The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is having a major impact on the lives of children and families. Given the large amount of resources developed by different organizations, at Child Rights Connect we want to help you in your search for information. For this purpose, we have pulled together resources from our members and partners, as well as some relevant press releases and statements on the topic and divided them into different sections. We seek to provide clarity by offering an overview of the responses to the disease by various organizations. We hope this will help civil society and the general public to quickly review the information that is of interest. We will be updating the webpage regularly as the crisis unfolds.
United Nations sessions updates
- The 2022 sessions calendar can be found on the OHCHR CRC sessions calendar and our CRC sessions calendar.
Resources to promote a human rights-based approach to the coronavirus outbreak
A. Call for action and inputs
1) Deliver for Good open letter calling on governments to apply a gender lens to COVID-19 Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Ongoing, no deadline.
Deliver for Good Campaign is calling on governments to apply a gender lens and put girls, women, and gender equality at the center of COVID-19 preparedness, response, and recovery by signing on to this open letter. Child Rights Connect signed it!
2) CCPR collecting data in the context of COVID-19. Ongoing, no deadline.
The Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) is working on a website showing the measures taken by all the countries that have ratified the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights in light of the COVID-19. In this context, the CCPR is working on a table that gathers the data from all countries. However, considering the big amount of information and different languages spoken, they are asking for help to complete the data of the following document.
The document is only in view mode so people cannot edit it. However, if you have any information you would like to add, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass the data along to the CCPR.
3) Early Childhood Development Action Network calls for a coordinated action to protect and support all young children and their caregivers. Ongoing, no deadline.
Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) calls on all governments, global partnership, multi- and bi-lateral agencies, political bodies, funders, international non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, the business sector, academia, civil society organizations, networks, and advocates to prioritize the protection and support of young children and their caregivers in the response to and recovery from COVID-19, and maintain investments that support children’s health, physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. Read the call and join it here.
B. Statements and press releases
10/03/2021 Back to the past – One year on COVID-19 could wipe out progress in poverty and disease reduction by 20 years by World Vision International.
10/03/2021 Call for millions of teachers in Asia Pacific to receive COVID-19 vaccine by Save the Children.
02/03/2021 “Children have lost more than a third of their school year to the pandemic” by Save the Children.
26/02/2021 – “One year of COVID-19: 5 solutions that helped children” by Terre des Hommes
13/01/2021 – In 2021, let’s give our attention to stories of hope, not hatred – Statement by Save the Children International
28/10/2020 World Vision International partnered with Airtel Zambia to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic in Zambia. World Vision has been working with the Zambian Government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country by equipping health facilities and isolation centres and establishing prevention measures across the country. Airtel Zambia has recognised World Vision’s response and therefore partnered to scale up their response in Chibombo District.
14/09/2020 World Vision International, along with Child Rights Connect, Plan International, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages and Terre des Hommes, prepared a written joint statement for the HRC45 enhanced interactive dialogue on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic, urging the UN to adopt a children’s rights approach in all responses to the Pandemic and ensure sustained engagement of children in the responses.
25/06/2020. The National Coalition Deutschland published a Corona Statement and you can read it here.
24/06/2020. The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion launched an urgent call to states, donors and other stakeholders to promote and protect the rights of stateless persons in their COVID-19 responses (Arabic, Spanish) together with 83 other civil society actors working at the local, regional, and international levels. They are increasingly concerned about the impact that the global pandemic and related policy measures are having on the lives of stateless people across the globe, as well as on efforts to promote the right to a nationality. The joint statement sets out targeted recommendations to key stakeholders in order to promote a rights-based, non-discriminatory response to COVID-19.
05/2020. SOS Children’s Village International published a position statement on COVID-19 to call to action for the protection of children without or at risk of losing parental care. The statement presents the key asks that are necessary to ensure that the rights and needs of children without or at risk of losing parental care are prioritised by national, regional and international governments in their response to the covid-19 pandemic.
11/05/2020. A Joint Letter was sent by Child Rights Connect as a member of TBnet and other members and partners to the Chairpersons of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies and the High Commissioner of Human Rights concerning the functioning of the treaty bodies during the covid-19 pandemic. The letter aims to call on the UN human rights mechanisms to continue executing their mandates during the COVID-19 crisis by exploring all possible options to undertake their mandated activities remotely while ensuring safe and effective civil society involvement. For more information please read the joint letter here.
29/04/2020. Call to put children’s rights in ASIA at the center of the COVID-19 response– 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.
16/04/2020. Child Rights Connect/Joining Forces alliance Open Letter and Recommendations to World Leaders on Covid-19 Crisis and Child Rights. Child Rights Connect endorsed an open letter from the Joining Forces alliance to Presidents, Prime Ministers, Governments and Mayors. The letter is accompanied by detailed recommendations to governments.
24/03/2020. Lumos, Latin America & Caribbean Office statement on COVID-19.
19/03/2020. Human Rights Watch published an overview of human rights concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak including the rights of children. Among the mentioned issues: Providing age-appropriate information to children, relevant measures to adopt due to closing of schools including mitigating gendered impact and ensuring that responses to not perpetuate gender inequality. The piece makes reference to different States practices and includes recommendations for all.
