Children’s lives across the world have been turned upside down by coronavirus.
For children here in the UK, schools and play spaces have been closed, exams cancelled and loved ones separated. In a blink of an eye, the world they knew has disappeared.
The risks to children’s health, wellbeing and futures are profound:
- Education: 700 million days of education could be lost this school year
- Nutrition: More children in the UK will face food insecurity as job losses take their toll on family finances
- Health: A stretched health system means children have less access to healthcare and other essential services
- Protection: Thousands of children are at greater risk of abuse in their homes and online
- Participation: Across the board, the voices of children and young people have been absent from decisions made about their lives.
"We’re worried about what this crisis means for our future."
Add your name: An open letter by young people
Our Youth Advisory Board, which represents children and young people across the UK, have written an open letter to the Government asking them to follow the example of other world leaders and address young people directly in a special age-appropriate broadcast.
“We know that the Government is working hard to protect us and help us all recover from this crisis but it’s important that children and young people’s voices aren’t overlooked. It’s our right to be included in decisions that affect us and our futures, like our education.”
They are asking everyone in the UK to join them in calling on the Government.
Protecting children now and in the future
We acknowledge the unprecedented steps the UK Government has taken to keep children safe, but the impact on children must be more central.
What young people’s world looks like tomorrow is our responsibility today.
We’re calling on the UK Government to:
- Make a dedicated direct address to the nation’s children and young people to acknowledge the enormous impact this crisis is having and listen to them about how it is affecting their lives. This dialogue should directly inform government action in support of children;
- Appoint a Special Envoy for Children reporting directly to the Prime Minister who leads an emergency Children’s Taskforce to effectively coordinate across all government departments, service providers, local authorities and civil society to ensure all children are reached and supported now and in the future;
- Create a Comprehensive Children’s Recovery Plan which sets out the necessary actions and provides ringfenced resource for schools, local authorities, civil society, and children’s service providers to help build a better tomorrow for all children.
As the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights, we stand ready to support the UK Government in our shared ambitions for children’s futures.