Last week, Child Rights Connect, Child Rights Asia, Joining Forces and ECPAT International co-signed a joint statement to call on two intergovernmental regional bodies, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and their respective Member States, to put children’s rights are at the centre of the Covid-19’s response.

 “While children have been mainly spared by the virus, the COVID-19 crisis has affected children’s human rights in a number of ways (…). The response to the pandemic must recognize that COVID-19 has distinct impacts on children in early childhood and children in adolescence, on girls and boys and other children, or on children with and without disabilities. Children in street situations, in conflict-affected areas, in alternative care, in informal settlements, in the context of migration, and in other situations of vulnerability need special protection measures.”

The statement urged ASEAN and SAARC to address 7 specific points in order to ensure the application of a child rights-based approach in their decisions and actions on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, as it has been recommended by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.  For more details click here to read the statement.