The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest shocks to global stability since World War II. Before the pandemic, more than half of all children worldwide lived in daily exposure to different forms of violence. The measures to contain and respond to the pandemic have further increased the risks of physical, sexual and emotional violence against girls, boys and children with different gender identities.
While risks have increased, the capacity of formal and informal child protection systems to respond have been limited. The services to prevent, report, respond, care and support have been restricted due to the current emergency or moved to remote support.
Joining Forces, as a coalition of six child rights organisations, calls for child protection to be prioritised in the response to COVID-19. A child protection approach that places children at the centre – upholding child rights principles, reaching the most vulnerable and with adequate funding – is essential for all children, girls and boys, to be able to access and receive the support and services they need in these difficult times.