Children are particularly vulnerable during infectious disease outbreaks for three main reasons:
1. Children have specific susceptibilities to infection during infectious disease outbreaks;
2. Infectious diseases can disrupt the environments in which children grow and develop and
3. Measures used to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases can expose children to protection risks.
This guidance provides an overview of the risks associated with disease outbreak that could cause children to be left without appropriate parental care, and provides scenarios for where children may be identified as separated in Iraq due to issues related to COVID-19.
Based on these scenarios, and the current and potential impacts of the COVID-19 situation on forms of alternative care in Iraq outlined in the Guidance Note Alternative Care – CMWG Iraq 2018, this guidance provides practical steps and actions for child protection case management actors to follow in order to identify and provide safe and appropriate forms of alternative care for children identified as separated in and outside of camps as well as at hospitals assigned for referrals of suspected COVID-19 cases.