22 November 2021, 14:00 - 15:30 (CET)

3rd Edition of Webinar series on COVID-19 and Children's Rights

The data available shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the vulnerability of children to violence. The reasons behind the increased incidence of child abuse are complex and multi-dimensional. According to UNICEF, 98% of children worldwide have been confined to their homes for different lengths of time. Restriction measures have curtailed contact with 'traditional' reporters of abuse (such as teachers, doctors, social workers), with a decline in the detection of abuse and reporting. Access to health care, prevention services and assistance - especially in schools - or follow-up have also been hampered. For children and families in a pre-existing situation of vulnerability, the pandemic has also increased risk factors. In addition, it has inevitably created more family conflict, and/or contact between children and their potential abusers in the family sphere.

Other causes of the increased incidence of child abuse during the COVID-19 crisis are to be found in the family and societal environment: the economic disorder and financial hardship resulting from the health crisis may have compromised parental mental health, as well as positive parenting.

Finally, as the digital environment has become an increasingly important part of their lives, the risks of children to become victims of violence through information and communication technologies have multiplied. Interpol and Europol have also confirmed that the sharing of child sexual abuse content has increased dramatically.

The third webinar in a series of webinars organised by the Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child (CDENF) on COVID-19 and Children's Rights, took place online on 22 November 2021 (14:00-15:30 CET) and was broadcasted live. It brought together CDENF members, participants, observers and other experts for an in-depth exchange of views on the topic of "Intrafamily violence" during the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar was also a contribution of the Council of Europe to the celebrations of the 7th edition of the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, with this year’s theme "Making the circle of trust truly safe for children".

The objectives of the webinar were to reflect together and develop guidance on:

  • Prevention, detection and reporting of violence within the family;
  • Sexual violence in the family circle;
  • Support to children and families by professionals during lockdown (child contact constraints, reporting etc.).

 Watch video recording

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