PROTECTING CHILDREN DURING COVID-19
RESOURCES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND ABUSE
COVID-19 was been declared a global pandemic in March of 2020. The virus is having both short-term and far-reaching implications for our families, friends and colleagues. It also has an impact on our work, and will affect the achievement of our shared vision of a world without violence against children. As the virus continues to spread across the world, we are all facing multiple new stresses, including physical and psychological health risks, school and business closures, family confinement, isolation and economic vulnerability. Through all of that, children are particularly vulnerable.
As we continue to navigate this rapidly evolving situation, it is essential to stay informed on the latest news, updates and resources about the virus and its effect on children. As a global partnership, End Violence is here to share the latest evidence, data and information to protect children from COVID-19 and the related risk of violence.
Below, you will find regularly updated materials from our 450+ partners across the world. Check back regularly to access a continued stream of resources as the situation evolves, and view and use our social media kit to share messages widely with your audiences.
If you would like to share resources with the End Violence community, please send them to Elissa at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be vetted by our team of experts and, if appropriate, shared with our wider audiences through this page and our monthly newsletter.
A new UNICEF publication, Research on Violence against Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance to inform ethical data collection and evidence generation, addresses key questions on generating evidence on violence against chlidren that may arise during the pandemic.
In a new paper, Moving Beyond the Numbers, UNICEF explores what the COVID-19 pandemic means for the safety of women and girls.This piece illustrates some of the limitations of the statistics that have been recently publicized, provides additional information to better understand the risks women and girls are facing, and outlines some priority recommendations to those addressing gender-based violence during COVID-19.
Save the Children has just released a new report, The Hidden Impact of Covid-19 on Children: A Global Research Series, the largest and most comprehensive study on the impact of COVID-19 on children.
Download this new report, Protecting Children from Violence in the Time of COVID-19, to learn about what has happened to child protection services during COVID-19. It was published by UNICEF in August 2020.
The Child Protection Global Protection Cluster has created a mapping of child protection risks during the COVID-19 outbreak. This data is being updated daily as information comes in. Check it out here.
In addition, the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti has released on study on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics and epidemics across the world. The study found key impacts of these crises on child protection, including becoming orphaned by losing one or two parents; higher risks of sexual violence and abuse, particularly among women and girls; reductions in household income and a spike in child labour; and increases in child marriage, among other outcomes.
Know who to call for help. Child Helpline International is a worldwide network of 173 helplines across the world. On their website, you can search for the helpline in your country and call to raise child protection issues with national authorities. More helpline numbers can be found on this page, created by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.
Create a safety plan by using this interactive safety planning tool from Love is Respect.
Access resources for survivors of domestic abuse through Futures Without Violence's resource page, which contains the numbers of helpline, hotlines and other information.
Speak to a crisis counsellor within the US, Canada and the UK. The Crisis Text Line is available to help individuals dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, providing free 24/7 support to those who need it.
If you or a loved one has a disability, use this resource to plan for your individual needs during COVID-19. This platform was created by the Queenslanders with Disabilities Network in collaboration with the University of Sydney and the Queensland Government.
Use technology to communicate with survivors through these tips from the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Protect children in alternative care settings. The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action has released a Technical Note to support child protection practitioners and government officials in their immediate response to the child protection concerns faced by children who are at risk of separation or in alternative care during COVID-19 pandemic, along with one centred on children in detention centres.
For child helplines: access support through a new technical note. The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action has released a new Technical Note to provide practical advice to child protection actors and service providers on how to support children and families through a child helpline service, including collaboration with existing, national child helplines.
Keep your children safe online by accessing tips and resources from the tech companies themselves. End Violence has teamed up with our partners in the technology industry, including Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Roblox and Snapchat, to develop a new campaign to help keep children safe in this rapidly changing environment. Learn more here.
Download the online safety technical note, which was created by End Violence and partners to help governments, information, technology and communication companies, educators and parents protect children from online risks in lockdown.
