The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on children has been devastating, according to a PACE committee, and “Generation Covid” – as they are sometimes referred to – will face the consequences for many years to come, unless European governments take adequate measures.
Unanimously approving a report today by Baroness Doreen E. Massey (United Kingdom, SOC), the Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee said children’s physical and mental health had suffered, and their opportunities for learning and development were negatively affected. Violence against children had risen, including domestic and sexual violence, while the impact of the pandemic in poorer countries had raised concerns over child mortality, child labour, child marriage and child trafficking.
The committee urged European governments to develop post-pandemic recovery strategies which support parents and other carers, listen to children themselves, and show solidarity with the poorest groups of society and lower income countries, which were hit hardest by the pandemic. It also spelled out a series of steps to build resilient and well-resourced social protection systems for children and their carers, and to ensure effective protection of children’s rights in future crises.
The report is due to be discussed by the Assembly at its June plenary session.