Protect A Generation
The coronavirus pandemic is having devastating consequences on children and their rights. For the first time in human history, an entire generation has had their education disrupted. Health systems, even in rich countries, are being overwhelmed. Economies are sliding towards depression. Countless families are falling into poverty.
Failure to reduce and mitigate the spread of the pandemic will tear apart the lives of millions of children and their families in Canada and across the world. As COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly across international borders, there is a real danger that the world will see a reversal of the achievements made over the last 20 years, and destruction of the rights of children.
Vulnerable populations and those living in crisis will be hit the hardest by this outbreak.
Right here in Canada, Indigenous children and young people are disproportionately at risk due to historic and ongoing systemic discrimination. Access to basic human rights, and key determinants of safety during this pandemic, like water, healthcare, remote learning and housing are not a reality in many Indigenous communities.
THIS IS A GLOBAL EDUCATION EMERGENCY.
After months stuck at home, some children are starting to head back to class and reuniting with their friends. But not every child will be so lucky.
Millions of children who live in low-income countries, in refugee camps and war-zones may never return to school – especially girls. Each day that passes, they grow more vulnerable to hunger, violence, child labour or child marriage. The mental health impacts as a result of existing vulnerabilities and uncertainty should not be under-estimated.
A whole generation of children’s futures hang in the balance.
School is a lifeline for so many children. When home isn’t safe, school is protection. When you’re hungry, school provides food. And when you’re living in poverty, school is hope for a better future.
Children with a quality education will grow up to be politicians, nurses, designers, teachers and other crucial roles that make up the fabric of our societies and economies.
With an education, safety and protection, children have a chance to build a better future for us all.
WHAT WE’RE CALLING FOR.
We’ve launched our #ProtectAGeneration campaign to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure all children in Canada and around the world, including the most marginalized and deprived, are kept safe and thriving throughout the pandemic and beyond by:
- Ensuring all children continue to learn while schools are closed through inclusive distance learning.
- Supporting the mental health needs of children.
- Supporting families with survival and food security.
- Every child is supported to return to school when it’s safe to do so.
- Governments and donors invest in education now so we can build better education systems for the future.
We’re also working round the clock to innovate and adapt our work in remote communities, conflict zones and refugee camps to keep learning alive. Read more about our response.
Together, we must wake the world up to Protect a Generation. All of our futures depend on it.