World Children’s Day: Averting a lost COVID generation (UNICEF, Nov,29/2020)

Today is World Children’s Day, UNICEF’s annual day of action for children, by children. But this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a child rights crisis. New data from UNICEF reveals that 1 in 9 COVID cases is a child or young person under 20. Poverty is rising, inequality is growing, and the pandemic has upended the essential services that secure the health, education and protection of children and young people. The effects of the pandemic will impact children’s lives for years to come, even if a breakthrough vaccine becomes available soon. Without coordinated, global action to prevent, mitigate and respond to the effects of the pandemic, the consequences for children now, and for the future of our shared humanity, will be severe.As part of the ‘Six Point Plan to Protect our Children’, UNICEF calls on governments and partners to:1. Ensure all children learn, including by closing the digital divide;2. Guarantee access to health and nutrition services and make vaccines affordable and available to every child; 3. Support and protect the mental health of children and young people and bring an end to abuse, gender-based violence, and neglect in childhood; 4. Increase access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene and address environmental degradation and climate change;5. Reverse the rise in child poverty and ensure an inclusive recovery for all;6. Redouble efforts to protect and support children and their families living through conflict, disaster and displacement.