05/13/2021
Safeguarding the health of refugee and migrant children during COVID-19
https://www.unicef.org/eca/stories/safeguarding-health-refugee-and-migrant-children-during-covid-19
"When COVID arrived here, I thought: ‘It's over, it will spread throughout the building’. I didn't think it was possible to avoid the spread of the outbreak. Instead, we have had very few cases and we owe this, above all, to the support we received from INTERSOS and UNICEF."  Josehaly (Josy), a refugee living in Rome A field worker from Intersos…, In Bulgaria, , UNICEF and its partners were able to take immediate measures with support from the ‘RM Child-Health’ initiative to alleviate the impact, including online awareness raising and information sessions and the use of different channels for communication, including social media. UNICEF’s partners, the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria (CRWB) and…, In Greece, , the initiative supported the development of child-friendly information posters and stickers for refugee and migrant children and their families on critical preventive measures and on what to do and where to go if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms., In Italy, , the initiative has supported outreach teams and community mobilization, providing refugee and migrant families with the information and resources they need to keep the pandemic at bay. In Rome, for example, health promoters from Intersos continued to work directly with refugee and migrant communities in informal settlements, not only to prevent…, In Serbia, , the initiative has supported UNICEF’s efforts to improve the immunization process for refugee children and migrants by strengthening the assessment and monitoring process. As a result of such efforts, refugees and migrants have been included in the national COVID-19 Immunization Plan.  , Building on what works, As these examples show, support from the ‘RM Child-Health initiative’ has helped UNICEF and its partners rise to the challenges posed by the pandemic over the past year. The initiative has enabled frontline workers to accelerate, adapt, expand and intensify work that was already underway, and to mobilize social media and other channels, as well as…
04/08/2021
Navigating pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic
https://www.unicef.org/eca/stories/navigating-pregnancy-during-covid-19-pandemic
Pregnancy is a special time full of excitement and anticipation. But for many expectant mothers, the COVID-19 pandemic has clouded this time with fear, anxiety and uncertainty.  To help women navigate this time, we spoke to experts about pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccines and tips on how to have a  safe pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic .  , Pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccines, The development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a huge step forward in our global effort to end the pandemic and to get back to doing more of the things we enjoy with the people we love. Here are the answers to come commonly asked questions about pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccines.  , Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant?, Although the overall risk of severe illness from COVID-19 remains low, pregnancy puts you at higher risk of severe illness compared to people who are not pregnant. Research is still ongoing to understand the safety and effects of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant women, but there is no known reason that would outweigh the benefits of vaccination…, Can COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility?, No, you may have seen false claims on social media, but there is no evidence that any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can affect fertility in women or men. If you are currently trying to become pregnant, you do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.  , Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?, Researchers are currently studying COVID-19 vaccination in breastfeeding women, but there is still limited information at this time. WHO advises that vaccinations are offered if a lactating woman is part of a priority group for vaccinations, for example if you are a health worker. Breastfeeding can continue after vaccination and remains one of the…, Having a safe pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic, To learn more about how women can protect themselves and their little one, we spoke with Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives. COVID-19 is a new virus and research into it is ongoing. We will update this article as new information becomes available.  , Is it safe to continue prenatal check-ups?, Many expectant mothers are fearful of going to appointments while they are taking precautions, such as staying home and practicing physical distancing when outside. “You do see a lot of adaptation happening at the moment in the world where midwives are doing clinics or certain appointments by phone, so that the actual looking at the baby and the…, If I have COVID-19 will I pass it to my baby?, We still do not know if the virus can be transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. “The COVID-19 virus has not been found in vaginal fluid, in cord blood or breastmilk,” says Cadée, although information is still emerging. To date, COVID-19 has also not been detected in amniotic fluid or the placenta. The best thing you can do is to…, I was planning on giving birth in a hospital or healthcare clinic. Is this still a good option?, “Women should ask their midwife [or health care professional] what they feel is the safest place for them and how precautions are being taken from situation to situation,” recommends Cadée. “It depends on the woman, on her situation and on the healthcare system.”  “You would hope that most healthcare facilities have different facilities where…, Can my partner or family member be nearby when I give birth?, While policies vary by country, Cadée believes women should have someone nearby to support them, as long as the proper precautions are taken, such as wearing a mask while in the delivery room and washing their hands. “We are finding that in certain countries people are not being allowed to be with women, and that is worrying me. I can understand…, I’m feeling incredibly anxious about giving birth. What should I do to cope?, Having a plan in place for your birth can help ease feelings of anxiety by giving you more of a sense of control, but recognizing that the current situation means there may be less predictability depending where you live. “This should include who to phone when the labour begins, who will provide support during labour and where. Establish what…, What questions should I be asking my healthcare professional?, Cadée underlines the importance of establishing a trusting relationship with your healthcare provider. “All of those questions that have to do with you and your health, I would ask them freely. If you have an open relationship with your healthcare provider – with your midwife, with your obstetrician – they will discuss these things with you and…, What should women pack to go into hospital during the pandemic?, “I don’t think women need to take anything extra, but they should take precautions well into account,” advises Cadée. She expects some hospitals may ask women to go home more quickly than normal if they’re healthy. “Again, that will be different from area to area, from woman to woman, from hospital to hospital,” she says, recommending expecting…, Once I have given birth, what can I do to protect my newborn from the COVID-19 virus?, The best thing you can do is to keep it simple: stick to just your family and don’t ask for visitors right now.  Although it’s a difficult time, Cadée recommends trying to see the positive side of having this time to bond as a family. “Sometimes it can be very busy for young mothers and fathers to have so many visitors. Enjoy the quietness of your…, I am an expecting mother. What should I be doing to keep myself safe during the COVID-19 virus outbreak?, As far as the research shows, pregnant women are not at a higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus than any other group of people. That being said, due to changes in their bodies and immune systems, pregnant women in the last months of pregnancy can by badly affected by some respiratory infections, and so it’s important to…, Can I safely breastfeed my baby?, “As far as we know, it is perfectly safe to continue breastfeeding. It's the best thing a mother can do for her baby," says Cadée. Transmission of active COVID-19 (virus that can cause infection) through breast milk and breastfeeding has not been detected to date. If you suspect you may have the COVID-19 virus, it is important to seek medical care…, What should I do if I live in a crowded space?, Many women around the world live in close proximity to lots of other people, making physical distancing much more challenging. In such places, “I would really ask the whole community to take care of their pregnant women,” urges Cadée. She recommends that people keep their distance from pregnant women as much as possible and that certain toilets be…
01/29/2021
Strengthening national health capacity for refugee and migrant children
https://www.unicef.org/eca/stories/strengthening-national-health-capacity-refugee-and-migrant-children
“This collaboration is helping to stimulate public demand for strong national health systems that work for everybody and that rise to new challenges, such as disease outbreaks.” Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director, The ‘RM Child-Health’ initiative has supported work across five European countries to enhance and strengthen the capacity of national health systems to meet the health needs of refugee and migrant children. This work recognizes that a health system that works for such vulnerable children is a health system that works for every child., At first glance, helping a 10-year girl from Iran, now living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, get a new pair of glasses might seem a simple thing. For Maisa, however, this is the end result of a continuum of intensive support, from identifying a girl who struggles with an eye condition, to connecting her to a skilled ophthalmologist. And now Maisa…, Basic health care for all refugee and migrant children, Nothing builds trust and confidence in health care more than health services that are accessible, flexible and that work with – rather than against – the grain of people’s everyday lives. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, for example, the ‘RM Child-Health’ initiative supports efforts to ensure that every single refugee and migrant child in the country…, Building a solid foundation of knowledge for stronger health systems, The initiative also recognizes that strong health systems need to be built on a firm foundation of evidence and research. Activities since January 2020 have included ground-breaking research in Bulgaria on refugees’ experiences of health services in their countries of origin, and how this has shaped their expectations and uptake of health services…
