Children are the first victims of diseases because they are the most vulnerable. Every day, over five percent of children in Djibouti die from malnutrition, cholera, measles, malaria and other diseases (UNICEF Djibouti Annual Report 2018). One wonders if the authorities notice this?
Today, the coronavirus has been added to the long list of diseases that threaten children. The Corona pandemic has destroyed citizens of richer countries, and the virus has invaded all of humanity. It started in China and has evolved in other countries of the planet. In Djibouti, the corona-virus has already passed 4,000 confirmed cases (Djibouti Covid-19 Situation Report 10). Because of this pandemic, schools have been closed for weeks. How will the world move forward with children - who are the future of this country - uneducated?
The invisible consequences of Corona Virus
At a time when an invisible enemy is waiting for us, the coronavirus generates a new lonely way of life. This health crisis is interspersed with so many abuses that children face. I have often heard that "true compassion does not consist in throwing a coin at a beggar, but it is at restructuring the machine which produces beggars" and I agree. The International Convention on the Rights of the Child provides a series of rights for all children and calls on states to help parents in difficulty.
Today more than ever, children are more vulnerable and exposed to all the ills of this cruel world, most are in the streets right now begging so that they can have something to eat. It is time to put in place measures to help children, especially from underprivileged areas so that they can have a decent childhood just like any other child and are able to have a comfortable life and enjoy their rights.
A bad thing never comes alone
When the coronavirus pandemic began to ravage the world and a state of emergency was declared across the country, everything changed. Our spaces of interaction were closed and we were forced to be home and not share good moments with our friends but this was necessary to keep us alive. However the socio-economic impact of Corona Virus can never be underestimated.
So many children rights across the globe have been abused and their situation has worsened compared to before. No thanks to Corona.
Every child has the right to live in dignity. In accordance with article 20 of the CRC, all children who are deprived of their family environment have the right to protection and special assistance from the State. As a child rights activist I ask the State to take all possible measures to ensure that these children have very special protection and that they can enjoy their rights like all other children.
I am truly grateful to anyone who donates for the well-being of troubled children, and I also ask anyone of goodwill to join this cause to help the most vulnerable children especially in these challenging times.
Zeinab Habib, has been celebrated as an emerging young tech female leader in Djibouti, who has participated in a number of innovation challenges and has shared innovative ideas, that have revolutionised the way of approaching old problems. She is passionate about youth development and female leadership.