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Averting a Lost Generation of Adolescents in the COVID-19 Era

Dr Priscilla Idele's presentation for Accelerate Hub's webinar on Making adolescent-inclusion the heart of the COVID-19 response (February 2021).

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Averting a Lost Generation of Adolescents in the COVID-19 Era

  1. 1. Averting a Lost Generation of Adolescents in the COVID-19 Era Dr Priscilla Idele Deputy Director, UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti
  2. 2. 1.2 billion individuals. Only half in secondary education, less than half complete. 1 in 5 with mental health disorders. Around 150 million living in slums. 1 in 5 women married in childhood or adolescence. 1 in 7 babies are born to adolescent girls every year. Domestic violence and sexual abuse rife, particularly perpetrated against adolescent girls. Future prospects of millions of adolescents undermined by high youth unemployment and underemployment, and a bleak outlook for global politics, economics, and the planet. Adolescence before COVID | In crisis
  3. 3. Source WHO, Global Health Estimates 2016, Self-harm is among the top three causes of death for boys and girls aged 15-19 ADOLESCENCE BEFORE COVID: SELF HARMING AT ALARMING RATE Among adolescents age 10-19 years
  4. 4. ADOLESCENCE BEFORE COVID: MILLIONS OUT OF SCHOOL 62 million adolescents of lower secondary school age are out of school
  5. 5. Less than half of adolescents completed upper secondary school Source: UIS (2017), More Than One-Half of Children and Adolescents Are Not Learning Worldwide for 4.1.1; UIS database and; UIS database for 4.1.2 and 4.2.2. Notes: 4.1.2 (completion rate) are weighted by population using United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, World Population Prospects 2019, Online Edition. Rev. 1, 2019, based on the data in years of 2010-2019. For 4.2.2, adjusted net enrolment rate is used. 73 85 73 49 39 42 Primary Lower secondary Upper secondary Reading Math 4.2.2. Participation rate in organized learning 4.1.2. Completion rate 4.1.1.c. Minimum proficiency among lower secondary school-age adolescents 3 in 10 children not in education Completion rates decrease drastically from primary to secondary Lack of foundational skills highlight transitional issues, education quality, future learning disparities ADOLESCENCE BEFORE COVID: POOR RATES OF EDUCATION COMPLETION AND SKILLS ACQUISITION
  6. 6. 12 19 23 24 33 40 60 108 112 Industrialized East Asia and the Pacific Europe and Central Asia South Asia Middle East and North Africa World Latin America and the Caribbean Eastern and Southern Africa West and Central Africa Source: UN SDG Global database 2020 ADOLESCENCE BEFORE COVID: HIGH RATES OF ADOLESCENTS BIRTHS IN LESS AFFLUENT REGIONS Births per 1000 adolescent girls age 15-19 years, 2014-2019
  8. 8. ADOLESCENCE BEFORE COVID: HIGH PARTNER VIOLENCE In half of countries with data, at least 1 in 5 adolescent girls have been the victim of recent intimate partner violence Source: UNICEF global databases, 2020, based on MICS, DHS and other national surveys, 2005-2019. Note: See for full notes on interpretation and comparability across countries. Percentage of ever-partnered girls aged 15 to 19 years who have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner during the last twelve months
  9. 9. 17% of adolescents age 15-19 years are underutilized ADOLESCENCE BEFORE COVID: ALMOST A QUARTER OF ADOLESCENTS ARE UNDERUTILIZED Source: UNICEF estimations based on ILOSTAT Data, 2018 Percentage of adolescents aged 15-19 that is not in education, employment or training, by sex and region
  10. 10. Represent almost 8 per cent of global COVID burden and probably set to increase as vaccines and other public health measures reduce prevalence in ageing rich countries, while adolescent-rich less affluent nations experience rising prevalence. Millions more out of school than before due to recession and mobility restrictions, with limited access to remote learning for many in the poorest countries and communities. Violence against children and adolescence is likely to have risen, though figures are mixed. And their future economic prospects are grim, with the global recession set to continue. Adolescence in the COVID era | Worse than before
