The United Nations Secretary General warned that we are seeing a horrifying global surge in domestic violence

all over the world and is urging leaders to include protective measures in their pandemic plans.

The depth and scope of violence against children was a terrible problem before the pandemic.

Generational child abuse has grown exponentially for decades overwhelming our schools, justice systems and communities.

 

 

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN  

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Compilation of information and writing on this post are the efforts of

KARA volunteers Eshanee Singh & Mike Tikkanen

 

 

Be the Squeaky Wheel for Children 

KARA’S INVISIBLE CHILDREN PSA & COLLEGE PROGRAMS

Watch these powerful public service announcements from before COVID

PART A)

Child protection is often stated by officials as their number one priority, or to be at least of high priority, when preventing and tackling crime; however, the number instances of child abuse and the number of children vulnerable to abuse may prove otherwise. Corporate profit and capitalism continue to be the driving force behind child labor in supply chains and behind the covering up of these violations by governments and corporations. More meaningful transparency and accountability is needed so that consumers are informed and can better make responsible choices in their purchases.

 

Policy Brief: The impact of COVID-19 on children.

Relief Web.

The effects of the pandemic will likely have a greater impact felt by poor countries and neighborhoods who are in existing vulnerable situations. The closure of schools may further exacerbate inequalities; for example, those who do not have access to remote learning equipment may suffer losses to their human capital and earning potential. Furthermore, children who rely on school meals as, sometimes, their only meal of the day would contribute to the ever-rising levels of malnutrition among children. The UN policy brief provides child focused guidelines for governments and policy makers to incorporate when addressing the effects of this pandemic on children.

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/policy-brief-impact-covid-19-children-15-april-2020

 

Supporting children’s well-being during the COIVD-19 pandemic.

Relief Web.

In response to the global pandemic and school closures, UNICEF and the World Food Programme have partnered to ensure school aged children in fragile countries or situations received the health and nutrition support they need.  The partnership incorporates a variety of measures to address both immediate and medium-term needs of health and education systems during and after the pandemic.

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/supporting-childrens-well-being-during-covid-19-pandemic

 

COVID-19’s devastating impact on children.

Human Rights Watch.

Children face not just the immediate and obvious impact of the virus,  but the economic and social impact; school closures, income loss, and increase risk of domestic violence, among other issues, including increase vulnerability to exploitation and abuse due to being orphaned. Human Rights Watch calls on the government to include the well-being of children and vulnerable persons when planning and implementing measures to combat the pandemic, as this is essential for the current and long-term well-bring of children.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/09/covid-19s-devastating-impact-children

 

How does COIVD-19 affect children? A child psychological weighs in.

Relief Web.

Like adults, a child psychologist states that children may have various physical and emotional responses to the pandemic. A lack of routine and social contact may contribute to the anxiety and stress felt by children. The psychologist states that one of the most important things a parent/caretaker can do to alleviate a child’s stress and anxiety during this time is to talk to them by focusing on age appropriate facts and the goo things rather than an information overload.

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/how-does-covid-19-affect-children-child-psychologist-weighs

 

Australia – Confusing and stressful: the debate around children and coronavirus as Australian schools reopen.

The Guardian.

With all the evidence, testing and studies, parents and teachers are confused when it comes to the debate around school closures. Some researchers advocate for less disruptive measures than full school closures which has potentially high economic and social costs. Some doctors state that schools may be reopened, but there needs to be strong precautions implemented to ensure physical distancing and proper hygiene. Schools are set to open in the near future and students are encouraged to attend; however, parents who choose to use a remote learning tool have reported issues with the learning system.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/27/confusing-and-stressful-the-debate-around-children-and-coronavirus-as-australian-schools-reopen

 

Canada – What impact will the pandemic have on child support?

CityNews.

One of the unexpected effects of the pandemic is that many families are not receiving the child support payments, either entirely or not as much as expected, due to the payor having lost their job or are receiving less income due to the economic strain of employers. Courts and government services have transitioned to operating online, but with child support matters your issue must be urgent in order for the court to hear it, meaning that issues that do not reach the standards of urgent will have to wait. The

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/04/03/what-impact-will-the-pandemic-have-on-child-support/

 

Greece – NGOs appeal to Greek prime minister about unaccompanied refugee children.

Greek City Times.

Several international human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, the Greek Council for Refugees, and the Danish Refugee Council, state that as of January 31, 2020 there is an estimated figure of 5463 unaccompanied children in Greece; however, they argue that this figure is severely underestimated due to non-registration and incorrect age assessments. The organizations cite issues of a lack of long-term accommodation, holding children under detention despite it being ruled as a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights, and a lack of access to health care and exclusion from education. They request that the prime minister of Greece put an end to detention centres and implement long term housing as well as a system of public guardianship for unaccompanied children.

https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/02/27/ngos-appeal-to-greek-prime-minister-about-unaccompanied-refugee-children/

 

‘We had no idea how dark this story would get’

The New York Times.

