Read how Defence for Children International is adapting its activities in response to the pandemic and and how National Sections are addressing the COVID-19 in the reports, articles, webinars listed below. This page will be regularly updated.
DCI GLOBAL REPORT
In order to have a snapshot of the situation in field, we decided to conduct a global survey in March-April which we hope will benefit experts, practitioners, youth representatives, and donors supporting DCI efforts in the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Global Report shows that social distancing and stay-at-home policies induced Sections to rapidly shift focus to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the resilience of our practitioners is once again challenged, and this is on the top of other current limitations imposed by internal conflict or deprivation or liberty, we have the experience of past epidemics by our side. National sections like Sierra Leone and Liberia for instance, which previously mobilised against Ebola, shared important lessons learned with the global Movement in the fight against COVID-19. The level of uncertainty is high, and it forces us to work on several scenarios at the same time. Immediate response followed by long-term actions will be necessary to mitigate the impact this crisis has and will have on the most vulnerable. However, in the face of constantly growing needs, immediate and equitably distributed resources are always limited. Long-term support is therefore essential, and we hope this can lead to individual and collective change during the COVID19 period and beyond.
DCI Press – Release on COVID-19 pandemic
In the light of the current crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Defence for Children International (DCI) is deeply concerned about the serious infringements on children’s human rights caused by repressive measures, like restrictions on movement, adopted by some States to limit and manage the coronavirus outbreak. In the context of this unprecedented global crisis, DCI emphasises that States should be more than ever committed to uphold the rights of children as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and ensure their protection against any form of discrimination. States should consider the needs of children in specific situations of vulnerability, among which are children deprived of liberty, children on the move, or indigenous and minority children. During this global pandemic, States must ensure their protection against violence and strengthen resources that allow for equal access to education and health care.
DCI-Argentina #DCI Argentina has gathered international experts and representatives of the project #TejiendoRedesInfancia co-financed by the @EuropeanUnion, with the first of a series of Dialogues on the Protection of #ChildRights in the context of #COVID19. Full recording of the webinar is available here.
DCI-Belgium has released in May 11th three positions papers which highlight some key findings and recommendations to strengthen children’s rights in asylum proceedings in Belgium. To access the documents here.
DCI-Costa Rica produced a lot of materials concerning COVID-19 and children:
- Suggestions, based on age range, on how we can prevent sexual abuse in this time of isolation
- Tips on how to talk to children about the pandemic and how to involve them
- Different resources for the apprentice and educational games
- A press release about the measures implemented by the national section as of March 20th
DCI-Colombia signed a letter to call on for the protection of the human rights and the ensure of the survival of the Wayúu population, the largest ethnic group in Colombia which is settled in the territory of La Guajira.
In keeping with the purpose of the Movement, we supported the claim and urged the Colombian president and government authorities to take all measures within their power to guarantee the special enhanced protection that the Colombian State must provide to Wayúu children during the State of Emergency due to the COVID-19.
On June 2020, DCI-Colombia launched a public joint statement to urge the State of Colombia for the implementation of measures that guarantee the protection and access to the rights of children in the country. Read the press release (Available in Spanish)
DCI-Greece has launched a joint statement with other 21 human rights and humanitarian organizations operating in Greece, associated with the new campaign #dont_leavethekidsalone, asking the government for immediate preventive measures in the islands’ Reception and Identification Centers (RICs) where the precarious situations of asylum seekers and migrants would put them at greater risk from the infection.
DCI-Italy has organized during the country lockdown some “conversations meanwhile”. In that particular moment of suspension, where the exchanges became virtual, the team of DCI-Italy was protagonist of a series of meetings where philosophers, psychologists, musicians and sociologists told their point of view, to experiment together new ways of dialogue, training and information. The podcasts are available here: http://defenceforchildren.it/risorse/podcast.htm
DCI-Mauritania responds to the emerging challenges of COVID-19:
The President of DCI-Mauritania and AMSME, our colleague Zeinabou Taleb, participated in an awareness campaign about the coronavirus. The campaign distributed food products to 900 poor and confined families and 8000 awareness flyers. This awareness campaign was organized by the GFF CSO coalition of 204 organizations under the presidency of DCI-Mauritania at the level of the capital Nouakchott. Some pictures of the campaign are available on the facebook account.
