In this document, UNICEF calls for A Six-Point Plan to Protect our Children, a list of urgent actions to mitigate the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a practical recovery plan to safeguard child rights now and to reimagine a better future. Children and young people will be living with the impacts of this pandemic for years to come. We must listen to children and young people and include them in decisions that determine their future.
The report highlights the disruptions to healthcare, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, and social and child protection services that have resulted from the pandemic, as well as the negative mental health and economic impacts it has had on children and their families. The report also notes the ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender-based violence and violence against children that has worsened during the COVID-19 crisis as well as the particular challenges for children with disabilities during this time.
Therefore, UNICEF is calling on governments and partners to:
1 Ensure all children learn, including by closing the digital divide.
2 Guarantee access to health and nutrition services and make vaccines affordable and available to every child.
3 Support and protect the mental health of children and young people and bring an end to abuse, gender-based violence and neglect in childhood.
4 Increase access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene and address environmental degradation and climate change.
5 Reverse the rise in child poverty and ensure an inclusive recovery for all.
6 Redouble efforts to protect and support children and their families living through conflict, disaster and displacement.