18/02/2021 – WHO seeks $1.96 billion for 2021 Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Response
17/02/2021 – Strengthen ‘One Health approach’ to prevent future pandemics – WHO chief–
17/02/2021 – COVID infections drop 16% worldwide in one week: WHO
16/02/2021 – Major airlines join forces with UNICEF to support ‘monumental’ COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan
15/02/2021 – Downward COVID-19 trend shows ‘simple public health measures work’ – UN health chief
05/02/2021 – Unless COVID is suppressed everywhere, we’ll be ‘back at square one’
01/02/2021 – Consecutive drop in new COVID-19 cases ‘encouraging news’
25/01/2021 – New COVID-19 strains ‘poised to unleash’ more severe infections – Security Council hears
21/01/2021 – Guterres urges world to ‘work together in solidarity’ as US moves to re-join WHO
18/01/2021 – Getting COVID-19 vaccines to West and Central Africa: ow UNICEF is harnessing decades of expertise to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the region
14/01/2021 – Health experts arrive in Wuhan to investigate COVID-19 origins
13/01/2021 – Step up surveillance of emerging coronavirus variants, WHO urges
03/12/2020 – Revealed: The cost of the pandemic on world’s poorest countries
30/11/2020 – COVID-19 worsening gender-based violence, trafficking risk, for women and girls
24/11/2020 – ‘Foundational and necessary change’ needed to heal post-COVID world
23/11/2020 – UNICEF planning ‘mammoth operation’ to deliver COVID-19 vaccines
19/11/2020 – Collective, conflict-sensitive responses vital to address COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout
19/11/2020 – Future of an entire generation at risk, as COVID-19 pandemic drags on
13/11/2020 – COVID-19: Consequences of ‘chronic under-investment in public health’ laid bare
13/11/2020 – Over US$ 2 billion raised to support equitable access to COVID vaccines with additional US$ 5 billion needed in 2021
10/11/2020 – Open science and the search for a COVID-19 vaccine
10/11/2020 – 73rd World Health Assembly set to strengthen preparedness for health emergencies– 09/11/2020 – Independent UN experts decry COVID vaccine hoarding: ‘No one is secure until all of us are’
04/11/2020 – Protecting citizens from COVID while granting refugee access, can be done: UNHCR
01/11/2020 – First Person: supporting migrants on the COVID-19 frontline in Myanmar
27/10/2020 – Equality, sustainability should guide COVID-19 recovery, say governments at regional forum
25/10/2020 – Science, unity and solidarity, key to defeating COVID: UN chief
23/10/2020 – ‘Very tough’ months ahead in COVID battle, WHO helping scale up dwindling oxygen supplies
20/10/2020 – Someone to talk to: in Kenya, a hotline for women—and men—in crisis
20/10/2020 – One in six children living in extreme poverty, with figure set to rise during pandemic
19/10/2020 – Focus on fundamentals as COVID-19 caseloads rise: WHO
13/10/2020- IMF: ‘Less severe’ but ‘still deep’ recession predicted
12/10/2020- Herd immunity, an ‘unethical’ COVID-19 strategy, Tedros warns policymakers
12/10/2020- Greater cooperation urged worldwide as criminals seek to profit from COVID-19
06/10/2020- Report outlines long road to post-COVID recovery for Latin America and Caribbean
– 29/09/2020 – COVID-19: ‘Legitimate concerns’ must be heard, and fears addressed over misinformation, says UN Under-Secretary General for Global Communications and WHO Director of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases
– 28/09/2020 – WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19
– 24/09/2020 – UNDP: Protecting the post-pandemic planet
– 23/09/2020 – UN and partners urge countries to act against COVID-19 “Infodemic”
– 08/09/2020 – COVID-19 could reverse decades of progress toward eliminating preventable child deaths, agencies warn
– 03/09/2020 – UNICEF to lead procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines in world’s largest and fastest ever operation of its kind
06/04/2020 – UN backs global action to end violence against women and girls amid COVID-19 crisis
06/04/2020 – Rights experts warn against discrimination in COVID-19 response
05/04/2020 – First Person: COVID-19 is not a silver lining for the climate, says UN Environment chief
05/04/2020- The CESCR released a statement on ESCR and COVID-19.
02/04/2020 – COVID-19 should not herald rollback in rights for people with autism: UN chief
31/03/2020 – Press release Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The IACHR urges States to guarantee the health and integrity of persons deprived of liberty and their families in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
30/03/2020 – The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture. COVID-19: Measures needed to protect people deprived of liberty.
24/03/2020. The Chairpersons of the 10 UN Treaty Bodies urged global leaders to ensure that human rights are respected in government measures to tackle the public health threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read it here.
21/03/2020. Adjustments to the work of human rights treaties individual complaints and urgent actions procedures in light of the COVID-19 – Information Note. The OHCHR has published an information note on adjustments to the work of human rights treaties individual complaints and urgent actions procedures in light of the COVID-19. Given the difficulties that States parties and authors of communications may face in meeting established deadlines, an automatic two-month extension of deadlines has been given to provide observations or comments for all registered cases. You can read the note here.