05/31/2021
Making the European Child Guarantee a Reality. Insights from testing the European Child Guarantee
https://www.unicef.org/eca/stories/making-european-child-guarantee-reality-insights-testing-european-child-guarantee
Logos _EU, UNICEF and Portuguese Presidency The European Commission has partnered with UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) to test how the EU Child Guarantee can work in practice in seven Member States. The high-level event “Making the European Child Guarantee a Reality in the EU: Insights from testing the European Child…, Let's listen to young people from Europe and Central Asia answering tough questions, What does it mean to be a child living in poverty or facing disadvantages? UNICEF ECARO What do you feel when you think about child poverty or about exclusion and discrimination? UNICEF ECARO What do you think that the leaders in your country and in Europe should guarantee to children living in poverty or those that face difficulties? UNICEF ECARO…, AGENDA, Time Agenda item Speaker     Moderator: Shada Islam, Opening,     15:00 – 15:30 Opening remarks, Mr. David Sassoli, , President of the European Parliament (Video Message), Ms. Ana, Mendes Godinho,, Minister for Employment, Solidarity, and Social Security, Portugal, Mr., Nicolas Schmit,, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Ms, ., Afshan Khan,, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia (ECA), and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Response in Europe, Panel 1, Services and programmes focusing on the most disadvantaged children,   15:30 – 15:30  , Sharing of experience from pilot Member States, Ms. Elena Bonetti, , Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family, Italy, Ms. Domna-Maria Michailidou, , Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Greece, Mr. Ivan Krastev, , Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Bulgaria, Ms. Margareta Mađerić, , State Secretary, Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy, Croatia, Panel 2, Accelerating and implementing policies for ending child poverty and exclusion,   15:30 – 15:55  , Sharing of experience from pilot Member States, Mr. Nacho Álvarez, , State Secretary for Social Rights, Spain, Ms. Juliane Seifert,, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Germany, Ms. Vilma Augienė, , Deputy Minister of Social Security and Labour, Lithuania, Mr. Andrea Orlando, , Minister of Labour and Social Policies, Italy, Panel 3, Reflections from other EU participants,   16:20 – 15:50  , Ms. Karine Lalieux,, Minister of Pensions and Social Integration, Belgium, Mr. Adrien Taquet, , State Secretary for Childhood and Family, France, Ms. Florica Cherecheș, , President of the National Authority for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Children and Adoptions, Romania, Ms. Saila Ruuth, , State Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland,  , Reflections from other participants, Closing, Building momentum for the European Child Guarantee and looking to the future,   16:50 – 17:00  , Mr. Janez Cigler Kralj, , Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Slovenia (video message), Ms. Dubravka Šuica,, Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography, SPEAKERS, SHADA ISLAM Personal archive, Moderator, SHADA ISLAM, Shada Islam is an influential Brussels-based specialist on European Union affairs who works independently as a commentator, advisor, analyst and strategist on Europe, Asia, Africa, Geopolitics, Trade, Migration, Inclusion, Diversity and Women’s Empowerment. Shada has spent most of her professional life researching, writing, analysing and speaking…, European Commission, DUBRAVKA ŠUICA, European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography Since December 2019, Ms. Dubravka Šuica is the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Democracy and Demography. Ms. Šuica is a Croatian politician from the city of Dubrovnik, where she served as its first female mayor and was awarded the 2006 World Mayor Award. She…, NICOLAS SCHMIT, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit took up office as European Commissioner responsible for Jobs and Social Rights in December 2019. Prior to this, he served as a Member of the European Parliament for the social-democratic Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei following his election in May 2019. From 2009 to 2018…, UNICEF, AFSHAN KHAN, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, and the Special Coordinator for the Refuge and Migrant Response in Europe. Ms. Khan has been an international public servant for over 30 years. Previously she was the Director of Emergency Programmes for UNICEF, and she has also held other senior positions including Director of Public-Sector…, Belgium, KARINE LALIEUX, Minister of Pensions, Social Integration, Fighting Poverty and Disabled Persons Born on 4 May 1964 in Anderlecht (Brussels), Karine Lalieux studied Criminology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where she was a lecturer for more than ten years. In 