The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe social and emotional disruption in the lives of children by depriving them of on-site education. It has also made them feel highly unsafe and stressed within their homes. The results of this survey are inclusive of the various issues that children are experiencing during the pandemic.
The results and findings of this survey will be disclosed during a virtual event on December 9, 2020 in the presence of our partners, stakeholders and decision makers, as well as children and young people.
The “Life Under Coronavirus” survey was designed with and for children between the ages of 8 to 17. The survey was available in 27 different languages alongside an easy-to-read version. It received an overwhelming response with more than 26,000 children participating worldwide. A shorter poll focusing on issues of protection, safety and peer-to-peer support was also disseminated via UNICEF’s U-Report, leading to 5,000 additional responses from children.
"I'm getting the opportunity to raise my voice at a time where it has never been needed more. Let's all do this together and raise our voice a little louder," said Kenizeh-Juliette, 14, from Pakistan.
Publicizing the findings allows children and young people to directly share with decision makers and leaders around the world just how the pandemic has affected their daily lives.
The survey was developed in collaboration with international partners, including Terre des hommes and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, among others. It involved a diverse group of children from 28 countries at all stages, including drawing conclusions and developing key messages.
The #CovidUnder19 “Life Under Coronavirus” survey was designed in the spirit of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Child (UNCRC). The Center for Children's Rights at Queen's University, Belfast, employing their unique children's rights-based methodology, designed the survey and analyzed and reported the results, working at every stage with children and young people to make sure that the survey and findings were produced with children, for children.
In a world centered around decisions made by adults, children—and their role in decision making, especially during the time of a crisis—must be included. This global survey has also served as a channel for children to communicate their right to participate in decisions affecting their lives.
Through the various types of data collected—both qualitative and quantitative in nature—the survey results disclose how the pandemic and related measures have affected children around the world.
Conclusively, the survey has served as a channel for children to portray their thoughts and feelings about the pandemic to the world, alongside their message to decision makers and leaders. This initiative serves as a medium of global solidarity among children amidst a crisis, while also reflecting upon the diverse unity of the children around the world.
Vero, 17, who lives in an SOS Children's Village in Guatemala, said: "By participating in the event, I can gain more experience and new knowledge on different topics. They are of great importance and help us develop our capacities and express our opinions freely."
17-year-old Juan Francisco, of SOS Children's Villages in Nicaragua, added: “I think the important thing is to take action and to analyze how we have experienced the pandemic from the perspective of young people. It should not end with analysis but results should lead to action.”
More information on the #CovidUnder19 initiative is available at: https://www.tdh.ch/covidunder19