20/03/2020. UNICEF issued this press release urging governments and partners to take action, guided by the Technical Note on the Protection of Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The Note was produced under the leadership of UNICEF and through the contribution of several agencies under the aegis of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. More specific guidance is now being rapidly developed for children deprived of their liberty and children in alternative care who may be at higher risk of being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak due to the conditions in which they live. Please note that members of Child Rights Connect are closely involved in the development of this new guidance.
26/04/2021 “UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore’s remarks at the special press briefing with WHO and Gavi on the impact of COVID-19 on immunization” UNICEF
26/04/2021 “Immunization services begin slow recovery from COVID-19 disruptions, through millions of children remain at risk from deadly diseases” – WHO, UNICEF, Gavi
01/04/2021 “Pre-pandemic data show 1 in 8 countries spends more on debt than on education, health and social protection combined” – UNICEF
01/04/2021 “UNICEF fund aims to raise US$2.5 billion for COVID-19 health supplies; low- and middle-income countries set to benefit” – UNICEF
30/03/2021 “EU airlines join forces with UNICEF to transport COVID-19 vaccines around world” UN COVID Response.
22/03/2021 – “Is my child regressing due to the COVID-19 pandemic?” UNICEF
12/03/2021 – “Universal affordable vaccination for COVID-19, international cooperation and intellectual property” The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
10/03/2021 – “How the COVID-19 pandemic has scarred the world’s children” UNICEF
07/03/2021 “10 million additional girls at risk of child marriage due to COVID-19” UNICEF.
03/03/2021 – “At least 1 in 7 children and young people has lived under stay-at-home policies for most of the last year, putting mental health and well-being at risk” UNICEF.
02/03/2021 – “Schools for more than a 168 million children globally have been completely closed for almost a full year” UNICEF
19/02/2021 – “2021 must be the year to get back on track” – Statement by António Guterres, UN Secretary General
18/01/2021 – “As the first vaccines begin to be deployed, the promise of equitable access is at serious risk – WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at 148th session of the Executive Board
15/01/2021 – “2 million COVID-19 deaths: “vaccinationalism” is self-defeating and will delay a global recovery” – Statement by António Guterres, UN Secretary General
15/01/2021 – “The COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health emergency of international concern” – Statement on the sixth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
30/11/2020 – “first decline in newly-reported COVID 19 cases globally since September” – WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19
30/11/2020 – “Governments must do more to prevent slavery and exploitation during COVID-19 pandemic” – Joint statement by OHCHR of more than 50 UN experts and mandate holders
23/11/2020 – ‘Real hope’ surrounding COVID vaccines ‘cannot be overstated’– WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19
20/11/2020 – “The recent breakthroughs on COVID-19 vaccines offer a ray of hope. But that ray of hope needs to reach everyone” – G20 Summit Statement by António Guterres, UN Secretary General
16/11/2020 – No time for complacency as COVID-19 cases surge– WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19
09/11/2020 – Statement to the resumed 73rd World Health Assembly by the Chair on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations during the COVID-19 Response– Statement by 3rd World Health Assembly Chair of the Review Committee
06/11/2020 – The need for improved global regulatory alignment on COVID-19 medicines and vaccines – Joint statement by WHO and ICMRA
02/11/2020 – “If we invest in health systems, we can bring this virus under control” – WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19
30/10/2020 – “Long-term symptoms of COVID-19 are very concerning – WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19
27/10/2020 – A Joint Appeal for Open Science by CERN, OHCHR, UNESCO and WHO – Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
26/10/2020 – “Stop the politicisation of COVID-19” – WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19
21/10/2020 – #PledgetoPause before sharing information online to tackle the COVID-19 “communications emergency” – Statement by António Guterres, UN Secretary General
08/10/2020 – Scale up investment in Universal Health Coverage and in stronger health systems – Statement by António Guterres, UN Secretary General
29/09/2020 – On the one millionth death from the COVID-19 Pandemic: “we must never lose sight of each and every individual life”– Statement by António Guterres, UN Secretary General
14/09/2020 – Oral update on the human rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic– Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
26/05/2020 – COVID-19: Governments must protect the rights of migrants during the pandemic and beyond, UN experts urge – Statement by the UN Committee on Migrant Workers, and Felipe González Morales, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.
20/05/2020 – Canada urged to repatriate orphaned five-year-old girl held in Syrian camp – several UN Special Rapporteurs.
07/05/2020 – UN experts urge Belarus to release children and young people jailed for drug offences amid COVID-19 crisis – Statement by Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.
06/05/2020 – COVID-19: Urgent need for child protection services to mitigate the risk of child sexual abuse and exploitation worldwide – Statement by UN Special Rapporteur on sale and sexual exploitation of children.
22/04/2020 – UN expert outlines urgent steps to ensure justice systems are not paralysed by COVID-19 – Statement by UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.
22/04/ 2020- “Responses to COVID-19 are failing people in poverty worldwide” – Statement by UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
20/04/2020 – COVID-19 measures must factor in specific needs of women – Statement by UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls.