Likewise, DCI-Mauritania participated in two television programs and the production of two videos to create awareness about the fake news that has been widely published on social networks during and about COVID-19. This misinformation prompted DCI-Mauritania to elaborate on and publish two prevention posters in their social media.
During the new activities relating to COVID-19, the National Section continued their projects of care and counselling of victims of sexual violence that takes place in the centre “EL Wafa” as well as the child helpline. The helpline was adapted to be at the disposal of children in distress due to the COVID-19. Some 14 boys and 18 girls have phoned the helpline desk seeking information about the coronavirus.
DCI-Palestine called on Israeli authorities on March 19th, calling on Israeli authorities to take immediate action to release all Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons due to the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus. A UN human rights expert produced a statement urged Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to live up to their international legal responsibilities by ensuring that the right to health is fully provided to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
DCI-Sierra Leone organized #SexualRepreductiveHealthRights sessions for girls and provided them with vital information on essential services and how to access these services in communities to minimize the likelihood of girls getting pregnant during this #COVID-19, and with the help of a professional health worker. Moreover, on April 10th, Defence for Children International Sierra Leone and AIM urged government to investigate sexual abuses against girls in COVID-19 quarantined homes in Port Loko District. Read the article here.
Resources for Child Rights Defenders:
- #CovidUnder19, a new campaign of Terres des Hommes open to children participation during the month of June 2020
- Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action has prepared an operational guidance to work for and with young people during the COVID-19 emergency Read more
- Policy brief: (20 May 2020)
- Guidance brief on Covid-19 of SOS-Torture Network and detention in English and different languages: Español, Россия, Türkçesi
- Webinar on Protecting Children from Violence, Abuse, and Neglect at Home, from the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, May 8th 2020
- United Nations Secretary General Statement: on the impact of the COVID-19 on children
- SRSG VAC Statement on protecting violence against children and safeguard their well-being
- CSRSG CAAC Statement on Ceasefires Present Opportunities to Better Protect Children in Armed Conflict
- UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Statement on children rights and COVID-19
- UN experts call for urgent action to mitigate heightened risks of violence against children
- UN agencies issue urgent call on COVID-19
- Joint Statement by UNHCR and UNICEF: As COVID-19 pandemic continues, forcibly displaced children need more support than ever
- Defence for Children International Press Release
- TDH Every child has right to childhood
- Leaders to Respond to the Impact of the COVID – 19 Pandemic on Children
- Arigatou International launched a Global Campaign to Mobilize Religious Organisation to Respond to the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children
- Statement of the CRIN – Coronavirus and children in detention
- Comité de Derechos del Niño, Declaración sobre COVID-19 e Infancia:
- New Campaigns ” Living Together without violence “, Child Protection Switzerland
- Urgent regularization of migrant and asylum seekers at the risk of the COVID-19 – Spanish Commission for Refugees (CEAR by its initials in Spanish)
- Human Rights Watch urges governments to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on children
- #FreetheKids Hundreds of migrant children in Greece without a parent or relative are sitting behind bars in immigration detention. Their conditions create a heightened risk for contracting COVID-19.
- COVID-19 isolation threatens life-saving vaccinations for millions of children globally
DCI - Sierra Leone appearing alongside the speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, movie star Idris Elba, Sierra Leone artists and ministers in a video for the Girls Advocacy Alliance.
📢 Confinement and other measures to contain the COVID19 are triggering increased rates of violence against children in Latin American and the Caribbean. A region known as the most violent and insecure in the world.
➡️ Read our article on state violence https://t.co/CM6EXx73L8 pic.twitter.com/dKKVgPiLDl
— DefenceforChildrenInternational (@DCIsecretariat) May 19, 2020
According to @UNICEF, #COVID19 has caused various setbacks in children’s rights throughout the world, such as:
➡️Children being pushed into child labour.
➡️Increase of exploitative and hazardous job conditions
➡️Particular risk for girls to suffer exploitation pic.twitter.com/V9NQU3p9VV
— DefenceforChildrenInternational (@DCIsecretariat) June 12, 2020