  11. 11. Adolescents account for around 8% of global COVID infections Source: Averting a Lost COVID-19 Generation, UNICEF, November 2020. ADOLESCENCE IN THE COVID ERA: COVID INFECTIONS 0.9 1.9 22.9 Number of COVID-19 infections in millions among children under 20 years, November 2020 Children (0-9 years) Adolescents (10-19 years) Adults(20+)
  12. 12. Source: Analysis of the UNICEF COVID-19 Socio-economic Impact survey, August 2020 ADOLESCENCE IN THE COVID ERA: DISRUPTED HEALTH CARE SERVICES One third of 141 countries had drops in coverage of 10% or more (including routine vaccination)
  13. 13. Source: UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank joint survey round 2, 2020. ADOLESCENCE IN THE COVID ERA: MISSED SCHOOL DAYS Students in lower-income countries have missed more days of school than students in higher-income countries Average days of school missed, by income level, 2020
  14. 14. Remote learning remains out of reach for almost 1 in 3 school children ADOLESCENCE IN THE COVID ERA: REMOTE LEARNING OUT OF REACH FOR MANY STUDENTS
  15. 15. Source: Analysis of UNICEF COVID-19 Socio-economic Impact survey in 135 countries, August 2020 ADOLESCENCE IN COVID ERA: UPENDED NUTRITION SERVICES AND FOOD INSECURITY Countries reporting COVID-19 related change in nutrition service coverage in 2020 compared to this time in 2019
  17. 17. Source: Averting a Lost COVID Generation, UNICEF, November 2020.. ADOLESCENCE IN THE COVID ERA: SHARP RISE IN POVERTY The least developed countries have had a significantly higher rise in child poverty during COVID-19
  18. 18. Two-speed world for adolescents. Privileged (vaccinated, mobile again, return to school, revived economies, social safety nets, online access). HIC and upper middle income countries and affluent communities everywhere. Disenfranchised (unvaccinated, immobile, out of school, recession economies, no social safety nets, offline). Lower middle income and low income countries and poor and marginalized communities everywhere. Adolescence at crossroads | UNICEF in action
  20. 20. SUPPLIES AND PROCUREMENT Leading efforts to supply 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines with COVAX Facility SERVICES Expanding water and hygiene services to remote and marginalized communities to help contain COVID transmission EVIDENCE Maintaining a COVID Data Hub and Research Library to generate and curate robust evidence on COVID and children ADVOCACY Advocacy reports like Averting a Lost COVID-19 Generation and Beyond Masks examine pandemic’s impact on young people and outline agendas for action INNOVATION With Microsoft, have launched improved and scalable technology to protect vulnerable children and women amid rise in domestic and gender-based violence PARTNERSHIPS Worked with partners to raise 1.41 billion USD to meet growing needs of children and adolescents REIMAGINING ADOLESCENCE | UNICEF IN ACTION FOR ADOLESCENTS IN THE COVID ERA
  21. 21. To improve access to lifesaving testing Speaking out for effective and equitable care Delivering food and sanitation Holding governments accountable Being community navigators Service Delivery Research & Development Accountability Advocacy Community Conducting research and developing technology Knowledge Exchange Innovating Spreading accurate information Health and wellbeing including mental wellbeing REIMAGINING ADOLESCENCE | ADOLESCENTS IN ACTION IN THE COVID ERA
  22. 22. Participation and listening to voices of young people Safe digital connectivity and social innovation Results at scale and in communities Co-creation with young people Ambitious investment across sectors and political support Adolescence stands at a pivotal moment in history. Pre-COVID, it was already in crisis. COVID has only made it worse for most adolescents in almost all aspects of their lives. It is up to us to take the necessary steps, outlined here, to give all adolescents a bright future and avert a lost generation. Evidence for current and future realities REIMAGINING ADOLESCENCE: Averting a Lost Generation of Adolescents depends heavily on the actions taken in the coming years
  23. 23. UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti Thank you! Email: