Hello Kawan’s, dear friends, Madam, Sir and dear families,
The COVID-19 crisis could have far-reaching and long-term negative impacts on children around the world. This impact is likely to be devastating even if children who contract the coronavirus appear to develop fewer severe symptoms and have lower death rates than other age groups.
In the world, more than 1.5 billion students no longer go to class. In Indonesia, the 4th largest population in the world, schools have been closed for months. and this is 4.4 million children and adolescents aged 7–18 years are still out of school.
Widespread job and income losses, as well as economic insecurity for families, are expected to increase the incidence of child labour, sexual exploitation, early pregnancy and child marriage. The constraints faced by families, particularly those living in quarantine or confined areas, increase the incidence of domestic violence. As the number of deaths from COVID-19 increases, many more children will be orphaned and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. This is obviously valid in poor regions where people no longer have an income.
“The risks to children from the COVID-19 crisis are enormous.” Therefore, the government must act urgently to protect children during the pandemic, but also to consider how the decisions they make today will best respect the rights of children after the end of the crisis.
For many children, the COVID-19 crisis will mean stopping or restricting their education, or falling behind others. Over 91% of the students here are out of school since the schools have all closed. The crisis has revealed huge disparities in countries’ preparedness for emergencies, children’s access to the Internet and the availability of educational materials. While there is a lot of talk about online learning platforms today, many public institutions are not organised to use them and do not have the technology and equipment to deliver their instruction via the Internet.
A quick reminder: Almost 50% of the people in Indonesia do not have access to the Internet yet!
Additional stresses faced by families as a result of the COVID-19 crisis – including job loss, isolation, excessive confinement and medical and financial concerns – increase the risk of violence in the home, it is inflicted between partners or on children by the adults who care for them. The UN secretary-general has spoken of a “terrifying” global increase in domestic violence linked to COVID-19. Calls to emergency numbers have been reported to have doubled in some countries. Child abuse is less likely to be detected during the COVID-19 crisis since child protection institutions have reduced their surveillance to avoid spreading the virus and teachers will no longer be able to detect it. signs of ill-treatment, the establishments have closed.
The foundation urges the government to take urgent measures to protect the rights of children, including by:
- Prioritising efforts to continue education for all children using available technologies;
- Providing economic assistance, including cash payments, to low-income families who will be hit first and hardest, to help them meet basic needs without resorting to child labour or marriage;
- Minimising interruptions in children’s access to essential and vital medical care;
- Accentuating efforts to identify children orphaned by the pandemic and expanding the extended family and foster family networks;
- Expanding public education, awareness campaigns, emergency numbers and other services for children who are at risk of violence in the home or sexual exploitation;
- Transferring children deprived of their liberty to a family environment and ensuring adequate accommodation and sanitation for refugee, migrant and internally displaced children.
A response to the COVID-19 human rights crisis will not only mitigate the damage with potentially far-reaching repercussions but will also benefit children in the long term, Human Rights Watch said. In general, increasing children’s access to the Internet will improve their access to information and their ability to organise and express themselves. The economic crisis linked to COVID-19 could push governments to strengthen guarantees of economic and social rights as well as social protection for poor communities and vulnerable families. Such measures, over the long term, can improve food security and reduce poverty, child labour and child marriage rates.
This is, in any case, the observation that we are making after more than four months of hard work with all those who are the innocent victims of this pandemic. In addition, we think that the effects on children of all these months during which nothing really happened for them, whether in terms of access to knowledge, access to their school and games with other young people their age will have negative effects for years to come.
In this, and in an attempt to limit the damage, it is, therefore, necessary to set up actions aimed at bridging this abysmal gap that has resulted from COVID-19 crisis, on young people from 7 to 18 years old. No, the government must not remain with eyes closed, it must take into account that for a child aged between 7 and 12 years, a period of 4 months without access to knowledge is equivalent to several years for an adult.
Sincerely yours! Stay safe, stay cool, keep smiling and be happy!