The Regional Conference Child protection in time of pandemics. What did we learn? took place online between 22-24 June 2020 and gathered more than a thousand views each day (via Zoom and Facebook live streaming).
Three days of insightful discussions with speakers and participants from 11 countries to facilitate the regional exchange of information on the available data and models of intervention to support children affected by Covid-19 crisis in the wider Black Sea area.
ChildPact Statement on CSOs Engagement in Child Rights and Protection in Times of Covid-19 previously published in April 2020 represented an important instance to reflect on the crisis situation, expose the challenges faced by the countries in the region, express our utmost concerns and advance our recommendations towards governments, donors and the media.
Key Takeaways of ChildPact Regional Conference
CSOs represent a huge resource that needs to be protected and developed not only with messages of encouragement, but with enabling procedures and legal frameworks, and adequate financial support including for daily operations and management;
CSOs displayed an extraordinary capacity for creativity and innovation in continuing to serve the beneficiaries despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic;
CSOs have managed to mobilize extraordinary amounts of resources (such as time, skills, money and products, including medical supplies) to support efforts of authorities and serve the beneficiaries;
Child-friendly information and approach has been covered mostly and in some countries exclusively by CSOs;
Access to education has been even more challenging for the vulnerable children; CSOs have played a key role in facilitating their access to online education by providing Wi-Fi connections and devices;
Children with special needs and children without parental care have been extremely vulnerable and more exposed during the crises;
Both CSOs and their beneficiaries are facing significant financial challenges ahead, requiring tailored support to survive the crisis;
CSOs have been very active in mobilizing for humanitarian assistance such as food and basic supplies distribution for the most vulnerable;
Rapid and targeted local intervention by CSOs has allowed states the time to get organized to manage the pandemic;
The pandemic has significantly increased the vulnerability of already vulnerable groups and has brought new groups into vulnerability situations;
CSOs have been the main provider of counseling and psycho-social support for the population;
There is still significant discrepancies between theory (rules, regulations, legal frameworks) and practice with regard to child protection and children rights;
The pandemic has exposed children limitations in their right to educations and their access to justice;
All countries have experienced different degrees of backlash in human rights in general and children rights in particular due to exacerbated and unnecessary restrictions and limitations imposed by the authorities (such as limiting the right to access to public interest information);
As a regional network reaching out to over 650 child-focused NGOs in the extended Black Sea Region and Western Balkans, ChildPact reaffirms its commitment to build a strong network of support for child-focused CSOs in our region and to be a voice of support for all children, especially those exposed to new and increased vulnerability due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and for CSOs serving thousands of vulnerable children across the region.
You can watch the recordings of the three days meetings on ChildPact Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ChildPact/