17/04/2020 – COVID-19 security measures no excuse for excessive use of force, say UN Special Rapporteurs.
17/04/2020 – COVID-19: Targeted actions needed to protect LGBTI people amid pandemic – Bachelet.
16/04/2020- UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children statement.
15/04/2020- UN Secretary General Statement on the impact of COVID-19 on children.
15/04/2020 – COVID-19: “Not an excuse” to roll back environmental protection and enforcement – Statement UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment.
15/04/2020 – Responses to COVID-19 crisis: UN expert urges more government spending targeting inequality, not big business – Statement UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights.
14/04/2020- UN Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association Guidelines to respond to COVID-19
14/04/2020 – COVID-19 restrictions should not stop freedom of assembly and association – Statement by UN Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association.
13/04/2020 – Children in detention are at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 and should be released – Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
11/04/2020 – The IACHR calls on Member States to adopt a gender perspective in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to combat sexual and domestic violence in this context – Press release Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
09/04/2020- Children Seem to Be Less Vulnerable to the Coronavirus. Here’s How the Pandemic May Still Put Them at Risk- Article by Angelina Jolie at TIME.
09/04/2020 – COVID-19 and human rights: The problems and challenges must be addressed from a human rights perspective and with respect for international obligations – Statement of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; See press release 14 April 2020 here.
09/04/2020 – Put women and girls at centre of COVID-19 recovery: UN Secretary-General.
09/04/2020 – COVID is “a colossal test of leadership” requiring coordinated action, High Commissioner tells Human Rights Council – Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
09/04/2020 – “Leave no one behind” – Don’t forget your commitments in your response to the COVID-19 crises, UN expert urges States – Statement by UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development.
07/04/2020 – Statement by UN Special Rapporteur on sale and sexual exploitation of children and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children. UN experts call for urgent action to mitigate heightened risks of violence against children.
06/04/2020- Violence against women and girls: the shadow pandemic– Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women.
03/04/2020 – Statement by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children: UN experts call on Governments to adopt urgent measures to protect migrants and trafficked persons in their response to COVID-19.
02/04/2020 – Joint Civil Society Statement. States use of digital surveillance technologies to fight pandemic must respect human rights.
02/04/2020 – Statement Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe. Persons with disabilities must not be left behind in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
01/04/2020 – Statement of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons: COVID-19: Do not forget internally displaced persons.
31/03/2020- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights letter on COVID-19.
31/03/2020- A joint statement by UNHCR, IOM, OHCHR and WHO. The rights and health of refugees, migrants and stateless must be protected in COVID-19 response.
31/03/2020 – Statement Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. COVID-19: Economic sanctions should be lifted to prevent hunger crises.
30/03/2020- Statement by Special Rapporteur on minority issues. COVID-19 fears should not be exploited to attack and exclude minorities.
27/03/2020- Statement by the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls; Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children; Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities; Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children. States must combat domestic violence in the context of COVID-19 lockdowns.
C. Some helpful resources from members and partners
Acting at local level
- Arigatou International unveiled the virtual exhibition “Faith in Action for Children” containing messages, artworks, and multimedia projects by more than 150 children, from 33 countries around the world reflecting on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their lives.
- Plan International released a report entitled “Halting Lives: The Impact of Covid-19 on girls and young women” in the wake of increased gender inequalities due to the coronavirus crisis. The report is based on data collected from over 7,000 girls across 14 countries and explores how the coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of their daily lives: their safety, wellbeing, education, economic security, health, nutrition and access to technology; 2) Developed key COVID-19 advocacy messages to States on funding the response, addressing vulnerability, and addressing specific risks for adolescent girls. Read it here.
- Defence for Children International released a publication on the Impact of COVID-19 on Children’s Rights. You can also read the Press Release in English, Spanish and French. For more information about DCI response to covid-19 check here.
- African Child Policy Forum issued a Call to Action: “Putting children at the centre of Africa’s prevention and response strategies to COVID-19”. Check here to lean more.
- Save the Children: 1) developed a new child participation “Tracker” during Covid. The map highlights some of the efforts Save the Children’s offices and partners have taken to advance the right to be heard during Covid. You can access the map here. 2) Published a guidance Coronavirus emergency appeal to protect children in the world’s most deprived areas from the effects of coronavirus. Check here to support this initiative. 3) Released the results of its global survey on the impact of COVID-19 among over 25,000 children and adults. You can read the results here. 4) Published two new reports: Protect a Generation: the impact of COVID-19 on children’s lives and Hidden Impact of COVID 19 on children’s rights, to find out about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting children’s health, nutrition, learning, well being, poverty and protection. 5) Published a report entitled “A Foundation to End Child Poverty” which focuses on the lack of financial support awarded to children in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 6) Released a report entitled “Not Immune: Children in Conflict” that analyzes the ways in which COVID-19 has compounded the situation for children living in war zones, causing the suspension of immunisation programs in more than 60 countries.
