COVID-19 Pandemic’s Effect on Child Rights
Author: A. Amrittha
IV Year | Government Law College, Vellore.
India is the 5th most child-populated country in the world. Children constitute over 26 percent of the world’s population and also 26 percent of the country’s total population. In the history of human rights, the rights of children are the most ratified.
We cannot deny the fact that every one of us faced bad times during the novel pandemic. However, children are the most vulnerable section of society. In this article, the author examines the challenges that children faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 Crisis:
The world is facing a historical disaster in the form of covid-19. This crisis has brought the whole world to a halt. The children are facing a lot of difficulties concerned with the present situation. As of March 2021, 13% of 71 million covid-19 infections in 107 countries (62 percent of total global infections) are among children and adolescents under 20 years of age.To control the pandemic, the Governments of various countries across the globe announced a series of lockdown measures since mid-March 2020. This lockdown has left the children stranded without access to education and no progress to their upliftment.
Challenges to Children due to Covid-19:
Since the pandemic broke out, children around the world are facing a devastating new normal. These are a few of the major challenges faced by children as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:
Loss of access to education:
One year since the pandemic was declared, the progress of children has gone backward virtually, given that schools for more than 168 million children globally have been closed for almost a year. . Children had to attend classes online. However, at least 1 in 3 school children have been unable to access remote learning. The students who are attending the online classes have no effective learning that would help them in the enrichment of knowledge. Children affected by school closure also miss the sense of stability and normalcy that schools provide.
Orphaning of children:
The total number of coronavirus cases in the world are 146,308,033 and 3,101,486 people have died. As the death toll continues to rise, an increasing number of children will be left without one or both of their parents. Although the mortality rates of Covid-19 are higher for the elders. The pandemic has caused among a large number of children various other problems leading to their hospitalisation due to mental pressure.
Children of migrant labourers at high risk:
The migrant laborers in the country are the most exposed section during the pandemic. Their children have no access to basic necessities and most importantly, the pandemic has deprived them of facilities to get an education. Especially the children of those families who do not have any savings and who possess no governmental support are at high risk. In addition to this, children are at heightened risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.
Girl children at risk of child marriage:
The Covid-19 is profoundly affecting the lives of girl children. This pandemic is a threat to the progress made against child marriage. The pandemic is profoundly affecting the girls’ lives every day in terms of their physical and mental health, education and economic circumstances of the family. Over the next decade, up to 10 million more girls will be at risk of becoming a child bride as a result of this pandemic. It is quite evident that education was a protective factor against child marriage. This closure of schools triggered by the covid-19 has pushed many girls towards marriage since going to schools or getting an education is no longer an option.
Deprivation of liberty:
The pandemic has deprived children of their liberty. Children love to be free and enjoy freedom under any circumstances. But the covid-19 crisis has led to the deprivation of children’s liberty. This would directly affect their minds negatively. Given these challenges the children face during the pandemic, it is pertinent to come up with measures to reduce these problems or other alternatives to protect children’s rights.
Throughout the covid-19 crisis, there has been a persistent myth that children weren’t badly affected and nothing could be farther from the truth. That said, our children must at least now be at the heart of the recovery efforts. Prioritizing plans to reopen schools must be implemented to redouble efforts to protect the children. It is our duty to protect our generation from becoming the lost generation.
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Editor: Ananya Manjunath