Tag Archives: impactofCOVID-19

IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC ON CHILD’S RIGHT

This is no longer only a global health crisis, it is also an economic crisis that is having a huge impact on people.”[1]

  • Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organization

The Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) is prevalent in more than 193 countries of the world today prompting the World Health Organization to  upgrade the status of Covid-19 from an epidemic to a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.[2]. Nigeria, the most populous black nation became the first African country to record a positive case of the virus from an Italian immigrant on February 25, 2020.[3]  The negative impacts of the pandemic are better left to the realm of imagination than the province of reality.

The world is clearly set to experience its worst depression only after The Great Depression of the 1930s.[4] Again, the international labour Organization estimates that over 25 million jobs and 3.4 trillion dollars will be lost in labour income world-wide while 100 million more people may be forced into extreme poverty.[5] This portends graver implications for a nation like Nigeria, which prior to the pandemic, was already the world’s poverty capital with a poverty rate of 33 percent.[6]

The begging question remains, what is the impact of the foregoing on child’s right? It does not take rocket science to realize that the child’s rights to life, survival and development which are guaranteed by Article 6 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are significantly under threat. In this connection, Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states, “State parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life. State parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible, the survival and development of the child.” With glaring poverty levels however, it becomes practically impossible to attain adequate nutrition, right to a healthy and safe environment, security and adequate standard of living which are sine qua non to achieving the right to life.

Again other rights like the child’s right to play, leisure and freedom of association has been affected as it has become practically impossible to keep in touch with friends and outside spaces for play are practically unavailable. There are however more serious implications than the foregoing. It is noteworthy that child trafficking, sexual exploitation and child labour are evils resulting from poverty, which has been brought about by this pandemic. In fact, the huge poverty occasioned by the pandemic is expected to increase child labour by 0.7 percent globally – an estimate that radically alters the prospects of reducing child labour for the first time in 20 years.[7]

Furthermore, another implication of the poverty occasioned by this pandemic is increase in child marriage; a.phenomenon that refers to giving out children below 18 years of age to adults as spouses. Already, 43 % of girls in Nigeria are married before their 18th year old birthday, crowning Nigeria as the 11th state where child marriage is highly operative.[8] The pandemic may however worsen this statistics because child marriages will be the most viable alternative for families on the fringes of survival. It becomes a typical example of “take my child while you give me food.” This position is corroborated by the United Nations Population Fund which has in fact estimated that an additional 13 million child marriages may take place over the next 10 years.[9]

Lastly, the child’s right against violence has been compromised by the pandemic. The huge poverty emanating from the pandemic can serve a triggering factor for frustration of adults and consequently, the infliction of violence on children. Sadly, incidents of violence and child abuse are less likely to be detected because of lockdown measures. The implication is that the infliction of violence will most likely be carried out covertly.

This situation is worsened in view of the fact that child protection agencies have reduced monitoring in order to avoid the spread of the virus and the ability of child protection institutions to respond adequately has been weakened. Already, more than 1 billion children are exposed to violence yearly.[10] With the pandemic however, this figure will be magnified and significantly increased. This is no doubt a threat to the actualization of Article 37 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that: “State parties shall ensure that: (a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

In conclusion, in view of the grave havocs that COVID-19 and its concomitant poverty could wreck on child’s rights, it is imperative for governments to respond with positive laws and policies to ameliorate the looming economic dangers. The United States of America provides a ready example in this regard. She enacted her CARES (CoronaVirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act under which 2.3 trillion dollars, amounting to 11 percent of the United States Gross Domestic Product was dedicated to providing one-time tax rebates to individuals, expanding unemployment benefits and providing food safety nets for the most vulnerable citizens as well as loans for small businesses. Also, under her Pay Check Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, over 483 billion dollars was ear marked to assisting small businesses in the United States of America.[11] Developing countries like Nigeria could follow suit. This will significantly reduce poverty, whose effect is to threaten the rights of children.


[1] http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_738742/lang–en/index.htm

[2] news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059261

[3] www.icirnigeria.org/report-nigerian-inmates-live-in-danger-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/amp

[4] http://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/04/14/imf-global-economy-to-contract-by-3 percent-due-to-coronavirus.html

[5] http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_738742/lang–en/index.htm

[6] tradingeconomics.com

[7] Najat Maalla M’jid, “Hidden scars: the Impact of Violence and the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children’s Mental Health” (2020) Journal of Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health https://campmh.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13024-020-00340-8

[8] http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage/nigeria/

[9] United Nations Population Fund, “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Planning and Ending Gender-Based Violence and Child Marriage, UNFPA 2020.

