COVID-19 has changed the world overnight and has some very serious implications for children everywhere. A third of the global population is on COVID-19 lockdown, and school closures have impacted more than 1.5 billion children.

Restrictions on movement, isolation, overcrowding, loss of income and high levels of stress and anxiety are dramatically increasing the likelihood that children will become victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse at home, especially those children who are already living in violent and dysfunctional families.

Children are making greater use of online facilities to access families and schooling, exposing them to cyberbullying, risky online behaviour and sexual exploitation.

This situation is further aggravated by the fact that children are unable to access their friends, teachers, safe spaces and services that schools provide.