1999, Karine Lalieux ran for the first time in the Federal elections and was elected Member of the…, Bulgaria, IVAN KRASTEV, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Ivan Krastev is responsible for the management of European Union Funds and the Ministry's activities related to international cooperation. He was born in 1980 in Stara Zagora. He holds a Master's degree in International Relations from the St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University, and a Master's degree in…, Croatia, MARGARETA MADERIC, State Secretary, Ministry of Labour, the Pension System, the Family and Social Policy European Union Margareta Mađerić was born on 2 July 1977 in Zagreb. After finishing high school, she enrolled in Zagreb School of Business where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communication and worked as a marketing and communications manager…, Finland, SAILA RUUTH, State Secretary to Minister of Social Affairs Before her appointment as State Secretary, Saila Ruuth worked in the Finnish Industrial Union as an expert in social affairs and working environment. Her other previous workplaces include the Ministry of Education and Culture, employment pension company Ilmarinen, and the unemployment fund of the…, Finland, AINO-KAISA PEKONEN, Finland’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health. Aino-Kaisa Pekonen has served as Member of Parliament since 2011, focusing in particular on questions regarding social and health policy. Pekonen is a trained Practical Nurse for Social and Health Care and she used to work as a housing counsellor and practical nurse before being elected as Member of…, France, ADRIEN TAQUET, Politician Adrien Taquet (1977) is a French politician representing La République En Marche. He is an alumnus of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. He was elected to the French National Assembly in June 2017, representing the department of the Hauts-de-Seine.  On 25 January 2019, he was nominated as Secretary of State for Child Protection…, Germany, JULIANE SEIFERT, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth Since 2018 Juliane Seifert has been State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. From 2016 until 2017 she held the position of Federal Manager of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Before, she…, Greece, DR DOMNA MICHAILIDOU, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Dr Domna Michailidou is responsible for social welfare and social solidarity. She is an academic economist working on economic development, financial crises and public finances. She was previously Reforms’ Adviser to the Leader of New Democracy Party in Greece, where she advised Kyriakos Mitsotakis on a…, Italy, ANDREA ORLANDO, Minister of Labour and Social Policies Andrea Orlando was born in La Spezia on February 8 th , 1969. From 13 February 2021 he is Minister of Labour and Social Policies in the Government chaired by Prime Minister Mario Draghi.He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, from the 15 th in 2006 to the current 18 th legislature, and since 27 March 2018…, Italy, ELENA BONETTI, Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family Ms. Elena Bonetti is Associate Professor of Mathematical Analysis at the University of Milan. Graduated in Mathematics in 1997 at the University of Pavia, in 2002 Ms. Bonetti obtained a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Milan. She is committed to the Scout Movement and has experiences in the field…, Lithuania, VILMA AUGIEN, É, Vice Minister of Social Security and Labour Vilma Augiené received her Bachelors in pre-school pedagogy and psychology from the Vilnius Pedagogical University in 1993 and her Masters in Children’s Rights in 2013. She was first appointed Vice-Minister of Social Security and Labour in 2017, and then reappointed in 2020. Before this she has served as…, Portugal, ANA MENDES GODINHO, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security Ana Mendes Godinho is the Portuguese Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security since 26 October 2019. She was the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism between 2015 and 2019. Before joining the Government of Portugal, she was Vice-President of the Portuguese National Tourism Authority…, Romania, FLORICA CHERECHEŞ, President of the National Authority for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Children and Adoptions Mrs. Florica Cherecheș possesses vast experience in the field of human rights as a result of her two consecutive mandates as deputy in the Romanian Parliament. In her official capacity, she drafted more than 100 bills (30 of them were enacted…, Slovenia, JANEZ CIGLER KRALJ, Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the Republic of Slovenia Janez Cigler Kralj holds a Master’s Degree in Political Sciences from the Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Ljubljana. Prior to his political career he worked for a media company and the national scholarship fund. Between 2012 and 2020, he…, Spain, IGNACIO ÁLVAREZ PERALTA, Secretary of State for Social Rights of the Government of Spain. Ignacio Álvarez Peralta holds a PhD in Economics from the University Complutense of Madrid. He is an Associate Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Department of Economic Structure, and a Research Associate at the Complutense Institute of International Studies (ICEI). He…