A previous investigation by New York Times investigative journalists, into online child sexual abuse imagery, has spurred a conversation about the government’s lack of response to tech companies’ inability to stop the spread of imagery, raising questions around encryption and privacy online. The US government has responded by expressing an intention to introduce more bills that would increase tech companies’ responsibilities. Tech companies have responded to the investigation by increasing efforts to monitor activity and imagery online.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/podcasts/daily-newsletter-child-sex-abuse-investigation.html

 

Scotland – Online child sexual abuse ‘not given police priority’

BBC News.

A Report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland produced recommendations for the Scotland police on how to better tackle online child sex abuse. They include improved assessment of the scale and nature of online sexual abuse by making changes to the way crime reports are recorded, inter-agency co-operation and communication and prioritizing tackling online child sex abuse through allocating undercover online specialist officers. The deputy chief constable of the Scotland police stated the Scotland police remain committed to protecting children in Scotland despite limited funding

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-51643926

 

Afghanistan – Investigation begins into alleged abuse of more than 500 boys in Afghanistan.

The Guardian.

A civil society group, Logar Youth, Social and Civil Institution, found more than 100 videos of alleged abuse of students by teachers and other school authority. Those who have published the findings have received threats and were detained by intelligence services while the president’s spokesperson conveying school security plans initiatives to deal with reports of abuse. The deputy South Asia director of Amnestry International states that the Afghan government should be working with activists to investigate human rights threats.  UN agencies and NGOs state their intent to increase child protection in Logar, the Afghan province, and to provide psychological support for survivors.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jan/29/investigation-begins-into-alleged-abuse-of-more-than-500-boys-in-afghanistan

 

George Clooney ‘saddened’ by alleged child labour on Nespresso coffee farms.

The Guardian.

Despite advertisement of ethically sourced coffee and a zero tolerance for child labour, Nespresso, part of the Nestle brand, has been alleged to have child labour in its coffee farms. In Nespresso’s coffee farms, only two cases of child labour were reported in 2019, but this statistic is questioned as Nespresso CEO states that their coffee suppliers are given a couple days’ notice in advance as to when spot checks take place. George Clooney, a spokesperson for the coffee brand, states that he is uniquely aware of the issues regarding farming and child labour because of him growing up working on his family’s tobacco farm.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/feb/26/george-clooney-saddened-by-alleged-child-labour-on-nespresso-coffee-farms

 

Canada – Class action claims Hershey products sold in Canada tainted by ‘worst forms of child labour’

Business in Vancouver.

A class action lawsuit has been filed in Vancouver, Canada, against Hershey Canada, the Hershey Company and Hershey Chocolate and Confectionary Corporation for misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and legislative violations for failing to disclose the use of child labour in harvesting raw cocoa in their supply chain. It is argued that Canadian residents would not have purchased chocolate products manufactured and/or marketed by Hershey Canada had they been aware of the use of child labour and slavery. Hershey has not responded to the lawsuit as o the date of publication of the article.

https://biv.com/article/2020/01/class-action-claims-hershey-products-sold-canada-tainted-worst-forms-child-labour

 

Cambodia – How we uncovered child labour in Cambodia’s brick kilns.

Thomson Reuters Foundation News.

Despite government bans on child labour in brick kilns, and even a government report stating there was no child labour, investigations by workers union and other activists reveal child labour and debt bondage at several brick kilns sites. It is argued that statistics are hidden so as to avoid economic sanctions by the European Union and the United States over human rights abuses. These kilns sites, however, employ generations within the same families, families who have o other source for economic support and self-suffiiciency.

https://news.trust.org/item/20200226093233-1umkb/

 

Wendy’s to pay $400k to resolve child labour law allegations.

The Associated Press.

