The Joining Forces Coalition, a partnership of six of the world’s leading child rights organisations, has shared a new briefing paper on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children in Uganda. Although children are not considered most at risk of contracting COVID-19, they are among the most vulnerable to the ‘secondary’ social and economic impacts. These impacts could affect children for the rest of their lives, state the Joining Forces.
In Uganda the Government acted quickly to put in place ‘lockdown’ measures to mitigate the spread of the outbreak. These have had commendable impact, but they also exacerbate other risks to children which need to be addressed.
From violence and sexual abuse, to child labour and child marriage, the Joining Forces are seeing a significant increase in protection risks for children, adolescents and youth during the COVID-19 outbreak so far. And the Joining Forces expect these to worsen as the situation goes on.
These risks are outlined in a new briefing paper produced by the Joining Forces Coalition – an alliance of six of the world’s leading child rights organisations: ChildFund, Plan International, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, Terre des Hommes and World Vision.
The paper outlines the situation facing many children across Uganda.
This situation can be summarised into four main issues:
Protecting children at this time is not just about protecting them from the virus, but also protecting them from violence, abuse and exploitation. Together the Joining Forces are calling on the Government, international donors and other key actors in the response to make child protection a priority.
They can do this by