- Word Vision: 1) Published its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan: Phase 2, available in English, French and Spanish. This phase 2 is an expansion of the initial one and aims to extend World Vision’s partnership with communities to prevent exposure to COVID-19 alongside with a focus on the secondary impacts which are putting as many as 30 million children’s lives in danger. Check also the publication on Secondary impacts threaten more children’s lives than disease itself. 2) Based on data collected through its response and interventions, World Vision has also published some relevant materials:
. “Children’s voices in times of COVID-19”. The research for this paper was organized in response to the young people’s continued child activism in the face of personal challenges. It seeks to better understand what children and young people want to do in this time of crisis and how they can be better supported, equipped and encouraged.
. A Policy brief: COVID-19 and Risks to Children’s Health and Nutrition which is a substantive analysis of the devastating impacts of COVID and the measures to control it on children’s health and nutrition. This includes specific recommendations to governments and other stakeholders to mitigate these impacts.
. A paper: COVID-19 Aftershocks: A Perfect Storm – Millions more Children at risk of violence under lockdown and into the “new normal” addressing the increase in instances of violence against children alongside with some other alarming statistics and recommendations.
3) Released two additional publications in its COVID-19 Aftershocks series:
. COVID-19 Aftershocks: Deadly Waves
. COVID-19 Aftershocks: Out of Time
For more information on World Vision’s resources and responses to COVID-19, check here.
4) Published an update to its Covid-19 Emergency Response publication containing updated information and statistics about their global response to COVID-19 as of October 22nd. World Vision also published an update to its Covid-19 response in the Asia Pacific Region with new information and statistics as of October 22nd.
5) Released 5 Inspirational ways communities responded to COVID-19, highlighting unique and innovative ways from around the world to tackle the virus and keep each other safe.
- Human Rights Watch published 40 questions to guide a rights-respecting response to this crisis that addresses the needs of groups most at risk, including people living in poverty, ethnic and religious minorities, women, people with disabilities, older people, LGBT people, migrants, refugees, and children. They have also identified a large variety of responses to the crisis, some of which are positive and others problematic. See the checklist here. Moreover, Human Rights Watch released a report assessing the far-reaching negative impacts on children of the COVID-19 crisis. You can read their report here.
- Child Rights Network Switzerland Check here for information on coronavirus and children’s rights in the field of asylum.
- Terre des hommes published a report on the dangers of COVID-19 for refugee children. You can read the report here. It is also available in French German and Italian.
- International Baby Food Action Network shared a list of resources providing health information during COVID-19 about breastfeeding, health and well-being of children and more. Check here to know more.
. For Health Care providers and families on Covid-19 and breastfeeding.
. For mothers and families on Covid-19 and breastfeeding.
- Terre des Hommes published a statement on the impact of covid-19 on child labour to warn about the increasing number of exploited children as a result of the pandemic. For more information a press release and a policy paper on child labour are also available.
- Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children shared a list of resources for parents, professionals and policymakers for the protection of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deprivation of liberty
- QUNO on behalf of and with input from the Child Rights Connect Working Group on Children of Incarcerated Parents prepared a briefing on Covid-19 and the Rights of Children of Parents who are Incarcerated. You can read it here.
- Child Rights International Network (CRIN) prepared publications on COVID-19, such as Coronavirus and children in detention. CRIN is also producing a series of features exploring how the pandemic and the measures to prevent its spread impact children’s rights. Find out more here.
- Terre des Hommes prepared a statement regarding COVID-19 and children deprived of liberty: English, French, Spanish.
- Defence for Children International : 1) Released a webinar on COVID-19’s impact on children deprived of liberty. You can watch it here. 2) Published a statement on the importance of the recommendations from the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Freedom of slavery
- Anti-slavery International published a statement in which the CEO addressed the implication of COVID-19 on the fight for freedom of slavery and a blog on the importance of protecting the most vulnerable during the pandemic. Also, please take a look a their briefing “Leaving no one behind” which is a guidance for policymakers, donors and business leaders to ensure that responses to Covid-19 reach victims of modern slavery and people vulnerable to slavery.
- Hope and home for children shared information on the work it’s conducting to protect the most vulnerable children such as the ones in orphanages and with disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more and check how you can support here. They also published some blog posts called “On the frontline of Coronavirus for children and families” addressing the challenges posed by coronavirus for children and families in different countries.
- Lumos published an article focusing the risks that the COVID-19 pandemic presents to children in institutions and orphanages and what should be done to prevent this. Read more here. Lumos also launched a coronavirus emergency appeal for children in orphanages and other harmful institutions across the world. Find out more here.
Mobilization of religious leaders
- Arigatou International launched a Global Campaign to Mobilize Religious Leaders to Respond to the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children.
. Click here to download the Recommendations for parents and caregivers to nurture children’s spirituality and ethical reflections during the COVID-19 lockdown.
. Click hereto download the Activity Booklet for Families to use with children aged 4 to 18.
. Click hereto download the posters to support and protect children’s physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Recommendation to governments
- Children’s Parliement Scotland published a survey for 8 to 14-year old children living in Scotland to assess how children are living the coronavirus pandemic and share those information with decision-makers. Find out more about its work during COVID-19 here.
- RELAF produced some recommendations to governments and authorities for the protection of children’s rights in the context of COVID-19 pandemic and announced its commitment to work with other organisations to create helpful tools and measures to support children and their families.
