Where do we go from here? A child rights-based response to COVID-19

BMJ Paediatrics Open - Journal Article

We are all in this together, and if we really want to stop this virus, we have to work together as a community. We, as children and young people, will continue doing public awareness raising using photos and videos to let everyone know that we can do this together, we can beat this virus together, and we are stronger when we are unified by a common goal. Ajlin (young leader, age 14, Bosnia and Herzegovina1)The global COVID-19 pandemic is already this century’s largest, expanding exponentially with millions of confirmed cases. While this virus impacts relatively few children through severe morbidity or mortality, they nonetheless experience heightened adversity as governments around the globe intervene with drastic social control measures. Over 1.5 billion children were out of school at the current peak, and widespread job losses and economic insecurity are likely to increase rates of children’s exploitation, labour, maltreatment and teenage pregnancy.2 Recommendations for children’s health and healthcare during COVID-19 have been developed.3 Many regional, national and global agencies have advocated for measures to mitigate potential harms to children associated with pandemic prevention interventions.4 5 Public health measures to implement social distancing and limit the virus’s spread must be balanced with measures that protect and promote the rights of all children across the globe. We outline the children and young people (CYP) most at risk globally and call for a rights-based agenda for action to alleviate potential and real harms to children, acknowledging that the long-term impacts of …

Shanti Raman, Maria Harries, Rita Nathawad, Rosina Kyeremateng, Rajeev Seth, Bob Lonne
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