COVID-19, Children’s Rights and 2030 Agenda

COVID-19, Children’s Rights and 2030 Agenda
2020. A two-year-old girl in her father’s arms waiting for a vitamin A supplement as part of the door to door campaign ‘Nutritional Action Week 2020’ run by UNICEF in Bangladesh. This campaign, which is run by Rohingyas reaches 154,000 children between the ages of six months and five years © UNICEF/UNI360602/Lateef

COVID-19, Children’s Rights and 2030 Agenda

The pandemic brought about by COVID-19 which has affected all the world in 2020 has had a great impact on Children’s Rights. The suspending of face-to-face teaching which occurred during the lockdown decreed in many countries as an effective measure to prevent infection has meant not only that many children’s schooling has been slowed down, particularly for those from vulnerable backgrounds, but also a loss of protection and the opportunity to achieve a better life, because schools are effective tools for compensating social inequalities. Unless urgent steps are taken, this health emergency could become a world crisis for Children’s Rights. In the words of UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, the pandemic generated by COVID-19 affects children by leading them into poverty, preventing their education, threatening their health and survival, and putting their nourishment and safety at risk. We must take steps towards prioritising attention to children by designing public policies which reduce inequality and increase investment to guarantee that all children have access to basic services so as to mitigate the consequences of the health, economic and social crises produced by COVID-19. By acting in this way we will not only reach the goals of Agenda 2030 but also create more resilient and better-prepared societies to confront new crises which will undoubtedly arise sooner or later.