Joint OpEd - COVID-19 recovery and children in Cambodia: Time to give them back their childhood

Joint OpEd - COVID-19 recovery and children in Cambodia: Time to give them back their childhood

Joint Op-ed

International Children Day

COVID-19 recovery and children in Cambodia:
Time to give them back their childhood

Almost a year and a half after the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Cambodia, several recent studies show that the pandemic, step by step, has deprived children from their most essential rights and put their childhood on hold. Over the last 15 months, children first have been required to stay home by school closure and other restrictions, losing their daily routine and becoming isolated from their friends, teachers and relatives. Beyond the loneliness, they have had to battle growing fears and stress. Fear for their health and the health of their family as the country was going through several episodes of community transmission. Fear for their future career as schools were intermittently closed from March 2020 until today. Fear of falling behind as many have had to face multiple challenges to study remotely. Stress as they saw their parents and relatives losing their income and struggling to cover their living expenses. Several surveys also show that domestic violence has increased during the pandemic and children have had a reduced access to social services to find support.