CORONAVIRUS, CHILDREN MOST VICTIM
by Roni Alasor
Brussels, 10 April 2020 - Middle East Diplomatic- The COVID-19 is having a devastating impact across the world. While most elderly dies because of coronavirus pandemic disease, leaders of over twenty world-wide children`s rights organisations alarming for serious violation, including maltreatment, gender-based violence and sexual exploitation against millions of children during the pandemic C-19.
This coronavirus pandemic situation gives a cynical business opportunities for criminals, narcotic dealers, children abusers and the well-connected-organised industry which is destroying family and children because of money. Abusers and psychopaths, who many of them are self mentally disturbed awaiting to have many new clients when C-19 is over. Many of those "helper" and "advisors" living a luxury life in the cost of mentally weak people and kids.
According to the UN based analysis, 99 per cent of children and young people under 18 worldwide (2.34 billion) live in one of the 186 countries with some form of movement restrictions in place due to COVID-19. Sixty per cent of all children live in one of the 82 countries with a full (7%) or partial (53%) lockdown – accounting for 1.4 billion young lives.
“As leaders of organisations committed to ending violence against children, we come together in solidarity to share our deep concern, call for action and pledge our support to protect children from violence and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on children in every country and community,” the statement from leaders of over twenty world-wide children organisations said.
A third of the global population is on COVID-19 lockdown, and school closures have impacted more than 1.5 billion children. Movement restrictions, loss of income, isolation, overcrowding and high levels of stress and anxiety are increasing the likelihood that children experience and observe physical, psychological and sexual abuse at home – particularly those children already living in violent or dysfunctional family situations.
And while online communities have become central to maintain many children’s learning, support and play, it is also increasing their exposure to cyberbullying, risky online behaviour and sexual exploitation. The situation is aggravated by children’s lack of access to school friends, teachers, social workers and the safe space and services that schools provide. The most vulnerable children – including refugees, migrants, and children who are internally displaced, deprived of liberty, living without parental care, living on the street and in urban slums, with disabilities, and living in conflict-affected areas – are a particular concern.
For many, growing economic vulnerability will increase the threat of child labour, child marriage and child trafficking. “We must act now. Together, we call on governments, the international community and leaders in every sector to urgently respond with a united effort to protect children from the heightened risk of violence, exploitation and abuse as part of the broader response to COVID-19,” warning children organisations.
The leaders calls to the governments, which have a central role to play, to ensure that COVID-19 prevention and response plans integrate age appropriate and gender-sensitive measures to protect all children from violence, neglect and abuse. Child protection services and workers must be designated as essential and resourced accordingly.
Now, UNICEF is launching global agenda for action to protect the most vulnerable children from harm. The agenda has six pillars: 1) Keep children healthy and safe; 2) Reach vulnerable children with water, sanitation and hygiene; 3) Keep children learning; 4) Support families to cover their needs and care for their children; 5) Protect children from violence, exploitation and abuse; and 6) Protect refugee and migrant children, and those affected by conflict.
The children`s righst organisations concluding their statement: "We need to act now to preserve and strengthen health and food systems in every country around the world".
-Henrietta H Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF; Board Chair, End Violence Against Children
-Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO
-Najat Maalla M’jid, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children
-Virginia Gamba, United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict
-Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women
-Inger Ashing, CEO, Save the Children International
-Dr Joan Nyanyuki, Executive Director, African Child Policy Forum
-Steffen Braasch, CEO, SOS Children’s Villages International
-Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, President, Arigatou International
-Delphine Moralis, CEO, Terre des Hommes
-Meg Gardinier, Secretary General, ChildFund Alliance
-Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director and CEO, Together for Girls
-Patrick Krens, Executive Director, Child Helpline International
-Iain Drennan, Executive Director, WePROTECT Global Alliance
-Robbert Van Den Berg, Executive Director, ECPAT International
-Dr. Joanna Rubinstein, President and CEO, World Childhood Foundation USA
-Dr. Howard Taylor, Executive Director, End Violence Against Children
-Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
-Tufail Muhammad, President, ISPCAN
-Andrew Morley, President and CEO, World Vision International
-Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International