After COVID-19, a future for the world's children?

The WHO–UNICEF–Lancet Commissioners

In this comment piece, the The WHO–UNICEF–Lancet Commissioners argue that "recovery and adaptation to COVID-19 can be used to build a better world for children and future generations." The comment discusses the impacts of the pandemic on children and their welfare, including "separation or loss in their own families."

"The most vulnerable children are those who have been separated from caregivers;" say the authors, "in past health-related disasters up to 30% of such children met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. Parents may also struggle to provide the responsive parenting needed to help children thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic."

The comment calls for investment in children's wellbeing, which "provides benefits that are immediate, long term, and intergenerational."

"Country leaders should put child health and wellbeing at the centre of recovery plans, include experts in children’s issues in the relevant task forces and legislative working groups, engage their ministries to work together for children, and ask children and adolescents what changes they would like to see."