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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 April 28 - May 11  > Listen to children's needs amid pandemic and ensure them bright future
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2021 April 28 - May 11 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Listen to children's needs amid pandemic and ensure them bright future

May 5, 2021

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

May 5 is "Children's Day" in Japan. The everyday lives of children have changed significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more than one year, they have been enduring a restrictive lifestyle which shows no sign of ending.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in April 2020 released a statement which calls on the world's governments to take urgent action to respect and protect the rights of children and specifies what should be protected.

The statement warns of the grave physical, emotional, and psychological effects of the pandemic on children in countries that have declared states of emergency.

The statement includes recommendations: explore solutions for children to enjoy their rights to cultural and artistic activities; disseminate accurate information in child-friendly languages; provide opportunities for children's views to be heard and taken into account in decision-making processes concerning the pandemic; activate measures to ensure that children are fed nutritious food; and ensure that online learning does not exacerbate existing inequalities. Japan is lagging behind in all these areas of concern.

According to a survey result the National Center for Child Health and Development released in February of this year, adolescents with moderate-to-severe depression account for 15% of 10-to-12-year-olds, 24% of 12-to-15-year-olds, and 30% of 15-to-18-year-olds. It is necessary to keep an eye out for SOS signals coming from children and quickly find solutions to help ease their concerns.

It was 70 years ago today that Japan established the Children's Charter based on constitutional principles. The basic aim, "The child shall be respected as a human being" set out in the Charter, must be respected.

Past related issue:
> Gov’t anti-coronavirus measures should pay more attention to children’s rights [May 5, 2020]
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