Adolescents and youth in Timor-Leste say COVID-19 pandemic has changed their lives, online survey reveals

05 March 2021
Adolescents and youth in Timor-Leste say  COVID-19 pandemic has changed their lives,  online survey reveals_yes
UNICEF Timor-Leste/2021/Benevides

DILI, 4 March 2021 ¬- More than 80 per cent of adolescents and youth who responded to an online survey feel that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their lives. The survey was conducted by the Commission on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and was carried out to understand how adolescents and youth felt the COVID-19 pandemic had changed their lives, and what suggestions they had for the future. 

More than 400 respondents between the ages of 10 and 24 years responded to the online survey. Respondents were from all 13 municipalities, with 51 per cent of them being from Dili. Females accounted for 55 per cent of respondents. Seven per cent of respondents live with a disability.

The online survey was supplemented by phone interviews to compensate for some respondents’ limited internet access. 

The majority of respondents selected ‘lower access to education’ as the biggest change in their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by ‘more frequent handwashing and cleaning’; ‘fewer social interactions’; ‘less income’; and ‘increased time with family and friends’, as some of the other changes in their lives. The survey showed that ‘fear’ and ‘sadness’ were the most common emotions experienced.

Students accounted for 85 per cent of respondents, most of whom were at university and secondary school, and said they overwhelmingly missed going to school. Returning to school proved difficult for 39 per cent of respondents, and for almost all of those with disabilities. 

“In almost every emergency, adolescents and youth are not consulted enough as governments and their partners rush to respond. Our goal is to reach out to this important and large segment of the population, listen to them, and ensure their voices are heard and ideas incorporated into response and recovery processes,” said Dinorah Granadeiro, Commissioner for the Rights of the Child.

The survey also pointed to the active roles many adolescents and youth took up in response to the pandemic. Forty-five per cent of those who responded to the survey said they took action to help their communities during the crisis, including disseminating information and providing food. Half of respondents also said they felt they had influenced their family’s use of the government’s US$200 COVID-19 cash transfer, and that the money was most commonly spent on necessities such as ‘food and non-alcoholic drinks’, followed by ‘health or education’. 

When asked whether the needs of children and young adults are sufficiently taken into account by decision-makers, more than 40 per cent of respondents said they want decision-makers to focus more on children and youth; in particular on education for children and job creation for young adults.

“Every child has the right to freely express their views and be part of decision-making processes that affect their lives,” said Scott Whoolery, UNICEF’s Acting Representative in Timor-Leste. “So, we want to ensure that adolescents and youth  - who represent a third of Timor-Leste’s population - are meaningfully engaged and participate in policy development and implementation. They must have a seat at the table as we reimagine a world for every young person and continue to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic together.”

The survey was carried out in October and November of 2020. It was not based on representative samples so should not be generalized to the whole population of Timor-Leste’s adolescents and youth.

The link to the full report and results of the online survey on Adolescent and Youth Voices on COVID-19 in Timor-Leste can be found here

For more information, please contact:

Commission on the Rights of the Child, Timor-Leste:
Dinorah Granadeiro, Commissioner
Phone: +670-3311 019; Email:


Peskiza online hatudu, adolesente no foinsa’e iha Timor-Leste dehan pandemia COVID-19 
muda sira-nia moris

Dili, 4 Marsu 2021 – Adolesente no foinsa’e pursentu 80 liu mak hatan ba peskiza online sente katak pandemia COVID-19 muda sira-nia moris. Peskiza ne’e halao husi Komisaun Direitu Labarik (CDC sigla Portugues) hamutuk ho Fundu Nasoins Unidas ba Labarik (UNICEF, sigla Inglés) no halao hodi buka hatene oinsa adolesente no foinsa’e sira sente pandemia COVID-19 ne’e muda duni ona sira-nia moris, no sujestaun saida mak sira iha ba sira-nia futuru. 

Respondent 400 liu ho idade entre tinan 10 no 24 hatan ona ba peskiza online ne’e. respondente sira mai husi munisipiu 13, ho pursentu 51 husi Dili. Feto sira hamutuk pursentu 55. Respondent pursentu 7 moris ho difisiensia. 

