The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact across the world. Measures implemented to contain the coronavirus are vital to the health of the world’s population, but some also pose potential increased risks to children.
A third of the global population is on COVID-19 lockdown, and school closures have impacted more than 1.5 billion children. Restricted movement, loss of income, social isolation, and overcrowding that can contribute to higher levels of stress and anxiety are increasing the likelihood that children experience and observe physical, psychological and sexual abuse at home – particularly those children already living in violent or dysfunctional family situations. And while online communities have become central to maintain many children’s learning, support, and play, they are also increasing their exposure to cyberbullying, risky online behavior, and sexual exploitation.