The Covid-19 crisis worsens the injustices, inequalities, and unsustainable systems we fight against. And we also see it has a negative impact on the health and development of children. We all share the same feeling: we need to stand united and continue our work, especially now.
The crisis shows all the more how important our work is. The closure of schools affects all children, particularly those in the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. Apart from missing out on education, these children are deprived from the nutrition and health care facilities that were provided by their schools. It becomes clear that children are more exposed to violence and exploitation. Also, more children are entering child labour, especially children whose parents have no access to their source of income due to the lockdown. In other cases children are abandoned by their employers at work sites that have to close down. These children are left to fend for their own, and might end up in even more exploitative and dangerous situations.
For us as partners in the WNCB programme it is a challenge to ensure children return and stay in school when schools reopen after closure. The longer they stay out of school, the smaller the change they go back. This is especially true when economic shocks place pressure on children to remain working and generate income for financially distressed families. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for us to respond to the impact of the crisis and continue to focus on tackling the root causes of child labour.