The economic, social and humanitarian repercussions of the pandemic are especially affecting the lives of the most vulnerable. Billions of children live in countries where protection, prevention and response services to violence have been disrupted. Even in the absence of official global data, estimates confirm that minors suffering from poverty, hunger, abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence have increased.
According to Unicef data, at the height of the lockdown over 90% of children around the world could not attend school and therefore could not access the protection services normally provided by schools, with serious repercussions not only on their education but also on their psychosocial well-being, therefore on their future.
For AVSI, children’s education and protection are inseparable in the response to an emergency, therefore, since the beginning of the pandemic, the staff has intensified educational and recreational programs (face-to-face or digital), awareness messages dissemination, kits health distribution, children protection and safeguarding and psycho-social support also for their families and communities.
In October, AVSI Senior Child Protection Advisor Lucia Castelli participated at the Annual meeting of The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and presented AVSI’s field experience on “Child protection in humanitarian aid: epidemics and of children ”, starting with examples in Lebanon, Kenya, South Sudan, Mexico, Uganda and Jordan.
The event was attended by professionals and researchers from non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies and universities who examined for five days the challenges that emerged in the protection of children during the response to COVID-19. Experiences, ideas and projects were shared to identify the changes needed to ensure that the protection of minors is at the heart of this emergency and those caused by infectious diseases.