Wendy’s, the fast food chain, is being investigated by Massachusetts’ state attorney general’s office after complaints had been filed against the restaurant by minor employees. Records provided by Wendy’s show that the restaurant allowed 16 and 17-year-old employees to work past 10 pm and more than 9 hours a day. It is estimated that there are more than 2100 violations in 46 locations across the state.

https://www.citynews1130.com/2020/02/18/wendys-to-pay-400k-to-resolve-child-labour-law-allegations/

PART B)

 
United Kingdom: Diary Of A Foster Mom on Lockdown (Commentary)
Medium – May 03, 2020
A recent BBC report found that out of 135 healthcare workers who have died from Coronavirus, 84 were from African and Asian backgrounds. To say COVID-19 does not discriminate is fanciful thinking. If you live in low-income housing, have poor health, and can’t afford to eat healthily you are at risk. Similarly, if you are a black or brown NHS worker regardless of how good at your job and well respected you are.
https://medium.com/an-injustice/lockdown-diary-of-a-foster-parent-6dcd4b93c558

US: Questioning the Inevitability of a Child Welfare Surge
Chronicle of Social Change – May 06, 2020
A number of child welfare professionals and advocates are predicting a surge of cases as states begin to see a reduction in stay at home restrictions. The thinking is that large numbers of children who are currently hidden from the eyes of those most likely to report signs of suspected abuse or neglect, will be seen again by teachers, day care and recreational professionals. Whereas right now, children of all ages have no reliable outlet for telling their stories, nor can they be observed by adults who can set in motion an investigation or assessment of a family. But there might be a few flaws in the argument that there is a wave of cases waiting for us when we “return to normal.”
https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/opinion/questioning-inevitability-of-child-welfare-surge/43145

CA: Workers Fear Catching COVID-19 And Ask Supervisors For Hazard Pay
KPBS – May 04, 2020
More than a dozen cars filled with San Diego County employees honked their horns as they drove past the county’s operations center Monday afternoon, waving signs that read “Protect ALL Workers” and “Hazard PAY Now.”
https://www.kpbs.org/news/2020/may/04/county-workers-fear-catching-covid-19-and-ask-supe/

Kenya: Fighting the shadow pandemic of violence against women and children during COVID19 (Press release)
United Nations Sustainable Development Group – May 05, 2020
Alongside health impacts, the global COVID-19 pandemic has brought a loss of liberties. Many countries are reporting a surge in cases of domestic and sexual violence, also known as gender-based violence (GBV), as well as violence against children. Kenya is following this trend: a third of crimes reported since COVID-19 arrived were related to sexual violence. To stop this ‘shadow’ pandemic’, we must act now.
Report: COVID-19 and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls: https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/library/publications/2020/issue-brief-covid-19-and-ending-violence-against-women-and-girls-en.pdf
https://reliefweb.int/report/kenya/fighting-shadow-pandemic-violence-against-women-and-children-during-covid19

CA: Expert warns ‘child abuse pandemic’ is next (Opinion)
Acorn – April 30, 2020
Even in the best of times, child welfare systems in California are beleaguered, underfunded and stressed. There are too few social workers for foster children and their troubled birth families, and these caseworkers are often overworked within a huge bureaucratic system. Last year, California had 83,000 children living in foster care-the largest number of any state in the nation. Times are tough enough for a child who has been removed from their family because of parental abuse or neglect. And foster care is nothing we would wish on any child. But the invisible, stealthy, silent enemy that is COVID-19 has thrown all of this dysfunction into even more chaos.
https://www.theacorn.com/articles/expert-warns-child-abuse-pandemic-is-next/

US: Trauma-informed approaches for individual, organizational resilience during COVID-19 (Video)
University of California Berkley – April 28, 2020
COVID-19 has brought daily life to a halt, revealed fault lines of socioeconomic inequality and created a deep sense of uncertainty about the future. It is not unexpected, then, that some individuals are at risk of developing long-term reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two experts – Susan Stone, a professor and associate dean in the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare, and Joyce Dorado, a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF-Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital – examined the issue in a live Berkeley Conversations: COVID-19 discussion.
https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/04/28/trauma-informed-approaches-for-individual-and-organizational-resilience-during-the-covid-19-crisis/
Canada: Coronavirus: Saskatchewan sees increased interest in domestic adoption, fostering (Includes video)
Global News Canada – April 27, 2020
Spending more time together at home has some parents thinking about expanding their families. International adoption placements have been suspended as a result of travel restrictions, but supports are still available for domestic adoption and fostering. Fostering is considered an essential service. The Saskatchewan Foster Families Association was the first jurisdiction in Canada to provide online training for families fostering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://globalnews.ca/news/6874331/coronavirus-increased-interest-fostering-adoption-saskatchewan/

 

International: World: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Planning and Ending Gender-based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) – April 28, 2020
A clear view of the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is only beginning to take shape, but experts estimate the human cost could be extraordinary. The economic and physical disruptions caused by the disease could have vast consequences for the rights and health of women and girls, a new analysis by UNFPA and partners shows.
Also: Report: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Planning and Ending Gender-based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage: https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/COVID-19_impact_brief_for_UNFPA_24_April_2020_1.pdf
https://reliefweb.int/report/world/impact-covid-19-pandemic-family-planning-and-ending-gender-based-violence-female

 

International: COVID-19 and Its Implications for Protecting Children Online
UNICEF – April 27, 2020
COVID-19 has prompted widespread school closures and physical distancing measures in countries around the world, prompting families to increasingly turn to digital solutions to support children’s learning, socialisation, and play. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) points out that, while online platforms and communities provide opportunities for sustaining and promoting children’s rights, these same tools may also increase children’s exposure to online risks during the pandemic and beyond. This technical note from UNICEF and partners – Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), WePROTECT Global Alliance, World Health Organization (WHO), and World Childhood Foundation USA (Childhood USA) – sets out some of the key priorities and recommendations on how to mitigate those risks and promote positive online experiences for children.
Also: Report: COVID-19 and Its Implications for Protecting Children Online: https://www.unicef.org/media/67396/file/COVID-19%20and%20Its%20Implications%20for%20Protecting%20Children%20Online.pdf
https://www.comminit.com/global/content/covid-19-and-its-implications-protecting-children-online

 

United Kingdom: Research revealing huge number of vulnerable children failing at school spurs call to action
Phys.org – April 27, 2020
One in seven of all children in England have a social worker at some stage during their schooling and are behind educationally by at least 30 percent by the age of 16 compared to their peers, according to new research published today. The first-of-its-kind study, led by the University of Bristol, investigated the educational achievements and progress of children who need a social worker, comprising Children in Need and Children in Care, during their school years and its findings have prompted national calls for radical changes.
https://phys.org/news/2020-04-revealing-huge-vulnerable-children-school.html
International: World: Technical note on COVID-19 and harmful practices
UNICEF – April 26, 2020
COVID-19 has upended the lives of children and families across the globe and is impacting efforts to end child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). Actions taken to contain the spread of the pandemic – such as school closures and movement restrictions – are disrupting children’s routines and their support systems.
https://reliefweb.int/report/world/technical-note-covid-19-and-harmful-practices

 

International: Why Covid-19 Choices Are Critical for Children (Opinion)
Agrifica – April 24, 2020
Children may escape the worst symptoms of Covid-19 and suffer lower mortality rates, but for millions, the pandemic will have devastating effects. The choices that governments make now are crucial for children. Governments can both lessen the worst effects of the crisis on children in the months to come, and also put policies in place that will improve children’s lives long after the pandemic is over.
https://www.agrifrica.com/2020/04/24/why-covid-19-choices-are-critical-for-children/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-covid-19-choices-are-critical-for-children

 

International: Girls are COVID-19 Victims in Developing Countries (Commentary)
Grit Daily – April 23, 2020
COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, and girls in developing countries and refugee camps have become its frontline victims. Along with other countless international organizations, Plan International USA has escalated its COVID-19 response to meet the unique needs of girls and children in marginalized communities most impacted by the pandemic.
https://gritdaily.com/girls-are-covid-19-victims-in-developing-countries/

Tanzania: Q & A on Ban on Pregnant Girls and World Bank Education Loan (Opinion)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) – April 24, 2020
On March 31, 2020, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a controversial US$500 million loan to the government of Tanzania for its secondary education program. At the heart of this controversy is Tanzania’s adherence to a school ban, endorsed by President John Magufuli since 2017, that discriminates against pregnant students, adolescent mothers, and married girls. In recent weeks, there has been much confusion around the Tanzania government’s stance on the issue of allowing pregnant girls to study in public schools.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/23/tanzania-q-ban-pregnant-girls-and-world-bank-education-loan#

 

International: 90% of the world’s students are in lockdown. It’s going to hit poor kids much harder than rich ones (Includes video)
Cable News Network – April 22, 2020
The inequality gap between rich and poor, present in education systems at the best of times, is being exacerbated by school closures worldwide, experts say. Poorer students are facing increased obstacles to achieving good grades as they contend with a lack of space to work, problems reaching online resources and psychological challenges.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/22/world/coronavirus-vulnerable-children-intl-gbr/index.html

 

International: Dr. Christine Kozachuk Establishes Every Girl Wins Institutes Around The World (Press release)
Every Girl Wins Institute – April 22, 2020
33,000 girls become child brides every day. Globally, 12 million girls each year get married before the age of 18, roughly 33,000 every day, or one every two seconds. There are some 650 million women alive today who were child brides. The reasons behind it vary between communities, but it’s often because girls are not valued as highly as boys and marrying them off at a young age transfers the ‘economic burden’ to another family. The Every Girl Wins Institute Mission is to inspire and educate the world to accept all women as an equal and to help women create the life they deserve through support, education and guidance.
https://www.einpresswire.com/article/515182531/dr-christine-kozachuk-establishes-every-girl-wins-institutes-around-the-world