Peskiza online kompleta ho intervista liu husi telemovel atu respondente balu hetan asesu limitadu ba internet.

Respondente barak liu selesionadu husi ‘kuran asesu ba edukasaun’ nudar mudansa bo’ot ba sira-nia moris tanba pandemia COVID-19, tuir kedas ho fase liman ho limpeza, interasaun sosial oituan, ‘rendimentu kuran,’ no iha tempu barak ho familia no amigu sira,’ hanesam mudansa seluk sira ba sira-nia moris. Peskiza ne’e hatudu katak ‘tauk’ no ‘tristeza’ mak esperiensia emosaun barak-liu.

Respondente estudante hamutuk pursentu 85, sira barak liu mai husi universidade no eskola sekundaria, no hateten sira saudade loos ba eskola. Respondente pursentu 39 difisil fila fali ba eskola, no barak liu mak sira ho difisiensia.  

“Iha emerjensia hotu, adolesente no foinsa’e la hetan konsulta nato’on tanba governu no parseiru sira lalais liu atu hatan. Ita nia objetivu mak atu atinji ba seguementu populasaun importante no bo’ot, rona ba sira, no garante ema rona sira-nia lian no sira-nia ideia inklui iha prosesu hatan no rekuperasaun,” dehan Dinorah Granadeiro, Komisaria Direitu Labarik. 

Peskiza ne’e mós hatudu ba dezempeñu ativu husi adolesente no foinsa’e barak asumi hodi hatan ba pandemia ne’e. Pursentu 45 husi respondente sira iha peskiza ne’e dehan sira halo asaun hodi ajuda sira-nia komunidade durante krize, inkluindu halo diseminasaun informasaun no fornese aihan. Metade husi respondente sira mós dehan sira sente sira influensia ona sira-nia familia hodi uza subsidiu familiar US$200 husi Governu, no osan ne’e gasta barak liu ba nesesidade sira hanesan ‘aihan no bebida laos alkol sira,’ tuir fali kedas saude ka edukasaun.’

Wainhira husu kona-ba labarik no foinsa’e sira-nia nesesidade hetan konsiderasaun nato’on husi ema mak foti desizaun sira, repondente pursentu 40 dehan sira hakarak ema mak foti desizaun sira foka liu ba labarik no foinsa’e sira; liu-liu kona-ba labarik sira-nia edukasaun no kriasaun empregu ba foinsa’e sira. 

“Labarik ida-idak iha direitu atu espresa livremente sira-nia vizaun no hola parte iha prosesu foti desizaun mak afeta sira-nia moris,” dehan Scott Whoolery, Enkaregadu Reprezentate UNICEF iha Timor-Leste. “Nune’e, ita hakarak garante katak adolsente no foinsa’e – mak reprezenta ida-baluk tolu husi populasaun Timor-Leste –involve signifikamente no partisipa iha dezenvolvimentu no implementasaun politika. Sira tenke iha asentu ida iha meza atu bele reimajina hamutuk mundu ida ba ema foinsa’e hotu no kontinua enfrenta pandemia COVID-19 hamutuk.”

Peskiza ne’e halao iha fulan Outubru no Novembru 2020. Ida ne’e la bazeia ba amostra reprezentativu sira tanba ne’e la bele jeneraliza ba populasaun hotu iha Timor-Leste nia adolesente no foinsa’e sira.

Link ba relatoriu kompletu no rezultadu Peskiza Online kona-ba Adolesente no Foin-sa'e sira nia lian kona-ba COVID-19 iha Timor-Leste bele hetan iha ne’e.

Ba informasaun detallu bele kontaktu:

Komisaun Direitu Labarik, Timor-Leste:
Dinorah Granadeiro, Komisaria
Phone: +670-3311 019; Email:


Media contacts

Tapuwa Loreen Mutseyekwa
Advocacy and Communication Specialist
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +67077231103
Tel: +670 331 1297, Extension: 1820
Antonio Gomes
Communication Officer (Tetum)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +670 7723 2441
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1821


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