Protecting children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated 24 March 2020


The outbreak of a novel form of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic and the situation for children and families all over the world continues to evolve quickly. While the outbreak and its affects are unprecedented, we do know that children face an increased risk of violence in times of crisis, and the evidence from previous infectious disease outbreaks suggests that child protection risks are exacerbated and new ones emerge during an epidemic and prevention and control measures. The pressures on vulnerable children and families will be compounded by the speed of change and implications such as loss of earnings, changes to the physical environment and reduced access to essentials, services and support, in addition to fears around physical health. Understandably, feelings of anxiety and stress among adults and children will be heightened.

We are reminded at this time of the importance of ensuring everyone is equipped to prevent violence against children around the world. Parents are in need of particular support during this time of isolation, to help reduce stress and maintain positive relationships with each other and their children. The Global Initiative is thankful for the vast number of frontline staff, professionals, advocates, policymakers and members of the public around the world that are pulling together to support families in crisis. We have shared some helpful resources below to help parents coping with stress related to the outbreak, including helping children to reduce stress, and to support professionals and policymakers. If you are aware of further useful resources, please share them with us at

The Global Initiative remains operational during this time, with our staff team now fully home-based.

Resources for parents:

Resources for professionals and policymakers:

  • The Alliance for the Protection of Children in Humanitarian Crisis has produced a Technical Note on the Protection of Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic to support frontline child protection workers, policy makers and donors in designing and implementing child protection interventions, including cross-sectoral collaboration. The note is currently being translated into Korean, Italian, Persian, Chinese, Spanish, French and Arabic.
  • The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children has collected a range of resources to reduce violence against children during the outbreak, aimed at supporting children, adults, educators and policymakers.