Child safeguarding during the pandemic

Protection risks in Southern Africa

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Destination Unknown members and partners in Southern Africa have reported increasing concerns:

  • limited access to food in many households as a result of strict lockdowns
  • possible increase in violence and abuse against children, with a risk of this abuse being unreported
  • limited access to basic services for children to seek the support that they need


Childline intensifies remote support

Safeguarding children is a priority for Destination Unknown partner Childline Zimbabwe. The organisation has conducted online training of staff on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), on the need to strengthen surveillance with regards to child abuse and on how best to respond to the needs of children in the face of a challenging environment.

In trying to find new ways of maintaining contact with children and their families, Childline has increasingly relied on radio, social media platforms, and the Helpline, to ensure that children know where to find the support they need, despite being confined in their homes. 

Childline has also activated WhatsApp peer support groups and has encouraged children and young people to join and receive support messages.


Read more

Click on any examples below to find out more about how our members are supporting children and youth on the move during COVID-19

Messages from children during COVID-19

Youth-led initiatives in India

West Africa: protecting the rights of children 

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