The 100 Million campaign acknowledges the growing coronavirus public health situation and will be working to ensure we can balance our commitments to fight for justice for every child, while ensuring our staff and activists remain safe during this time.
We will continue to monitor the unfolding situation and remain in contact with our activists and partner organisations to mitigate the impact on our important work and keep all our staff and activists safe.
OUR GUIDANCE FOR ACTIVISTS
As a campaign, we remain committed to fighting for the rights of all children to be free, safe and educated, and will continue to do so during this public health emergency where the most marginalised are likely to be disproportionately affected. We also want to make sure that our staff and activists are prioritising the health and wellbeing of themselves and others.
If you’re in a country that has yet to record a case of COVID-19, we would advise you to continue planning campaign activities in your community, and engaging with your local decision-makers, but you should also continuously monitor the guidance issued by your government’s public health authorities and adapt campaigning plans accordingly.
If you are planning public mobilisations in crowded, public spaces you should consider making back-up plans in case restrictions on public gatherings are put in place. You should also identify and signpost participants to designated sanitation points for regular hand washing during all campaign activities.
If you’re in a country impacted by COVID-19 we recommend adhering to your government's public health authority’s guidance on travel, assembly and social interaction. We want you to remain bold and ambitious in your campaigning but never at the expense of the health and safety of you or your group members. Please never engage in any activities that might endanger you, your fellow activists, or the wider public.
If you or anyone in your community group feels unwell and suspects you might have been exposed to COVID-19, then your group should cease meeting and anyone who thinks they might have been infected should go into self-isolation for 14 days and seek medical advice to prevent further spread of the virus.
UNDERSTANDING MORE ABOUT CORONAVIRUS AND RELIABLE INFORMATION
Health authorities and researchers are focused on understanding more about coronavirus and COVID-19, but the World Health Organisation is currently advising that illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults, and about 80% of those infected recover without special treatment. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. Older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.
It is important to ensure that the news and information sources you are using are official and reliable; public health organisations around the world have expressed their concern about 'fake news' surrounding COVID-19, which can cause undue panic or alarm. As a starting point, this is the World Health Organisation homepage on the coronavirus: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
HOW WE WILL SUPPORT YOU TO CAMPAIGN DURING THIS TIME
If you are in an area heavily impacted by the virus outbreak, it may not be possible for you to campaign and mobilise publicly in your community.
We will work hard to ensure that we share action ideas for you to continue campaigning, raising awareness of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the most marginalised young people in your community and the world and influencing decision-makers to take action for the most marginalised while respecting the public health restrictions. Through our monthly emails and action packs, we will offer a wide variety of creative campaign actions you can take that can be applied to your context at the time, including letter-writing and emailing your decision-makers.
TELL US ABOUT THE IMPACT THE PANDEMIC IS HAVING IN YOUR COMMUNITY
At the same time, we’re keen to hear from you about the impact that COVID-19 is having on your work and on the most marginalised children in your community. For example, is your government putting measures in place to combat the pandemic which are practical for everyone? Have food shortages become more acute for marginalised children? Are parents losing their jobs due to a lockdown? You can send us your story – in writing or as a video message – using the contact details below.
IMPACT ON CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
In times of new emergencies, decision-makers often lose sight of existing emergencies, such as the 258 million children not accessing school, or the 152 million children in child labour. It’s important that we continue to hold leaders to account on their commitment to enabling the world’s most marginalised children to access their rights, so their needs aren’t further deprioritised. In countries with weak or non-existent social protection, and in refugee camps and other already vulnerable communities, there is a real danger that the knock-on economic effects of COVID 19 will be severe.
We are concerned by the threat that this outbreak poses to the rights of already excluded groups, and the troubling reports of racism towards people from affected countries. As fear and misinformation spreads about the disease, the risk of groups being blamed and marginalised increases. We must all work hard to counter this threat by sharing accurate information about the virus and its transmission, and by standing in solidarity with people at risk of exclusion and racism related to COVID-19.
Children are also at risk of harm if they are separated from their caregivers during quarantine or admission to hospital, which can make them vulnerable. Governments and local authorities must ensure that children’s welfare is prioritised in any public health responses.
If any 100 Million local group or youth activist needs additional support or guidance on adapting your campaign plans, please always feel free to reach out and contact us.
You can WhatsApp our Head of Activism, Georgia Potton on +44 7586 37 51 28 or email at georgia@100Million.org.
You can also reach out to fellow activists and find out how they are adapting their plans to campaign during this time.
Join the Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/100MillionActivists