Children on the move, including unaccompanied and separated children, regularly face unspeakable threats to their safety and well-being even in the absence of a pandemic. For many of these girls and boys, access to basic health care and facilities is extremely limited, while cramped living conditions make social distancing unfeasible. In light of the COVID-19 crisis these children are at heightened risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence amidst intensifying containment measures.
The National Interagency Working Group (NIAWG) on Unaccompanied, Separated and Migrant Children in South Africa, whilst commending the Government of South Africa for its efforts in reducing the spread of COVID-19, has highlighted the importance to include all children in the response, regardless of their country of origin or immigration status.
On 16th June, on the occasion of the Day of the African Child, the NIAWG worked with children on the move to amplify their voices and their views, and called on governments to give special consideration to the issues raised by children on the move, in their measures addressing the impact of the pandemic.