- World Vision: 1) Published an article on Stopping the Other Pandemic in the Age of COVID-19 which outlines recommendations for governments on fighting violence against children in the context of the Pandemic; 2) Released a report entitled “Act Now: Experiences and recommendations of girls and boys on the impact of COVID-19″ in which children and young people share stories of the impact COVID-19 has had on their lives, in their families and on their communities and their recommendations to stay safe, healthy and help to fight the further spread of the virus.
- Save the Children launched a new report on universal child benefits: A Foundation to End Child Poverty – How universal child benefits can build a fairer, more inclusive and resilient future. The report sets out a clear, evidence-based policy solution for governments. That solution is centered around a firm commitment from all governments to progressively work towards universal child benefits.
Safety of girls and young women
- World Vision published a report Breaking the Chain: Empowering girls and communities to end child marriages during #COVID19 and beyond. Report available here.
- World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) released a Position Paper on the safety of girls and young women during covid-19 including the specific risks and vulnerabilities that girls face and a call to action.
- Consortium for street children published explanatory notes on COVID-19 and street-connected children’s rights. This and other useful resources such as quick guides for NGOs’ advocacy with governments to help street-connected children during the COVID-19 pandemic are available here.
- ECPAT posted some relevant information about children’s risk to be victims of sexual exploitation during COVID-19. Read more here.
Useful tips to address the COVID-19 outbreak for children, parents and organizations
- Euro Child prepared a list of helpful resources for individuals, parents, children, authorities, organisations, professionals as well as non-profit organisations.
- Child Rights International Network (CRIN) created a stuck-at-home imagination kit consisting in an assortment of past workshops and activities run by CRIN and partners to help prevent boredom and frustration of children and adults during the COVID-19 lockdown. Check CRIN website for other interesting publications on COVID-19, such as CRIN tips on working from home.
- Humanium published a 5-Point Coronavirus Guide for Children providing information and advice for children about Coronavirus. This guide aims to help children understand the Coronavirus and how behave to stay safe and healthy.
- Plan International launched a guide to talking to children about covid-19 as a support to children that may be distressed by the sudden changes in the daily life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide aims to help parents and caregivers to engage conversations with children. More information about this and other relevant resources are available here. They developed a COVID-19 Pandemic hub where you can find all their relevant resources on covid-19.
- Childhood education international has some publications to support parents and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check here to find some resources for addressing the Coronavirus with Children and tools for children’s e-learning and engagement in enriching activities.
- Child Rights Network Switzerland highlighted the importance of providing age appropriate information to children about the coronavirus situation in order to reduce fears and stress, by sharing a list of child-friendly communications and information for children on COVID-19.
- SOS Childrens Villages International released the interview of a child psychologist providing advices on how parents and caregivers can best help their children manage the stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 crisis. Check this and other publications related to covid-19 here.
- Terre des Hommes: 1) Shared information on how it’s working to protect children and families in the poorest sections of society across the world that are more exposed to Covid-19. Read here to know more about the programmes developed. 2) Launched a special COVID page on their ChildHub platform. 3) In the framework of its #CovidUnder19 initiative to bring together children, child human rights activists, experts and other key stakeholders to work together in understanding what children are experiencing due to Covid-19 and to involve children in responding to these issues, Terre des Hommes launched the Life Under Coronavirus survey, for children aged 8-17 years old.
- Together Scotland produced a range of Coronavirus-related resources from across its membership and other organisations. This includes information for children, young people and organisations.
- Plataforma de la infancia published a selection of articles and educational resources in Spanish.
- Human Rights Watch published an article on COVID-19 and Children’s rights covering the devastating effect of COVID-19 on children. You can also check the article on Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response addressing different topics including the need to provide age information to children and the fulfilment of the right to education. Visit here for other publications on covid-19.
- The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) organized a webinar on statelessness during the COVID-19 crisis, entitled “Together We Can: A Consortium to Protect the Stateless in times of COVID-19″ . To ensure that stateless people are included, ISI launched the COVID-19 Emergency Statelessness Fund (CESF) in order to build and channel support to NGOs and citizenship rights activists on the frontline of the crisis. The webinar showcased the projects funded by the CESF and offers discussions on how funding and partnership under the CESF is helping to address the COVID-19 crisis.
- Child Fund Alliance created a COVID-19 site where you can find information about its work to support the vulnerable communities during the pandemic and how you can help.
- War Child Holland shared its COVID-19 Programme Response to inform about its work to respond the urgent needs of vulnerable children and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. More news on its coronavirus response activities can be found here.
- #Caminito de la Escuela is the title of a consultation held by the “Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Ciudad de México” (CDHCM). The CDHCM consulted with children and adolescents in order to find out their opinions on the return to school in the context of the health emergency.
- The International Institute for Child Rights & Development in partnership with the CPC Learning Network, Child Protection Global Protection Cluster, UNICEF, and the IFRC released a guide to support engagement with children and youth in meaningful ways while also navigating the pandemic: “Moving Towards Children as Partners in Child Protection in COVID-19 Guide: From Participation to Partnerships”.