Australia’s eSafety Commissioner has developed a series of resources and tools to keep children safe online during COVID-19 isolation. Visit their website for online safety kits, tips for caregivers, and more, including a guide for parents and story puzzles for children to learn about online safety issues. You can also read this article from Australia's eSafety Commissioner, which provides guidance on protecting children from online threats during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Check out this tip sheet for keeping children safe online. This one-pager is part of a collective effort by multiple partners to help parents and children better understand the risks of the digital world and protect themselves.
Read this United Nations report, the Comprehensive Response to COVID-19: Saving Lives, Protecting Societies, Recovering Better. The overview recounts our key guidance, lessons and support so far – and points the way to the crucial steps that must follow to save lives, protect societies and recover better.
Check out a collection of tools and resources from the Child Protection Resource Menu for COVID-19, which was created by the Child Protection Area of Responsibility. This toolkit includes dozens of resources, documents and evidence to help responders protect children while dealing with the outbreak.
Strengthen your response amidst the outbreak. The COVID-19 Learning Pathway, which was created by Save the Children, aims to enable humanitarians, including local responders, to be best equipped to respond to the global pandemic. This resource will help strengthen online technical capacity strengthening programmes, build online soft skills and remote working capacity strengthening programmes, and more.
Access resources through the Child Protection Hub. The Child Protection Hub for South-East Europe has created a platform to house resources for humanitarian actors working amidst the COVID-19 crisis. View this platform for webinars, guidance, and technical tips to protect children.
Access more resources on protecting children from COVID-19 in humanitarian settings.
FOCUS ON GENDER
Read about the increasing risk of child marriage due to COVID-19 through a new publication from Save the Children, the Global Girlhood Report 2020. According to this report, half a million more girls are now at risk of child marriage.
COVID-19 Aftershocks: Access Denied is a new report from World Vision that explores the way teenage pregancies are now blocking one million girls from school in Sub-Saharan Africa as a result of the pandemic.
Learn how COVID-19 is affecting women and girls on the African continent by downloading a new report, Under Siege, from from ACPF and Plan International.
Learn about COVID-19's impact on violence against girls in the Asia-Pacific region by downloading a new policy brief by Plan International and Save the Children, which sets out an agenda for governments and other actors to respondto increased abuse against this population.
Read two reports from Plan International, which highlights how COVID-19 is affecting women and girls throughout the world. Living Under Lockdown is an examination of four previous crisis, resulting in a clearer picture of the insecurity and vulnerability girls are facing now. COVID-19: The Impact on Girls dives deeper into the crisis and its intersection with gender across multiple sectors.
Access safety advice for frontline workers supporting women during the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance, which was developed by the Australian eSafety Commissioner, is based on the organisation's eSafety Women content. It is designed for an international audience and contextualised for the circumstances COVID-19 presents women and their children who are sheltering in place with their abusers.
Read this report from the Center for Global Development, which explores the way pandemics often result in an increase in violence against women and children. This paper can be used by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to help inform further evidence generation and policy action while situating violence against women and children within the broader need for intersectional gender- and feminist-informed pandemic response.
Identify and mitigate gender-based violence risks within the COVID-19 response by reading this brief, which was produced by the Gender-Based Violence Area of Responsibility (GBV AoR). This document is intended to support non-GBV specialist humanitarian actors to identify COVID-19, GBV-specific risks in their sectors, and take actions to mitigate those risks.
Navigate gender-based violence in humanitarian settings amidst the outbreak. The GBV AoR's Regional Emergency GBV advisor team is leading a six-week webinar, available in both English and French, to provide technical support to practitioners during the COVID-19 outbreak. This webinar series will focus on the impact of the virus on women and girls, with a focus on GBV risks in east and southern Africa. Visit their website for more resources.
Understand the gendered implications of COVID-19 through this brief, which was developed by CARE International.
Learn how COVID-19 has uniquely affected women in Asia through this brief, which was published by GiHA.
Learn about the emerging gender impacts of the virus by reading this article, published by the Lancet, on the ways COVID-19 is affecting men and women differently from a socio-economic standpoint.
Learn about protecting children in interim care centers through two reports that cover child-safe programming and child safeguarding during COVID-19. Click this link for COVID-19 Guidance for Interim Care Centres, and this link for Child Safe Programming and Safeguarding in Interim Care Centres.
