Protecting and empowering children during the Covid-19 pandemic
Children may be confined, but their rights are not!
Most experts and staff working at the Council of Europe have continued their work in favour of children’s rights from their homes, using technology and new working methods to achieve their mission. This includes reviewing the measures taken by different countries to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and advising on how to mitigate the negative impact they may have on children generally and in vulnerable situations.
This page offers direct access to:
- Responses to the crisis by Council of Europe bodies,
- Thematic responses provided by other international organisations and civil society to support children in the digital environment,
- Responses provided by member States represented on the Lanzarote Committee (LC)
COUNCIL OF EUROPE RESPONSES
Council of Europe bodies responding to the crisis
We are compiling the responses of Council of Europe bodies to the situations that worry us most and providing information on how to best protect children in their increasing online activities during the crisis.
- COVID-19 crisis: Secretary General concerned about increased risk of domestic violence
- Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence: statement by the Chairperson of the group of independent experts GREVIO
- “Data protection cannot be seen as an obstacle to saving lives”: Joint statement by Chair of the Committee of Convention 108 and the Data Protection Commissioner of the Council of Europe
- Stepping up protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse in times of the COVID-19: statement by the Lanzarote Committee Chair and Vice-Chairperson
- Learning from the pandemic to better fulfil the right to health: Statement by the Commissioner for Human Rithts, Dunja Mijatović
- European Committee of Social Rights statement on the right to protection of health in times of pandemic
- European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) blog on “National judiciaries’ COVID-19 emergency measures of COE member States”
Children can reach the world from home
The global sanitary crisis has brought unprecedented changes in our interactions and routines due to social distancing and confinement. In many countries, only essential businesses have been functioning normally while many adults in institutions and companies have worked from home and children followed their school lessons online. Families, communities, businesses and governments have learned heavily on internet, digital technology and social media to continue day-to-day activities and also considerably expanded their use for entertainment.
ICTs have allowed children to continue their education and to acquire new skills; to access information and to seek advice and support if they are worried; to play and keep in touch with their peers and loved ones. Screens have helped many children to cope with the confinement and continue to do so in progressive deconfinement, but they are also exposing them to risks. Guidance on some of these challenges provided by different institutions organisations and media can be found under the following headers.
Talking to Children about Covid-19
Parenting in times of Corona
Supporting teenagers during the period of confinement
Screen time during the crisis
Finding quality content for children online
E-learning: mission impossible or opportunity?
Children's online safety in times of social distancing
Children and violence: how to spot the signs and report?
Other interesting resources
Keeping children safe from child sexual abuse in times of confinement
Following the statement on stepping up protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse in times of the COVID-19 pandemic made early April 2020 by the Lanzarote Committee’s Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, a call was issued to all State Parties to the Lanzarote Convention, observers on the Committee and other partners to share relevant initiatives taken following the lock-down to ensure protection of children against sexual violence. Subsequently, the Lanzarote Committee’s Bureau asked for more specific information (including relevant data), on the effect of the crisis response on the maintenance of child safeguarding and support measures, the possible creation of new mechanisms, as well as the ways in which children were heard concerning their protection against sexual abuse and exploitation during the crisis and will be heard when it comes to the evaluation of measures.
To enable the sharing of experiences and to join forces in eradicating sexual violence against children at all times, the Lanzarote Committee agreed to publish all relevant information collected in the above exercises online as it was submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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