 

International: Some anti-vaxxers are changing their minds because of the coronavirus pandemic (Includes video)
Cable News Network (CNN) – April 20, 2020
Never has a vaccine been so eagerly anticipated. Scientists are racing to produce a coronavirus inoculation on an unprecedented timescale, and some political leaders have warned that the restrictions on our lives may not be completely lifted until one is available. That’s something of a challenge to the anti-vaccine movement, many of whose members are strongly opposed to mandatory vaccines. But the virus has also done something more startling. It has made some anti-vaxxers change their minds.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/20/health/anti-vaxxers-coronavirus-intl/index.html
International: COVID-19 and Young Girls: Expect Increases in Child Marriage and Teen Pregnancy
Ms. Magazine – April 20, 2020
Across the globe, nine out of 10 children are in lockdown in their homes as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools are closed, social services are disrupted and movement is curtailed as families shelter in their homes. But for too many young girls, their homes are not safe places. Experience shows that during health emergencies, children-especially young girls-face increased risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.
https://msmagazine.com/2020/04/20/covid-19-and-young-girls-expect-increases-in-child-marriage-and-teen-pregnancy/

 

International: NGOs urge UN to blacklist US, Russia for children’s deaths
Associated Press – April 20, 2020
A coalition of 13 human rights and humanitarian organizations urged U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to put the U.S.-led coalition and government-backed forces in Afghanistan and Russian ground and air forces in Syria on a U.N. blacklist of warring parties responsible for killing and injuring children last year.
https://thesouthern.com/news/world/ngos-urge-un-to-blacklist-us-russia-for-childrens-deaths/article_96f52e66-c39e-5ea0-bc12-ff0cbfaa87ec.html
International: World: As COVID-19 pandemic continues, forcibly displaced children need more support than ever (Press release)
UNHCR & UNICEF – April 20, 2020
Millions of children around the world have been driven from their homes and across borders by conflict, violence and other forms of harm – including 12.7 million refugees and 1.1 million asylum seekers. With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs of refugee children have become even more acute. Meeting those needs is key to safeguarding both their wellbeing today and future potential.
https://reliefweb.int/report/world/covid-19-pandemic-continues-forcibly-displaced-children-need-more-support-ever-enar
United Kingdom: Students to be given free laptops and broadband as schools remain shut over coronavirus
Daily Star Post – April 20, 2020
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said there is no set date for re-opening schools in England. Mr Williamson apologised to students for the disruption to their studies and added that there are no plans for schools across England to re-open their doors over the summer holidays. Mr Williamson added that 4G routers will be provided to disadvantaged secondary school pupils and care leavers can access the internet.
https://dailystarpost.com/students-to-be-given-free-laptops-and-broadband-as-schools-remain-shut-over-coronavirus/
Canada: Domestic violence organizations laud new funding, but call for more supports as COVID-19 escalates risk
iPolitics – April 16, 2020
The global healthcare emergency caused by the novel coronavirus has caused a shift in the domestic violence service sector, as it’s done across Canada’s social services from homeless shelters to child welfare agencies.
https://ipolitics.ca/2020/04/16/domestic-violence-organizations-laud-new-funding-but-call-for-more-supports-as-covid-19-escalates-risk/

 

International: COVID-19 And Women’s Economic Empowerment – CWEEE (Press release)
International Center For Research On Women – April 17, 2020
The current COVID-19 crisis deeply impacts women, men, girls, boys and other genders differently. While men make up the majority of those who have died from the virus, women and girls bear the brunt of disproportionate care burdens, disruptions in income and education, poor access to health and other essential services, greater risk of being dispossessed of land and property, and gender digital and pay gaps. For women already living in poverty, these impacts can be a shock to their economic stability overall and impede their ability to purchase critical necessities, such as medicine and food.
Also: COVID-19 and Women’s Economic Empowerment Issue Brief: https://n2r4h9b5.stackpathcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cweee_covid_and_wee_brief_final.pdf
https://reliefweb.int/report/world/covid-19-and-women-s-economic-empowerment

 

