Lockdowns Harming Millions of Children Worldwide

December 23, 2020

In a recent Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the UN declared that by December 2020 the fallout of the lockdowns worldwide had most egregiously affected children, young girls and women.

In a recent Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the UN declared that by December 2020, the fallout of the lockdowns worldwide had most egregiously affected children, young girls and women.

UN official “Meetings Coverage GA/12294” – dated December 4, 2020 and entitled, “Amid Threat of Catastrophic Global Famine, COVID-19 Response Must Prioritize Food Security, Humanitarian Needs, Experts Tell General Assembly” – reports that “the 2020 pandemic is a child’s rights crisis, which threatens to undermine decades of progress.”

“This is the first time the world is experiencing an educational emergency of this proportion. At the peak of the crisis over 1.6 billion learners were impacted, with some never returning to school. Child migrants or those living in conflict areas are the most vulnerable.” The UN expresses “grave concern over the effects of the pandemic on girls specifically. The prolonged school closures are having increasingly negative consequences on their lives. Child marriage will increase as poverty rises.”

“In April 2020, UNDP (the United Nations Development Programme) projected that for every three months of lockdown, 15 million additional cases of gender-based violence would occur. In addition, as many as 500,000 more girls are at riskof child marriage in 2020. Child marriage not only violates girls’ rights and puts them at risk of violence, but often results in pregnancies that are the main cause of death in girls between the ages of 15 and 19. Moreover, because of the restrictions in place, efforts to prevent violence and services to protect children and girls have not been able to function.”

Some children and girls, according to the UN, may end up confined to their shelters and homes, trapped with their abusers without the ability to distance themselves or to seek in-person support; others may be forced into survival sex or child marriages by their families. Last year the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had also projected that extended worldwide lockdowns would kill at least 1.2 million children, mostly in developing countries, besides depriving them of education and basic health services. Displaced and stateless women, girls and children faced heightened risk of violence amid covid-19 pandemic. Pandemic exposed vulnerable women and children to greater risks of sexual violence, abuse and exploitation. Special Session of the UN General Assembly concludes expressing “concern over the pandemic’s disproportionate impacts on women and girls, children, refugees, internally displaced persons, older persons, and persons with disabilities.”

UN General Assembly Special Session GA/12294 “Amid Threat of Catastrophic Global Famine, COVID-19 Response Must Prioritize Food Security, Humanitarian Needs, Experts Tell General Assembly”