The ‘Moving Towards Children as Partners in Child Protection in COVID-19 Guide: From Participation to Partnerships’ offers quick tips and tools and adaptations to common tools to start engaging with children in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide aims of foster more meaningful child participation and ultimately, child leadership in programmes.
COVID-19 and children’s voices
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, children and youth were facing unprecedented challenges caused by quarantine measures and school closure policies. At the same time these challenges emerged, child-focused organisations found it harder than ever to communicate with children, needing to adapt their methods of hearing children’s voices and ensuring children’s participation to virtual and physically distanced realities. These adaptations are seemingly harder for adults and their organisations than for children, who are creative, innovative, and tech-savvy. Despite the COVID-19 challenges, children around the world have found meaningful ways to support and protect their peers, families, and communities. Children are on the front lines of innovative responses and are working closely with their adult allies. The leadership demonstrated through these child-adult partnerships is the underlying inspiration for this guide.
Facilitating children’s participation in challenging contexts
How is it best for adult-led organisations to reach out to children? Who should do so, and how can they do so safely? This guide provides some guidance on those questions and links to additional resources.
But for all of the challenges, adults whose work is child-focused can and should promote children’s participation, even during COVID-19. Child participation is not only possible but is already happening. This guide gives numerous examples of child-led and child-centric initiatives that have emerged as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread around the world.
The guide also showcases the ‘Spotlight Series: Children as Leaders and Partners in COVID-19’, a series of five short videos which shine a light on creative examples of child-led initiatives during COVID-19. All videos are available with English, Arabic, French, and Spanish captions.