Defence for Children International response to COVID-19

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.



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 upholding 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.  



Webinar- The impact of COVID-19 in Children Deprived of Liberty

On July 16th the International Secretariat of DCI hosted the webinar to explore the challenges related to the pandemic, highlight key findings of the Global Study of United Nations on Children Deprived of Liberty, present good practices, and discuss the way forward. Moderated by: Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children.

More info

Watch the recorded event

Child-led event  ‘Girl human rights defenders on the frontline of COVID-19 response’

On July 9th, we heard from children, particularly girls, who are on the frontline of the COVID-19 response and peaceful protests. They shared their personal experience of the crisis and discussed which issues global leaders should prioritise to ensure a gender-based approach during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Moderator: Mellicentia, youth advocate, 18 (Sierra Leone)

More info

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: 

  1. Suggestions, based on age range, on how we can prevent sexual abuse in this time of isolation 
  2. Tips on how to talk to children about the pandemic and how to involve them  
  3. Different resources for the apprentice and educational games  
  4. A press release about the measures implemented by the national section as of March 20th

Facebook: @dni.costarica.
Instagram: @dnicostarica
Twitter: @dnicostarica. 


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:

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


Resources for Child Rights Defenders


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.