Children and families worldwide are experiencing disruptions to their environments with closures of childcare and school services, job loss, and limited to no access to health and other essential services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Children are now entirely reliant on their caregivers for nurturing care to meet their physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development needs. With caregivers under stress for a myriad of reasons, this leaves children more vulnerable to toxic stress, violence, exploitation, and abuse.

This webinar from the Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) provided an overview of the issue, with lessons learned from past emergency contexts, current data on the prevalence of violence against children, presentation of guides and strategies to promote the protection of children and country presentations on strategies being currently implemented.

Presenters included:

  • Dr Etienne Krug – Director, Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention.
  • Dr Lucie Cluver – Professor of Child and Family Social Work, in the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and an Honorary Professor in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town.
  • Audrey Bollier – Coordinator for the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.

The webinar attracted 1,400 participants from across the world. You can access a recording of the event here.