International: What Will It Be Like When The Lockdown Lifts?
Psychology Today – April 15, 2020
Many of us will face recovery from the psychological trauma of having lived under chronic uncertainty, isolation, financial insecurity, job loss, and for some, the death of friends and loved ones-taken together, enough trauma for a massive mental health crisis. Disaster researchers warn that the pandemic could inflict long-lasting psychological trauma on an unprecedented global scale.
Also: What Chronic Coronavirus Stress May Do to Us: https://www.fatherly.com/love-money/allostatic-load-chronic-stress/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/za/blog/the-right-mindset/202004/what-will-it-be-when-the-lockdown-lifts
Australia: What governments can do about the increase in family violence due to coronavirus (Commentary)
Child Magazines – April 15, 2020
Tackling a health crisis such as COVID-19, with society in lockdown can’t help but place families under strain. Some family violence organisations in Australia are already reporting a rise in demand for services. The federal government recently announced A$1.1 billion for mental health services, domestic violence support and Medicare assistance for people at home, and emergency food relief. This support is welcome but more practical and creative measures are also required to protect vulnerable families.
https://www.childmags.com.au/what-governments-can-do-about-the-increase-in-family-violence-due-to-coronavirus/

 

International: Warning of grave risks to girls, Plan International launches €100 million appeal to protect children from COVID-19 crisis
ReliefWeb – April 14, 2020
Millions of children, particularly girls, are at grave risk of harm as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to devastate their education and health and leave them at risk of abuse, warns Plan International. The global child rights and humanitarian organisation has launched its largest appeal to date to raise €100 million to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable children and their communities from the impacts of COVID-19.
Also: Appeal for €100 million to protect children from COVID-19 crisis (Press release): https://plan-international.org/news/2020-04-14-appeal-eu100-million-protect-children-covid-19-crisis
Also: Violence against Children. A Hidden Crisis of the COVID-19 Pandemic: http://www.un.am/en/news/950
https://reliefweb.int/report/world/warning-grave-risks-girls-plan-international-launches-100-million-appeal-protect

 

International: COVID-19: A Human Rights Checklist (Commentary) (Includes video)
Human Rights Watch – April 14, 2020
Human Rights Watch is committed to reporting on the human rights dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research has identified 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.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/14/covid-19-human-rights-checklist#
Syria: Syria Protection Cluster (Turkey): Response Snapshot ( 29 February 2020) (Press release)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – April 10, 2020
In February 2020 , 15 Protection Cluster members provided emergency response services for civilians displaced from Idleb and Aleppo due to the ongoing hostilities. In February, more than 40 Child protection partners provided regular and emergency response services, Include 483 child protection interventions in 25 sub districts reaching more than 105,303 children and caregivers (44,017 girls, 45,121 boys, 8,701 women and 7,464 men).
https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-protection-cluster-turkey-response-snapshot-29-february-2020
International: COVID-19 and Children’s Rights
Human Rights Watch – April 09, 2020
Children who contract COVID-19 appear to have less severe symptoms and lower mortality rates than other age groups. But in myriad other ways, the COVID-19 crisis is having a devastating effect on children, with potentially far-reaching and long-term negative impacts. More than 1.5 billion students are out of school, and widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity are likely to increase rates of child labor, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage. Stresses on families, particularly those living under quarantines, lockdowns and other restrictions on freedom of movement, may increase the incidence of violence in the home. As the global death toll from COVID-19 increases, large numbers of children will be orphaned and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/09/covid-19-and-childrens-rights-0#

 

International: Protecting The Most Vulnerable Children During The COVID-19 Outbreak (Corrected title)
Forbes – April 08, 2020
COVID-19 poses specific child protection challenges. Children whose parents must continue working may be left home unaccompanied, endangering them in the event of an emergency. Older children may be forced to care for younger siblings, disrupting their own childhoods and placing them under additional stress. Many children will also have increased access to the Internet, potentially exposing them to online exploitation and online bullying. Finally, children may also resort to exploitative forms of labor to help their families, a trend observed during and after many humanitarian emergencies around the world. Globally, UNICEF is partnering with governments and non-governmental organizations to mobilize resources and provide practical solutions to keep children safe in the midst of the pandemic.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/unicefusa/2020/04/08/protecting-the-most-vulnerable-children-during-the-covid-10-outbreak/#5058d71d5367

 

Africa: Alarm grows in Africa as continent records its 10,000th case of COVID-19
Save the Children – April 08, 2020
Some of the most vulnerable children and their families across Africa who depend on the informal economy for their livelihoods are and will increasingly be impacted by measures designed to stop the spread of COVID-19, Save the Children is warning, as the number of people on the continent infected with COVID-19 reached 10,000 yesterday.
https://www.savethechildren.net/news/alarm-grows-africa-continent-records-its-10000th-case-covid-19
Australia: Losing eyes on vulnerable children ‘invisible’ during lockdown
Brisbane Times – April 07, 2020
Vulnerable children face “dire consequences” because the coronavirus lockdown has taken them out of the sight of mandatory reporters, with community sector experts saying it also makes home visits from child protection workers risky. According to the NSW government’s published statistics, 105,772 children were deemed at “risk of significant harm” in the 2018-2019 financial year, but only 29 per cent of those children (30,949) were seen by a case worker. Child protection workers are still conducting home visits of vulnerable children “where it is safe and possible to do so”, but there were anecdotal reports of families refusing visits, using COVID-19 as an excuse.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/nsw/losing-eyes-on-vulnerable-children-invisible-during-lockdown-20200407-p54hqi.html

