Child rights experts Emma Day and Patrick Burton share concerns about the conditions children suddenly find themselves in with school closures. In addition to the learning impacts of school closures, they urge consideration of the risks of increased violence and abuse for children. At the moment, there is no backup strategy to address the sudden loss of health and social services provided by schools for children. Homes may not be safe spaces, making those vulnerable to abuse more vulnerable.
The current situation shines a light on the lack of funding into health systems around the world. While child rights experts and NGOs have advocated for more funding and resources for years and have not been heard, suddenly, millions, billions, even trillions are now being made available to strengthen support and response systems in many countries around the world. If child well-being can be brought to the fore in this moment, this tragic pandemic can result in strengthening the social welfare systems and education systems that are part of managing and mitigating this global crisis and keeping children safe.