- UNICEF released a report entitled “Sub-Saharan Africa: Growing up in crisis in a world of opportunities. The lasting impact of Covid-19 on children”. This publication sheds light on the various ways children in sub-Saharan Africa have been affected by the ongoing pandemic and how UNICEF and partners have been supporting them. The report also is a call to action to governments and the international community to take concerted action to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated control measures and build forward a better world fit for children.
- The World Food Programme released a report entitled “State of School Feeding Worldwide”. This publication provides an analysis of the state of school feeding in 2020, describes the impact of COVID-19 on school feeding around the world and presents what can be done to restore this global safety net. Long planned for, the report is being published with an even greater sense of urgency as the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020 dealt a blow that brought an end to a near-decade of global growth in school feeding programmes.
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released its new 2020 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. The report highlights how the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed millions to the risk of trafficking but in particular children as the primary victims due to social media. The report looks at patterns of child trafficking and the roles that extreme poverty, social norms, familial backgrounds and the impact of the Covid pandemic play in this form of trafficking.
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict published a new report which shows that COVID-19 response has made children caught in conflict zones more vulnerable to grave violations, in addition to their rights to education and health, access to justice, social services and humanitarian aid, being further restricted. The SR’s annual report, which covers the period from December 2019 to December 2020, also stresses the need for warring parties to respect schools and health facilities, and the people who work in them. You can read the report here.
- UNICEF published a new report on COVID-19’s impact on education and nutrition. The report, entitled “COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition” presents the evidence on the potential negative short-term and long-term effects of school meal scheme disruption during Covid-19 globally. It shows how vulnerable the children participating in these schemes are, how coping and mitigation measures are often only short-term solutions, and how prioritizing school re-opening is critical.
- The International Labor Organization (ILO) published the seventh edition of its ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work, offering the latest analysis of the labour market impact of COVID-19. This report shows that uncertain and uneven recovery is to be expected following the unprecedented labour market crisis brought about by the Pandemic and highlights the need for policy-makers to focus on human-centred recovery prioritizing employment, income and social protection, workers’ rights and social dialogue.
- The WHO’s Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response established to review lessons learned from the international response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, has published its second progress report, highlighting critical failings in the early responses to the COVID-19 crisis, declaring the global system for pandemic alert and response “unfit for purpose” and emphasizing the need for a new framework in the wake of COVID-19.
- The International Labor Organization (ILO) just published a report entitled “Working from home: From invisibility to decent work” investigating the effects of increasing global “home working” trends as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The report shows that home workers experience poor working conditions, face greater health and safety risks, and lack access to training. They are also likely to earn less than their counterparts who work outside the home, even in higher-skilled professions, and do not have the same level of social protection.
- The UN75 Global Consultation is the world’s first global poll conducted during the COVID-19 crisis to ask people what their biggest needs, hopes and fears are, 75 years after the UN was founded.
- UNICEF Guidance for families to prevent violence in early childhood in the time of COVID-19.
- UN Development Programme (UNDP) has published a new study assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The study found that an additional 207 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030, due to the severe long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total number to more than a billion. The study further shows that a tight focus on achieving the SDGs, could slow the rise of extreme poverty – lifting 146 million from its grip – and even exceed the development trajectory the world was on before the pandemic.
- Special Session of the General Assembly in Response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic 3-4 December 2020. This special session is an opportunity for the international community to assess and hone its collective response to the coronavirus pandemic. The two-day special session allows stakeholders to share their experiences in fighting the pandemic, reflect on the global response to date, and forge a united, coordinated, and people-centered path forward.
- Child to Child COVID-19 response resources, here.
- The Child Protection Area of Responsibility, Care and Protection of Children Learning Network, International Institute for Child Rights and Development, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and UNICEF published the guide ‘Moving Towards Children as Partners in Child Protection in COVID-19 Guide: From Participation to Partnerships’
- The UN World Food Programme and the International Organization for Migration have published a joint report entitled “Populations at Risk: Implications of COVID-19 for Hunger, Migration and Displacement”. The report highlights the close interconnection between hunger, conflict, migration and displacement, which has been further aggravated by COVID-19. The study also urges the global community to step up support for the immediate and rising humanitarian needs, as well as addressing the pandemic’s fallout, especially on the most vulnerable
- UNICEF published its World’s Children Day (WCD) 2020 ToolKit on planning and preparing for its fourth annual day ‘for children, by children’, taking place every year on 20 November, the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF’s WCD activations aim to highlight critical issues affecting children and support the engagement of children and young people as advocates for their own rights. UNICEF also launched the Voices of Youth illustration challenge for WCD inviting young people (13 to 24) to draw their interpretation of the world they want to build after COVID19 and post it on their Instagram accounts with the hashtag #voicesofyouth.
- UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank published a new report on the impact of COVID-19 on education worldwide. The report entitled What Have We Learnt? Findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19 explores the increase in inequalities in education between nations and found that school children in low- and lower-middle-income countries have already lost nearly four months of schooling since the start of the pandemic, compared to an average of six weeks among high-income countries.
