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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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Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers.

It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.

Review of the Circumstances among Children in Iimmigrant Families in Australia
Review of the Circumstances among Children in Iimmigrant Families in Australia
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on the Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies

There were about 1.5 million children 0 to 17 years of age in immigrant families in Australia in 2001. This represented almost 33 per cent of all children. More than a quarter of these children were in families from the most consistent countries of immigrant origin, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Another 17 per cent were in families from other parts of Europe, while 10 per cent were in families from New Zealand, and 3 per cent were in families from other countries in Oceania.
The Children of Immigrants in France: The emergence of a second generation
The Children of Immigrants in France: The emergence of a second generation
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on the Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies

In 2005, 4.9 million immigrants were residing in metropolitan France. This was 8.1 per cent of the population. Children of immigrants represent close to one fifth of all children. Children with at least one parent from Algeria, Morocco, or Tunisia make up almost 40 per cent of these children, and children of sub-Saharan African origin make up one eighth. Of the 3.5 million foreigners living in France in 2004, 450,000 were children aged 0-17 whose parents were foreign born.
The Situation among Children of Migrant Origin in Germany
The Situation among Children of Migrant Origin in Germany
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on the Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies

Germany may be described as a country of immigrants. Resident foreign citizens alone number around 6.7 million. The share of children who are living with parents who are recent immigrants is quite large. More than 1 million children 0–17 years of age are foreign citizens. Counting German citizens, there are nearly 6 million children of migrant origin under the age of 25. Of all persons of migrant origin, nearly 30 per cent are in the 0–20 age group.
The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Italy: Changes and challenges
The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Italy: Changes and challenges
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies

According to 2001 census data more than 900,000 children aged 0-17, 10 per cent of all children in Italy, were born abroad or had at least one parent who was born abroad. One or both of the parents of about 500,000 children in immigrant families were born in less developed countries. Children now account for almost 23 per cent of the foreign population. In this report, we have analysed household composition and well-being of children in immigrant families with 2001 Italian census data and 2006 survey data. Inclusion and other social issues are reviewed through the most recent literature.
Children in Immigrant Families in the Netherlands: A statistical portrait and a review of the literature
Children in Immigrant Families in the Netherlands: A statistical portrait and a review of the literature
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies

This report provides a concise overview on the situation of children in immigrant families in the Netherlands. Most of the research has focused on the four largest immigrant groups:families from the Antilles and Aruba, Morocco, Suriname and Turkey. Depending on the availability of material, research covering other immigrant groups is also presented. New statistical material on immigrant children and their families that has been specifically generated for this report by Statistics Netherlands is also presented.
Children in Immigrant Families in Switzerland: On a path between discrimination and integration
Children in Immigrant Families in Switzerland: On a path between discrimination and integration
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies

Public debate on immigration tends to be polarized in Switzerland around issues relating to admission policy. However, many children in well-settled immigrant families also appear to experience social exclusion. This needs to be addressed by policies and programmes aimed at fostering social integration. Despite the extraordinarily rapid growth in the number of children in immigrant families, this segment of the population is almost entirely absent from policy discussion and social programme development, and there is a paucity of information available on the circumstances of these children. The aim of this report is therefore to assess the living conditions of children in immigrant families in Switzerland.
The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in the United Kingdom
The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in the United Kingdom

AUTHOR(S)
Heaven Crawley

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies

The foreign-born population in the United Kingdom reached 4.9 million in 2001, representing 8.3 per cent of the total population. Around 2.1 million children (16.3 per cent of all children) were in immigrant families. A fifth of these children were foreign born. The remainder were born in the United Kingdom of at least one foreign-born parent. More than 40 per cent were in families from Asia, around 20 per cent in families from Africa and around 20 per cent in families from other countries in Europe. Bangladesh, Jamaica, India and Pakistan are some of the main countries of origin.
Children in Immigrant Families in Eight Affluent Countries: Their family, national and international context
Children in Immigrant Families in Eight Affluent Countries: Their family, national and international context
Published: 2009 Innocenti Insights
During recent decades most affluent countries have experienced large increases in the number and diversity of immigrants, and accordingly it is anticipated that children in immigrant families will play an increasing role in these societies. However, while their social, economic and civic integration is of critical policy relevance, there is little statistical evidence available on this segment of the population. The study helps to fill the knowledge gap by presenting internationally comparable statistics on children in immigrant families in eight affluent countries - Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The analysis examines family composition, educational background, language, educational and employment status of parents, housing conditions, school and labour market participation and poverty status, among other dimensions, identifying disparities between the situation of these children and that of native-born children. The report calls for policies that facilitate integration and social inclusion of children in immigrant families, focusing particularly on those from low- and middle-income countries who often face greater challenges in assimilation.
Child Migrants with and without Parents: Census-based estimates of scale and characteristics in Argentina, Chile and South Africa
Child Migrants with and without Parents: Census-based estimates of scale and characteristics in Argentina, Chile and South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Shahin Yaqub

Published: 2009 Innocenti Discussion Papers
This paper studies child migration in Argentina, Chile and South Africa. It defines child migrants as under 18 year olds whose usual residence was in a different country or province five years prior to census. The paper estimates the scale of child migration; compares relative magnitudes of internal and international migration; and considers sensitivity to alternative definitions of migration. Second, it examines family structures within which migrant children live at destinations, defining children who are co-resident with adult parents and siblings as dependent, and those outside of these close family members, as independent. Third, the internal/international and in/dependent distinctions are analysed jointly to describe some social-economic characteristics of the four sub-groups of migrant children.
Independent Child Migrants in Developing Countries: Unexplored links in migration and development
Independent Child Migrants in Developing Countries: Unexplored links in migration and development

AUTHOR(S)
Shahin Yaqub

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper focuses on independent migrant children, defined as below 18 years old, who choose to move from home and live at destinations without a parent or adult guardian. It summarises quantitative and qualitative research, and uses this to reflect on research agendas and global debates towards linking migration and development. The paper surveys historical evidence on linkages between children’s migration and societal development in earlier periods of modernisation, and identifies parallels to contemporary developing countries. The contemporary situation in developing countries is described in terms of: (1) numerical scale; (2) individual and family characteristics of the children involved; (3) decision-makers and decision-making processes in children’s movements; (4) why it happens, including from children’s viewpoints; (5) modes of movements; and (6) situations of children at destinations. The paper considers the extent to which children may demand migration opportunities, and how this demand may be met partly with forms of movement specific to children. Research strategies are discussed to provide a bridge to development issues, including conceptualization of children’s independent movements, children’s labour migration, migration statistics and selection of who migrates. A final section draws on the review to reflect on global debates in child development and societal development.
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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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