‘Children’s rights should be safeguarded during the pandemic’

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Children’s rights should be safeguarded during the pandemic, Member of the European Parliament Josianne Cutajar said.

She said access to education should remain a priority, despite students moving to online schooling. Cutajar also said that children in vulnerable situations have been affected greatly.

“There’s also poverty among children,” Cutajar said, adding that there are other aspects of children’s health which need to continue to be safeguarded. These include online abuse and digital literacy.

She said it is essential that we see children recover from the psychological effects that the pandemic has left on them in a concrete way.

The European Parliamentary group Renew said that children’s interests should always be first priority in the European Union’s policies. 100 million children currently live in the European Union. This means that one in five people living in the EU are children.

The quality of life of these children is at risk because of this pandemic. The political party group said that there could be a disproportionate and devastating impact on children, especially those who live in vulnerable and precarious situations or in poverty. Because of the pandemic, many children are facing violence or abuse. Their physical or emotional health is going backwards.

The Renew group said that this needs to change. In a resolution that was adopted in the plenary this month, the European Parliament said the European Commission needed to apply measures to eliminate poverty and violence against children.

The group said that there needs to be a long-term plan to ensure children’s rights. This plan needs to eliminate discrimination against children. Poverty amongst children needs to be addressed. The right to education has to be guaranteed. These factors, according to the group Renew, need to be the cornernstones of the European Commission’s strategy.

After the pandemic, children will face a new future and it is our duty to ensure that this future is a good one, the Parliamentary group said.

MEP Ramona Strugariu, Renew Europe’s shadow on the Children’s rights resolution, says:“I am grateful that our concerns, such as improving the fight against all forms of violence, online and offline, protecting the right to education that was severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis or the importance of creating a safe environment for vulnerable children through social investment, are well reflected in the final text. These concerns need to be addressed in the upcoming Strategy of the Commission.”This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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