- CELCIS, in collaboration with several international advisors and contributors, developed an online free training course called “COVID-19: Adapting Child Protection Case Management” available to anyone with a responsibility for responding to the protection and care of children. Read more information and register here. Also, they produced the Mooc “caring for children moving alone”. For more information click here.
- The Guidance for Alternative Care Provision During COVID-19.
- The Council of Europe’s page on “Protecting and empowering children during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
- The Centre for Sport and Human Rights released a report titled “An Overview of the Sport-related Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children.” It is the outcome of a collective effort of thirty-seven experts and practitioners in the fields of child rights, protection, and safeguarding in sport. It responds to concerns about the current and future impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hundreds of millions of children who engage in organised sport, from elite athletes to those on school or community teams.
- The Joining Forces for Children India, a partnership of six Child Development Agencies, responded to COVID-19 by addressing the needs of the most vulnerable population. They jointly appealed to the Government of India to take children’s rights into account in its public budgeting, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. They called for a special economic package to address Child Nutrition and Child Protection because under-five and maternal mortality rates have increased in low- and middle-income countries, and this is being linked to the impact that COVID 19 will have on health systems and decreased access to food. You can read the “joint appeal” here.
- The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights published a blog on covid-19’s impacts on children’s economic, social and cultural rights highlighting that some aspects of state responses to the pandemic constitute restrictions or limitations on children’s rights, while others appear to amount to retrogression.
- The Coordinator for the Rights of Childhood and Adolescence Paraguay in coordination with its partners and with the support of the EU, developed a Spanish child-friendly version of the statement released by the Committee on the Rights of the Child to warn of the grave physical, emotional and psychological effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on children. Read the child-friendly version here
- The UN Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence against Children has put together an agenda for action based on the different mandates of the 8 entities involved. The Agenda provides a child rights and multi-sectoral framework for action and aims to mobilize Governments and other stakeholders in defense of social services for children in the context of covid-19 pandemic. For more information you can read here.
- Better Care Network published a Special journal issue of Child Indicators Research that was compiled to advance an interdisciplinary understanding of the complexity of conceptualizations, determinants, consequences, and measurement of child neglect around the world and to highlight the need for reforms in child protection systems during the covid-19. Better Care Network also developed a COVID-19 Resource Center where you can find more resources on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to child protection and children’s care.
- The African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child expresses its grave concern on the ongoing global outbreak of COVID-19 virus and its devastating impacts on the overall rights and welfare of children in Africa. Read more here.
- UN Policy Brief “The Impact of COVID-19 on children”.
- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) launched multimedia site with human rights standards, recommendations and monitoring on the COVID-19 pandemic. The IACHR launched the multimedia site of its Rapid and Integrated Response Coordination Unit to the crisis in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The site brings together information compiled by the IACHR on measures adopted in the hemisphere to address the pandemic, as well as the main standards and recommendations of the Inter-American Human Rights System, including IACHR Resolution No. 1/20 on Pandemics and Human Rights in the Americas.
- UNICEF: COVID-19 and the impact on children’s rights: the imperative for a human rights-based approach. Also, they published a new report titled How COVID-19 is changing the world: A statistical perspective, which presents some of the latest information available on how COVID-19 is affecting the world and the lives of sub-population groups, such as children.
- The World Health Organization published six one-page tips to help parents interact constructively with their children during this time of confinement. Take a look at it here.
- CIVICUS collected information and resources in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to help connect and inform civil society during this time. Take a look at the website.
- What does COVID-19 mean for gender? Child Rights Connect is following discussions on gender sensitive and responsive to the pandemic. International Gender Champions, where our Executive Director Alex Conte is a Gender Champion himself, published an article that highlights how women and children are some of the most fragile population groups whose needs can be overlooked in health emergencies. You can read it here.
- Amnesty International latest news on COVID-19.
- List of national bodies that victims of incidents of racism and discrimination can report to. This list is compiled in response to the increasing number of reports on such incidents related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Advice of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture to States Parties and National Preventive Mechanisms relating to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
- OAS Launched Practical Guide to Inclusive Rights-Focused Responses to COVID-19 in the Americas – Press release including link to Guide. The guide seeks to support member states of the Organization of American States in responding to the pandemic, offering them a series of tools to consider responses that take into account the particular circumstances of groups in a situation of vulnerability.
D. Children’s initiatives
- #CovidUnder19@ the Global Youth Summit, where Terre des Hommes launched an open letter to world leaders to uphold the human rights of children & young people in the digital environment. The letter is available in English, French and Spanish.
- The results of the #CovidUnder19: Life Under Coronavirus global initiative are available in the thematic summary report “Children’s Rights during Coronavirus: Children’s Views and Experiences”. The #CovidUnder19 global initiative was a collaborative effort between the UN and over 30 organisations. In total, 26 258 children and young people aged 8-17 from 137 countries across the world participated in the survey.
- Article “Include children’s voices on issues that concern them”.
- UNFOLD ZERO article on coronavirus, armed conflict and children: Children for Peace and African youth leaders urge support for UN ceasefire call.
- Voices of youth. Learn how students in the affected countries keep learning and stay positive in times of uncertainty.
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