[10] https://reliefweb.int/report/world/covid-19-and-children-s-rights

[11] http://www.imf.org/en/Topics/imf-and-covid19/Policy-Responses-to-COVID-19#U

MY EXPERIENCE FROM ‘COVID-19’

What happens when life gets hard?

This is a question I have severally asked myself during this pandemic as It’s been more than two-months since key day activities that will get me closer to my personal & professional goals have been paused. This also has a negative effect on my psychological, financial, emotional and social wellbeing. There is nothing as devastating as seeing my plans for 2020 become unrealistic. For example, I had a trip planned out to visit my family in early April as well as developing key contact in Nigeria for my field research regarding child’s right in Nigeria. Sadly, the current pandemic has interrupted my plan, making me going back to the drawing board to reconstruct my plans for the 2020. I have no other reason than to accept that this has been one of the worst period of my years, which keeps me wondering if 2020 is going to start all over again (LOL).

Having said that, I believe it is wise to make the best we can out of bad situation. I have been able to learn several things from the pandemic and I would like to share key take-out this life changing event has taught me.

Positive take-out

  • Identifying my self-worth: During this pandemic situation, I have realized how much I can make of myself. I appreciate myself more as I am literally living without any form of physical social contact with people. Thanks to technology as it connects people from different part of the world through mobile phones, texting and video applications. I have learnt to believe more in myself and my capacity to handle difficult times.
  • Investing time in passion: I have an interest in photography and content creation. I try as much as possible to give time to this interest especially on my Instagram handlehttps://www.instagram.com/tobioyefeso/. However, meeting the demands of my interest clashes with my academic and career pursuit. Thanks to COVID-19, it is not entirely a period of crisis because I have been able to invest more time into building up my passion and creating contents as this post and some other posts on this blog. Hopefully, I should create time for this passion when the pandemic is over and life goes back on the fast lane.
  • Cherishing family and friends: Before the pandemic, I showed little concern about the welfare of those around me especially family and friends. I barely make and receive calls, work and school made it almost impossible to respond to text messages. For instance, I have family members in the United Kingdom and I have not seen the since I began my Postgrad program. The pandemic almost made me disregard the importance of family and friends. Again, the pandemic is a blessing (not in the natural sense of a blessing) because I have become very close to the wellbeing of my family and friends. The daily updates on death from the virus makes me appreciate that family is everything and can do little without them, since my family and friends gives me the support I need at this important time of my life.
  • Patience: It is a key take-out learnt in this time. Sometimes, all I need is a moment to relax and breath and let things happen at the appropriate time. Since I am only a human being with goals and plans for my life, I can barely identify when a time is appropriate. The pandemic has taught me to sit and do things calmly. For instance, I have been waiting for my confirmation letter for my primary data collection and waiting for job vacancies (LOL). Right now, all I have to do is to be calm and wait. Hoping that good fortune meets my hardwork.

Negative take-out

  • Depression: This almost messed me up during this period and the reason was built around fear and uncertainty. As a young lady, I have my life planned out with key milestones that would help me define success. There was a time I was very sick and in so much pain but I was scared to call an ambulance. The whole sickness, isolation, financial constraints, academic difficulties almost got me thinking about what exactly life is all about. All I believed and hoped for was God’s Intervention. Having said that, I had to stand up and fight against negative thoughts that will deter me from seeing a brighter future ahead.
  • Procrastination: This devils tool has made me delay in performing certain activities that are would improve my career and academic goal post COVID-19. In February I was meant to conclude on my research structure but I felt lazy about the process because I felt I could do it after my holiday in March. The pandemic came and took the world by surprise, which constrained me from making key progress on my research. Therefore, this pandemic has taught me to get done with things as quick as possible as time is limited.
  • Poor financial planning: I assume no one had a plan, especially a financial one to manage this pandemic. Like you, I was taking unawares and i wished I had more savings to suit my bills through the pandemic. This has taught me how important it is to save for the future. Going forward, I will factor in unforeseen circumstances in my savings and investments. I think you should too.
  • Health and Fitness: Everyone needs to be healthy in order to pursue their goals and carry out plans they have set for themselves. In my case, I wanted to do more exercise to stay fit physically and mentally. It has been difficult to follow my exercise routines in order to maintain proper body fitness. The reason is closely related to procrastination and my ability to strictly watch my diet. However, the place of physical exercise is important for me and you. All I can do is hope that my body weight does not increase but guess what, hope is never a strategy.

Having said all these, I presume life will not be the same for a lot of us but we need to get ready for post COVID-19.

Thanks for taking out time to learn from my experience. I would love it if you can share your experience from this pandemic in the comment section.

xoxo ;-).