#CovidUnder19: An initiative to meaningfully involve children in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

What did we do

How do children experience the pandemic, from one end of the world to the other? To find out, Terre des hommes, in collaboration with the UN and around 30 organisations, as well as children and young people, created the #CovidUnder19 initiative and launched an international survey. The results of the survey reveal the opinions of children and young people, so that their voices can be taken into account by decision-makers.

CovidUnder19: Technical annex: https://www.tdh.ch/en/media-library/documents/covidunder19-technical-annex

#CovidUnder19: Life Under Coronavirus – results of the survey: https://www.tdh.ch/en/media-library/documents/covidunder19-results





8-12Better awareness13-1515-18International


#covid19What do you try to change?

Reveal the opinions of children and young people, so that their voices can be taken into account by decision-makers.

A total of 26,258 children and young people aged 8 to 17 from 137 countries participated in the #CovidUnder19 survey. The results published in December 2020 shed light on their opinions: “Children are not as clueless as you think they are. They have a voice, and no voice should be shut out. Being a child doesn’t mean our voices are less credible,” said a 10-year-old boy from the Philippines.

  • evidence

    #covid19Tell us what you found out - what were people's experiences, views or ideas for change?

    Governments should listen to children more In the #CovidUnder19 poll, 38% of the children felt that they were not heard when decisions were being made about the Covid-19 crisis. Take young people’s opinion into consideration, because they are also a part of the community and they should have the right to express themselves,” said a 17-year-old boy from Lebanon. “They [authorities] should pay more attention to children. Some children can't afford to buy face masks which is bad. Face masks on the market are for adults and few being tailored are for children,” says a 15-year-old girl from Zambia. Access to education More than 60% of children and young people reported that they had access to better education before Covid-19. “I think that during quarantine, the schedule of every child changed for worse, starting with the education, communicating with friends, less time outside, alimentation, spiritual state, etc. First of all, I want to mention the fact that on-line classes did not have the effect and the degree of information and necessary knowledge due to the fact that a lot of children did not have the possibility (financial) to use the internet and the needed device, such as a phone or a laptop. Secondly, the on-line classes done on the mobile phone had a negative impact on our eyesight,” said a 14-year-old girl from Moldova. “I’m waiting when school will reopen so that I don’t need to work,” said a 13-year-old girl from India.
  • advice

    #covid19Tell us your advice on doing participation activities - what worked well, what you enjoy, what is inclusive?

    The survey was developed in collaboration with international partners including the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children among others and 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. The Centre for Children's Rights at Queen's University, Belfast, employing their unique children's rights-based methodology, designed the survey and analysed and reported the results, working at every stage with children and young people and other partners to make sure that the survey and findings were produced with children for children.

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