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Children as Partners in Child Protection in COVID-19

Children are experts in their own lives. To develop and adapt child protection prevention and response strategies during COVID-19 and other IDOs, we need to understand children’s realities. Adults whose work is child-focused can and should promote children’s participation at all times, including during IDOs.

Children are experts in their own lives. To develop and adapt child protection prevention and response strategies during COVID-19 and other IDOs, we need to understand children’s realities:

  • Children themselves know their situation and their needs intimately. They have critical insights into the actions that can ensure their protection and well-being.
  • Children’s participation is a fundamental part of an effective protective response. It increases children’s self-esteem, reduces isolation and can enhance their protection and well-being.

Adults whose work is child-focused can and should promote children’s participation at all times, including during IDOs.

The limitations that COVID-19 and other IDOs create, including restrictions on group gatherings, adaptations or closures of school environments and significant increases in the amount of time children spend in their households, mean we need to adapt and reflect on ethical approaches, for example:

  • How is it best for adult-led organisations to reach and engage children?
  • Who should do so, and how can they do so safely?

Children as Partners in COVID-19

In this video, Helen Veitch (Children Unite), Yana Mayevskaya (CPC Learning Network, Columbia University), Laura Wright and Vanessa Currie (International Institute for Child Rights and Development) introduce you to the “Moving Towards Children as Partners in Child Protection in COVID-19 Guide” — a key resource to strengthen and guide child participation during IDOs.

The guide is designed so that you can begin with quick tips and tools to start engaging with children immediately – either with tools provided in the guide or through suggestions for adaptations to tools that you used prior to the IDO.

We hope that you will delve deeper and seek to support more meaningful child participation and child leadership in your programs. The latter sections of the guide support deeper reflection and action on how to practically center children’s voices and leadership in your work.

You can find the example of adaptations for the activity “Object Stories” mentioned in the video in the resources for download below:

For more resources, guides and ideas for child participation during COVID-19 and an annotated bibliography of over 100 resources, you can access a dropbox of resources

You can also check out the spotlight video series

Your Task

  • Watch the video.
  • Check out the full guide (link to guide here).
  • Make a record of your thoughts and experiences with child participation in COVID-19 or another IDO. How can you or have you adapted a participatory method? What has worked well and what challenges have you faced when promoting participation of children?
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Protecting Children during COVID-19 and other Infectious Disease Outbreaks

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