Recommendations to prevent and respond to violence against children in learning environments. Safe to Learn partners have published new guidance for governments to help prevent and respond to violence against children in different learning environments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Combatting COVID-19's effect on children. Read this report from OECD on how to support children through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prevent and control COVID-19 in schools. New guidance has been issued to help protect children from COVID-19 and support safe school operations. The guidance provides critical considerations and practical checklists to keep schools safe, and advises national and local authorities on how to adapt and implement emergency plans for educational facilities.
The International Disability Alliance (IDA), an alliance of 14 global and regional organizations of persons with disabilities, has published key recommendations for a disability-inclusive COVID-19 response.
Support children as a faith leader. Arigatou International has published resources for faith leaders to help children, both spiritually and emotionally, through this challenging time. Access them here.
Boost preparedness within the United Nations system. To assist UN country teams in scaling-up preparedness and response to COVID-19, the WHO released a COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan to guide responses within countries.
Access real-time training to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. The WHO has released a multitude of training courses to prepare medical professionals and other practitioners to respond to the outbreak.
Access the Coronavirus Tech Handbook, a crowdsourced resource for technologists. This platform, which was created by the London College of Political Technologists, it features everything from tips for remote working to tools for data visualisation and fighting misinformation.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY PARENTING
Practice healthy parenting to get through the crisis. To help parents interact constructively with their children during this time of confinement, these one-page tips for parents cover planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19.
- One-on-one time: School shutdown is also a chance to make better relationships with our children and teenagers. One-on-One time is free and fun. It makes children feel loved and secure and shows them that they are important.
- Keeping positive: It's hard to feel positive when our kids or teenagers are driving us crazy. We often end up saying “Stop doing that!” But children are much more likely to do what we ask if we give them positive instructions and lots of praise for what they do right.
- Structure up: COVID-19 has taken away our daily work, home and school routines. This is hard for children, teenagers and for you. Making new routines can help.
- Bad behaviour: All children misbehave. It is normal when children are tired, hungry, afraid, or learning independence. And they can drive us crazy when stuck at home.
- Keep calm and manage stress: This is a stressful time. Take care of yourself so you can support your children.
- Talking about COVID-19: Be willing to talk. They will already have heard something. Silence and secrets do not protect our children. Honesty and openness do. Think about how much they will understand. You know them best.
- Protecting children online: Children and teens are now spending a lot more time online. Being connected helps them reduce the impact of COVID-19 and encourages them to continue with their lives…but it also presents risks and dangers.
- Family budgeting in times of financial stress Millions are stressed about money because of COVID-19. It can make us feel exhausted, angry and distracted. Children or teenagers asking for things can cause arguments. But we can do things to help cope with financial stress.
- Family harmony at home When we model peaceful and loving relationships, our children feel more secure and loved. Positive language, active listening, and empathy help maintain a peaceful and happy family environment under these stressful times.
- Learning through play Millions of children face school closure and isolation in their own home. This tip is about learning through play, something that can be fun for all ages!
- When we get angry We love our children and teenagers, but the stresses of COVID-19, money and lockdown can make us angry. Here is how we can maintain control and manage our anger so we do not hurt others.
- Parenting in crowded homes and communities Keeping your family healthy and safe from COVID-19 can feel even harder when you live in crowded conditions. There are things you can do to make this easier for your family.
Share these tips widely with your social channels by using our social media messages, which can be downloaded on the sidebar to the right of this text.
TALKING TO CHILDREN
Read about how children from 13 different countries are experiencing the outbreak. World Vision has just released a report that gathers the opinions and experiences of 100 children throughout the world. Read the report and learn more.
Talk to children about COVID-19. Use this guide, which was developed by UNICEF, and this guide, which was developed by the WHO and partners, to speak to children about the virus and its current and potential impact.
Read this children's book – My Hero is You – with your kids. This book, which aims to help 6-11-year-old children cope with and understand COVID-19, has been produced by a collaboration of more than 50 organisations working in the humanitarian sector. It is currently available in nine different languages, though more will be added in the coming days. Read more about the initiative here.
Use this new comic book produced by National Public Radio to help children understand the outbreak and how it is affecting those they love. Available in both English and Chinese (simplified).
