights agreements. It emphasizes the importance and the benefits of listening to youth and seeking their help in the search for solutions to the problems of young people. This is highlighted by “Voices of Youth”, quotations from young people in the transition region as they speak about their difficulties and their dreams.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 190 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: adolescents, economic transition, education, health, juvenile justice | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Young People in Changing Societies - Summary
Young People in Changing Societies - Summary
Published: 2000 Regional Monitoring Report
Young People in Changing Societies focuses on the experiences of the ‘transition generation’ - the 65 million young people aged 15-24 in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. They are putting the reforms of the last decade to the test as the first generation to complete their education, look for jobs and make decisions about raising families in a new socio-economic climate. The Report looks at their health, their education, their entry into the labour market, their possible conflicts with the law and their role as young citizens, finding that progress for young people and progress in the transition are mutually supportive. Young people are grasping their new opportunities with initiative, creativity and flexibility. But new freedoms also mean new risks, including challenges almost unknown to earlier generations: unemployment, drugs, greater inequality and exclusion.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Rights of the Child | Tags: adolescents, economic transition, education, health, juvenile justice | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Young People in Changing Societies (Russian Version)
Young People in Changing Societies (Russian Version)
Published: 2000 Regional Monitoring Report
The Report focuses on the experiences of young people during the transition. It examines the advantages and the obstacles youth encounter as they grow up in rapidly transforming societies. The Report covers a broad range of issues, including the participation of adolescents in education and of young men and women in the political lives of their nations. It examines the special problems of young people in the areas of health and in the labour market. The Report calls for the full implementation of existing human rights ageements. It emphasizes the importance and the benefits of listening to youth and seeking their help in the search for solutions to the problems of young people.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 180 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: adolescents, economic transition, education, health, juvenile justice | Publisher: IRC
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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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