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Coronavirus and children

Strasbourg 20 March 2020
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@ Council of Europe – Photo by Gaby Herbstein

@ Council of Europe – Photo by Gaby Herbstein

Across the globe, our continent, our countries and the cities we live in, we have all been shattered by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is not always easy for adults to cope in such challenging situations, let alone children. We are confined to our homes, obliged to stay inside and without much social contact, we are worried to ensure we have enough food for our families, and we try to juggle teleworking with helping children learn in a totally new environment. Children also have questions and concerns and it is very important for us, adults, to be able to talk about this unprecedented situation to children of all ages, to protect them the best we can and to alleviate their own, fully justified, worries.

Children are trying to navigate in a school environment where teachers and peers are distant and in particular mutual support from the latter is lacking. According to their particular family setting, children may observe greater stress amongst their parents or other caregivers or even face increased levels of domestic violence. Even where families function well, children may fear that one of their family members or themselves could catch the disease, and they have less opportunity to release stress through sport and leisure activities.

For all these reasons, we must be ready to support children as far as we possibly can. The Children’s Rights Division has therefore pulled together a few resources which have recently been published by different organisations to facilitate this dialogue, to better protect our children and to best explain the Coronavirus to them:

UN and UNICEF:

Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children

Selected WHO resources: