The impact of coronavirus pandemic and Scotland’s response to children’s human rights

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  • For many children, Covid-19 will be highly detrimental and potentially life changing.
    For many children, Covid-19 will be highly detrimental and potentially life changing. . Source: Etienne Godiard - Unsplash.

An independent study analyses how Covid-19 has changed the life of children and youth in this European country. 

Children and young people’s Comissioner Scotland has worked with the Observatory of Children’s Human Rights Scotland to conduct an Independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment to analyses the impact of coronavirus pandemic and Scotland’s response to young people and children’s human rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on the rights of all children and young people in Scotland, affecting almost every aspect of their daily lives. For all children and young people, these impacts are likely to be significant. For many, it will be highly detrimental and potentially life changing.

Specifically, this report analyses the situation, taking into account the rights issues addressed in UE Committee’s 11 recommendations:

  1. Consider the health, social, educational, economic and recreational impacts of the pandemic on the rights of the child.
  2. Explore alternative and creative solutions to enjoy their rights to rest, leisure, recreation and cultural and artistic activities.
  3. Ensure that online learning does not exacerbate existing inequalities or replace student-teacher interaction.
  4. Activate immediate measures to ensure that children are fed nutritious food.
  5. Maintain the provision of basic services for children including healthcare, water, sanitation and birth registration.
  6. Define core child protection services as essential and ensure that they remain functioning and available, including home visits when necessary, and provide professional mental health services for children living in lockdown.
  7. Protect children whose vulnerability is further increased by the exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic.
  8. Release children in all forms of detention, wherever possible, and provide children who cannot be released with the means to maintain regular contact with their families.
  9. Prevent the arrest or detention of children for violating State guidance and directives relating to COVID-19.
  10. Disseminate accurate information about COVID-19 and how to prevent infection in languages and formats that are child-friendly and accessible to all children including children with disabilities, migrant children and children with limited access to the internet.
  11. Provide opportunities for children’s views to be heard and taken into account in decision-making processes on the pandemic.

To know how the Scotland’s response is taking into consideration these recommendations, you can read the full report.

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