 

Australia: Number of children needing child protection services rose 12 per cent in last 5 years
Sector – April 06, 2020
Approximately 170,200 young Australians needed help from child protection services in 2018-19, a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has revealed, also noting that in the five-year period from 2014-15, the number of children receiving child protection services rose by about 12 per cent from 152,000 to 170,200, or around 30 per 1,000 children.
Also: Report: Child protection Australia 2018-19: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/child-protection/child-protection-australia-2018-19/contents/table-of-contents
https://thesector.com.au/2020/04/07/number-of-children-needing-child-protection-services-rose-12-per-cent-in-last-5-years/

 

AZ: With classrooms empty, fewer people are watching for signs of child abuse (Commentary)
Arizona Republic – April 03, 2020
With school classrooms empty, calls to the state child-abuse hotline have dropped. But that doesn’t mean kids are less at risk, child-welfare advocates say. Arizona’s stay-at-home order increases the likelihood of neglect or abuse, both because of the stress it puts on families and because it limits who sees the children. To raise awareness of this, a group of friends who have worked in child welfare has produced a series of messages and posters on how to look for and report signs of abuse. It coincides with the start of April as child abuse prevention month.
Also: Child welfare: How you can become a foster parent, donate or volunteer in Arizona (Commentary): https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-child-welfare/2018/04/05/child-welfare-how-you-can-become-foster-parent-donate-volunteer-arizona/418666002/
https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-child-welfare/2020/04/03/calls-child-abuse-hotline-decline-group-urges-vigilance/5109381002/
France: France: Children Left in Limbo despite COVID-19 (Press release)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) – February 26, 2020
Migrant children are being left at risk to the coronavirus because of failures by child protection authorities in Marseille and Gap, France, Human Rights Watch said today. Unaccompanied migrant children are not being given shelter and other essential services by the Bouches-du-Rhône and Hautes-Alpes departments, which are responsible for their care, putting them at risk and weakening the authorities’ response to the pandemic.
https://reliefweb.int/report/france/france-children-left-limbo-despite-covid-19

 

International: UN chief urges end to domestic violence, citing global surge
Associated Press – April 05, 2020
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday night that there has been “a horrifying global surge in domestic violence” as fear of the coronavirus has grown along with its social and economic consequences. “I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19,” Guterres said.
https://thesouthern.com/news/world/un-chief-urges-end-to-domestic-violence-citing-global-surge/article_236c600e-4d94-51ef-ac0d-24c13e895328.html

 

Italy: COVID-19 support for refugee and migrant children in Italy (Commentary)
UNICEF – April 03, 2020
I currently lead UNICEF’s work with the Italian Government and civil society to help ensure the protection and inclusion of refugee and migrant children who have reached Italian shores. The vast majority of these children and young people arrived via the notoriously dangerous Central Mediterranean migration route. Every day, I see UNICEF’s support of refugee and migrant children in Italy during the COVID 19 emergency, including adjusting to this new reality.
https://blogs.unicef.org/blog/covid-19-support-refugee-migrant-children-italy/
Canada: Ottawa overestimated cost of compensating First Nations children under tribunal order: budget officer (Commentary)
Express Informer – April 02, 2020
The federal government overestimated the cost of complying with a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal order that it compensate First Nations children apprehended from their homes through the on-reserve child welfare system, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) issued a report on the price of the tribunal order Thursday. It found it would cost the federal government between $900 million and $2.9 billion if the payouts happened this year.
https://expressinformer.com/ottawa-overestimated-cost-of-compensating-first-nations-children-under-tribunal-order-budget-officer/

 

Ireland: The Irish Examiner View: New adoption laws would change lives (Commentary)
Irish Examiner – April 02, 2020
Like all human experiences, adoption can be a hugely positive, enriching one. It can, however, very occasionally be a disheartening, heartbreaking one. It seems fair to say though that the process leads to a far greater number of happy, life-long outcomes than tragic ones. It, if all goes well, opens a door for a lost child while giving new meaning and purpose to adoptive parents’ lives.
https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/ourview/the-irish-examiner-view-new-adoption-laws-would-change-lives-991780.html
Canada: Children’s Aid Society cancelled face-to-face meetings. These parents worry they won’t see their kids for months
Star – April 01, 2020
When A.B. hears people complain about being stuck indoors, she says she doesn’t care where she is – if only it were with her child. But for nearly two weeks, the Toronto mother has not had her court-ordered face-to-face visits with her child, who is in government care, because on March 18 the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto suspended supervised parent/child visits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/04/01/childrens-aid-society-cancelled-face-to-face-meetings-these-parents-worry-they-wont-see-their-kids-for-months.html

