November 20, 2020

ICPNC statement for Universal Children’s Day-- November 20, 2020

Today, on Universal Children’s Day, the International Child Protection Network of Canada (ICPNC) joins with young people around the world calling for urgent action to keep girls and boys safe from violence and to prioritize children’s rights as part of the global response to theCOVID-19 pandemic.

Children always pay the highest price and are disproportionately impacted in crises. Over eight months into the global pandemic, evidence shows that COVID-19 is no exception. Whether experiencing increased violence and abuse at home amidst school closures, rising incidences of online sexual exploitation, or being pushed into child labour, girls and boys around the world are facing immediate and long-term negative impacts as a result of the virus.

Girls are particularly at risk, with 13 million more girls at risk of child marriage and two million at risk of female genital mutilation due to school closures and increased poverty resulting from COVID-19. Many of these young girls will never go back to school, with 20 million estimated to drop out of school due to the pandemic, including 50% of girls enrolled in secondary schools in humanitarian settings.

These estimates are supported by the direct experiences of girls and boys themselves: one 37-country survey of children found that household violence is occurring at over double the rate when schools were closed (17%) compared with when schools were open and the child was attending in person (8%).Another child consultation across 50 countries shows that violence has surged in the past year, with 81% of those interviewed saying they have seen or faced violence in their homes, communities or online since the start of theCOVID-19 pandemic.

In recognition of the unprecedented need to protect children’s rights and the importance of amplifying girls’ and boys’ voices, the ICPNC and its member organizations will be sharing young people’s contributions and perspectives through a series of blog posts from Nov 20-27. Check it out here and join us in keeping girls and boys front and centre in our global response to COVID-19.


Child Safeguarding and Protection