Geneva, 9 December 2020 – The #CovidUnder19
Global survey is an initiative led by children and young people that aims to understand the impact of the pandemic and related measures from the view of children and young people. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused severe social and emotional disruption in the lives of children by depriving them of on-site education. It has also made them feel highly unsafe and stressed within their homes. The results of the survey have been inclusive of the various prospects of what children have experienced during the pandemic.
Defence for Children International (DCI) has been a key partner since the beginning of the #CovidUnder19 initiative, and it has helped with the promotion and dissemination of the survey, reaching out to many children whose lives and well-being have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a grassroots movement, we could count on the support of our National Sections to increase the outreach of the survey and invite children with different socio-economic backgrounds from all around the world, thus increasing the relevance and representativeness of the survey.
DCI has been particularly concerned about the serious infringements of the human rights of children, as side effects of the lockdown and other preventive measures of the COVID-19 local and national outbreaks. In the context of this unprecedented global crisis, DCI emphasizes 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 in all circumstances.
The results and findings of this survey have been disclosed during a virtual event on December 9, 2020, 14:00 CET in the presence of our partners, stakeholders, decision-makers, as well as children and young people.
The “Life Under Coronavirus” survey was designed with children, for children aged between 8 to 17 years available in 27 different languages alongside an easy to read version. It received an overwhelming response with more than 26,000 children participating worldwide. A shorter poll focusing on issues of protection, safety, and peer-to-peer support was also disseminated via UNICEF’s U-Report
leading to additional 5,000 responses from children.
“I’m getting the opportunity to raise my voice at a time where it has never been needed more, let’s all do this together and raise our voice a little louder,” said Kenizeh-Juliette, 14, from Pakistan.
Publicising the findings allow children and young people to directly share with decision-makers and leaders around the world how the pandemic and related measures are taken by governments affect their daily realities.
The survey was developed in collaboration with international partners including Terre des hommes and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children among others and involved a diverse group of children from 28 countries at all stages including drawing conclusions and developing key messages.
The #CovidUnder19 “Life Under Coronavirus” survey was designed in the spirit of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Child (UNCRC). The Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s University, Belfast, employing their unique children’s rights-based methodology, designed the survey and analysed and reported the results, working at every stage with children and young people and other partners to make sure that the survey and findings were produced with children for children.
In a world centered around decisions made by adults, children and their role in decision making, especially during the time of a crisis, must be included. This global survey has also served as a channel for children to communicate the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives to adults.
Through the various types of data collected – qualitative and quantitative in nature, the survey results disclose how the pandemic and related measures have affected children in different areas of life and circumstances around the world.
Conclusively, the survey has served as a channel for children around the world, to portray their thoughts and feelings about the pandemic to the world alongside their message to decision-makers and leaders. In its representativeness, this initiative serves as a medium of global solidarity among children amidst a crisis while also reflecting upon the diverse unity of the children around the world.
“Children themselves have a great role to play, they just need to be meaningfully informed and empowered,” says Alex Kamaratos, from Defence for Children International.
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