 

International: COVID-19 Leaves International Adoptive Families Stranded
Decision Magazine – March 31, 2020
Amid travel bans, visa restrictions and business closures, international adoption agencies are struggling to cope in the midst of the global pandemic, and some adoptive families have been left stranded in foreign countries. Several agencies have reported that these stranded clients have no way to obtain the necessary paperwork to travel back to the United States with their adopted children.
https://decisionmagazine.com/covid-19-leaves-international-adoptive-families-stranded/#new_tab

 

Canada: Canada’s Foster Youth ‘Age Out’ Of Care Into Uncertainty Of Coronavirus Pandemic
Huffington Post – March 27, 2020
There are approximately 63,000 children in Canada living in foster or group homes or permanent care arrangements with extended family, according to the Children’s Aid Foundation. And when young people age out of the child welfare system, they face a steep, uphill battle. Even in the best of times, aging out of care is incredibly fraught.
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/coronavirus-foster-care_ca_5e7e2f7ec5b6cb9dc19f5e9a
International: Can coronavirus teach us how to end violence against children? (Commentary)
World Vision – March 24, 2020
We hear it constantly on the news right now, and it somehow makes us feel better: coronavirus knows no borders. The ongoing pandemic indeed affects, or will affect, every human being on the planet, every activity and business, and every cause. As a child rights activist, I am feeling anxious about children amidst the current crisis.
https://www.wvi.org/stories/coronavirus-health-crisis/can-coronavirus-teach-us-how-end-violence-against-children

 

South Africa: SOS Children’s Villages call out to SA about COVID-19
Media Update – March 31, 2020
The SOS Children’s Villages South Africa has made the following announcement in relation to the national lockdown and the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.
https://www.mediaupdate.co.za/publicity/148296/sos-childrens-villages-call-out-to-sa-about-covid-19

 

United Kingdom: Priti Patel admits ‘home is not the safe haven it should be’
Daily Mail – March 28, 2020
Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to crack down on domestic abusers who are exploiting the lockdown to make their victims feel ‘especially isolated, vulnerable and exposed’.Ms Patel told The Mail on Sunday she was aware that ‘home is not the safe haven it should be’ – but abusers would be hunted down and punished.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8163919/Priti-Patel-admits-home-not-safe-haven-abuse-rises-amid-Covid-19-crisis.html

 

 

 

Child abuse hotline calls plunge during pandemic
Forum – April 30, 2020
Across the country, child abuse hotlines have seen a dip in reporting since the COVID-19 health crisis has shuttered schools and kept people quarantined in their homes. The same is true in Nodaway County, according to recent reports from the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division.
http://www.maryvilleforum.com/news/community/child-abuse-hotline-calls-plunge-during-pandemic/article_6fec5d7e-8ae7-11ea-adfb-631b3da6b4ae.html

 

China: COVID-19 Emergency response Asia-Pacific Situation Report, 30th April 2020, Issue 3
Plan International – April 30, 2020
As a global girls’ rights and humanitarian organisation, Plan International’s experience indicates that girls and young women are particularily vulnerable in health emergencies. We call on governments to include meaningful participation of girls and women in its decision-making processes related to the COVID-19 response and recognise that outbreaks, quarantines and isolation affect girls and boys, women and men differently.
https://reliefweb.int/report/china/covid-19-emergency-response-asia-pacific-situation-report-30th-april-2020-issue-3

 

International: Unplanned Pregnancies, Another Pandemic Side Effect (Commentary)
Daily News (Be Latina) – May 01, 2020
A report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) on April 27 explained that, if the lockdown continues, “7 million unplanned pregnancies and 31 million gender-based violence cases can be expected.”
Also: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Planning and Ending Gender-based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage: https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/COVID-19_impact_brief_for_UNFPA_24_April_2020_1.pdf
https://belatina.com/unplanned-pregnancies-due-to-pandemic-effect-on-access/

 

Uganda: More than 60,000 refugee and host community children in Uganda supported to learn from home during COVID-19 (Press release)
Save the Children – April 30, 2020
An investment by Education Cannot Wait is providing learning and mental health support for more than 60,000 refugee and local host community children in Uganda who are out of school due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
https://uganda.savethechildren.net/news/more-60000-refugee-and-host-community-children-uganda-supported-learn-home-during-covid-19#

 

 

 

 

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