Last week, UNFPA released their 2020 State of World Population report, which examines harmful practices that girls around the world face every day. It reveals important findings on the extent of these practices, particularly female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, and son preference. The data shows, for example, that this year, 4.1 million girls are at risk of FGM, one in five marriages today involves a child bride, and son preference has resulted in a deficit of some 140 million females.
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidance for school re-entry that said districts should do everything they can to bring students back into classrooms. It underlined the importance of in-person learning, as well as the negative impacts of school closure, which “often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation.”
To read more, see below for five news stories that caught our attention this week:
UNFPA, (June 30, 2020): This blog highlights takeaways from UNFPA’s 2020 State of World Population report, which examines the origin and extent of harmful practices around the world, such as FGM and child marriage, as well as what must be done to stop them.
The New Rationalist, (June 30, 2020): This piece by Dr. Paul Zeitz, physician, epidemiologist, and advocate for justice and human rights, explains how COVID-19 lockdown measures are exacerbating child abuse. It highlights four ways that everyone can take action now through the Keep Kids Safe movement.
The Washington Post, (July 6, 2020): Carol Burris, a public education advocate and former teacher and principal, explains why it is vital that schools find a safe way to open for their most vulnerable students. She refers to guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics stating that lengthy time away from school can make it difficult for schools to identify and address child abuse, putting children at a greater risk.
The New Yorker, (June 23, 2020): This piece highlights how batterer-intervention programs are still functioning during COVID-19, but questions whether domestic abusers can hold themselves accountable when no one is watching them.
Devex, (June 30, 2020): This article features a Q&A with Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, in which she explains her biggest concerns regarding COVID-19 and children, including education disruptions and exacerbated mental health issues.