Whether they are under lockdown and out of school, in refugee camps or in crowded villages, detained, or living on the streets, institutionalized or on the move, children and young people have the right to be heard. But their views are hardly ever sought out by decision-makers and their ideas are rarely listened to. The # CovidUnder19 initiative aims to change that.
The logo of the # CovidUnder19 initiative was created and chosen by children and young people.
# CovidUnder19 is led by children and young people, with the support of child rights activists, experts and other key stakeholders. They work together to create spaces for children across the globe to meaningfully involve in the discussions about responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and to contribute towards shaping the post-Covid-19 world.
On 28 May 2020, the initiative launches a global consultation survey to understand children's experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic and their views on how they wish to get involved. The survey is available under this link: go.qub.ac.uk/CovidUnder19 It has been designed by child rights experts and 270 children from 26 countries.
Children and young people aged between 8 and 17 years old are invited to participate in the survey until 27th June. Child protection practitioners as well as parents and caregivers are encouraged to facilitate the participation of children. A facilitator's pack has been developed to guide practitioners in supporting children to complete the survey.
Based on the results of the consultations with children, the initiative will accelerate the design of responses to the pandemic in the short and long term, while increasing opportunities for children to interact with each other to collectively create and innovate.
To stay up to date with the initiative's news, you can follow its profiles on social media:
Child aid organisations have a responsibility to find ways of understanding children's views and amplifying their voices so they can inform policymakers, legislatures, professionals working with children, and governments. With this in mind, Terre des hommes has launched # CovidUnder19 building a coalition of partners, including children themselves.
So far, important actors in the international child rights and child protection community have been mobilised, including Terre des hommes, Joining Forces (Save The Children, World Vision, Plan International, ChildFund Alliance, SOS Children's Villages), the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, the Centre for Children's Rights of the University of Belfast, and many more .
We'd love any child focused organizations or (even better) young people themselves to get involved and spread the word about # CovidUnder19 because every child deserves to have a meaningful say in how the world responds to this pandemic.