NEW DELHI: Over 80 Nobel laureates, including Kailash Satyarthi, and world leaders have appealed to governments across the world to prioritise children during the lockdown and after that period. Poverty and hunger, child labour, child marriages, child slavery, child trafficking and children on the move are likely to increase during and after the Covid-19, a statement signed by 88 personalities said.
There is a need to strengthen the institutional responses to future catastrophes, and improve the existing child protection infrastructure.Cash transfers and ensuring food security for the marginalised, improving hygiene and sanitation, a robust healthcare system and promoting a free and equitable education system with free school meals are critical, the statement said.
“We, the laureates and leaders for children, demand that the most marginalised and vulnerable children are not forgotten by governments during this grave crisis and beyond. We must act now or risk losing an entire generation,” said Satyarthi, one of the signatories. Dalai Lama, and former state leaders from New Zealand, Eucador, Bulgaria, were among the other signatories.
With the Covid-19 exposing the pre-existing inequalities, the aftermath would have devastating impact on the most vulnerable, the signatories said.Beyond the public health emergency situation, the economic impact will push more children in to child labour, the statement said.