Print out this colouring book, which your children can colour while they learn about COVID-19. It was created by Together at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Access this children's book for Spanish-speakers, which was created by Fundacion Azulado in Ecuador.
Keep positive by showing your children how other young people are coping with isolation. On this page, you can see how young people are continuing to learn, hope and grow amidst the crisis.
Safe to Learn partners have released a set of recommendations for governments to help prevent and respond to violence against children in different learning environments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Access them here.
Save the Children has created weekly learning activities for young children, children from kindergarten to age 1, and children from grades 2 to 6, along with learning activities for the entire family. Access these activities and a multitude of other resources on the organization's dedicated COVID-19 page.
Check out these home activity packs, which provide 15-minute activities for children of all ages, through ThinkUKnow.
UNESCO has a list of up-to-date educational applications and platforms to facilitate student learning at home or away from school.
Access hundreds of free animated lessons for children from TED-Ed. If you're an educator, learn more about how to create your own TED-Ed lessons. And check out this helpful round-up of TED-Ed lessons about understanding the outbreak of a virus.
PBS Kids is offering resources for online learning targeting children from age 2-8.
National Geographic Kids provides learning experiences for children of all ages.
Scholastic is offering day-by-day projects to keep children learning and growing at home. There are various activities by age, from children in preschool to those in ninth grade.
TypingClub offers free activities for children age 7 and up to improve their typing abilities.
Read this report on the impact of COVID-19 on children's sport. This paper is the outcome of a collective effort of thirty-seven experts concerned about the current and future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hundreds of millions of children who engage in organised sport, from elite athletes to those on school or community teams.
Entertain your children through Education for Justice (E4J), UNODC's initiative to help parents support and entertain their children at home. UNODC has launched programming for children, all of which is available in a multitude of languages. This package includes:
- The Zorbs, an animated video series that tells the story of an imaginary planet and its inhabitants who overcome a range of challenges thanks to core values and skills promoted under E4J.
- Zorbify, a comic creator tool that encourages children to build meaningful stories in an engaging, creative way.
- The Zorbs lesson plans, which include family activities to do together with children
- the Zorbs comic books, colouring books, and a children's book
- Chuka, a mobile game addressing gender-based violence, along with an accompaniying parents' guide and comic book
- The Online Zoo, a book on online safety for children
Keep children active and physically healthy through virtual resources, including GoNoodle, which offers free movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
Review and add to this shared list of activities compiled by parents, for parents. This list can be sorted by age, degree of parental involvement, educational benefit, screen time, cost and more.
COPE WITH STRESS
Try out these six relaxation activities to do with children, which was developed by Save the Children.
Help children better understand the outbreak by using this brief, created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. It lays out how to help children of various ages, including pre-school aged children, ages 6-12, and ages 13-18.
Help children mourn for those they lose through this guide developed by Save the Children and the Child Protection Area of Responsibility.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH & COVID-19
Consider the mental health and psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and access resources on supporting those most at-risk. The WHO has released a briefing on how to protect our mental health during this challenging time, particularly the mental health of those most at-risk: health workers, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions.
The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has released a document summarizing key mental health and psychological support considerations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including recommended activities for helping older adults, children and others cope with stress.
IASC has published a briefing note on addressing mental health and psychosocial aspects of COVID-19.
Prevent and address COVID-19 stigma. Read a guide released by UNICEF, the WHO and the IRFC on reducing stigma related to COVID-19.
Check only trusted sources to find out more about the virus, its spread and its impact, and visit the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 digital platform to remain up-to-date.
Watch for symptoms and alert your health care provider if you start to develop signs of COVID-19. On the CDC’s COVID-19 digital platform, you can download guides to better understand the first symptoms of the virus and what to do if you develop them.
Can mosquitoes carry the virus? Review these myth busters from the WHO to get the answer to this question and many others.
Keep yourself – and your children – safe. UNICEF has collected a number of resources to inform individuals, parents and children about COVID-19. Visit their digital platform for the latest updates and explainer videos.
Deaf in Scrubs is a Facebook page that provides medical information in sign language from a doctor and a public health graduate.