Newsletter No.10 ~ Right to Play ~ Children’s Wellbeing during the Pandemic

Hello, everyone! I hope you all have been well and safe. I know some parts of the world have been lifting the restrictions of lockdown while some areas have gone back to lockdown again. In the UK in the last few weeks we have seen drastic changes in our daily life including wearing masks, reopening pubs and restaurants and so on. In the last newsletter, I mentioned children’s mental health affected by Covid-19. This time I would like to think further about children’s wellbeing and their rights.

Since playgrounds were open on Super Saturday (4th July 2020), my son and I have been enjoying the facilities. It was three and a half months that we had no access to playgrounds and it was extremely frustrating. At the beginning of lockdown (Week 3) when the situation was immensely tense and every single day we heard more and more people dying, we witnessed some people jumping over the fences of the playgrounds and started to play. I could not really ignore this and had to approach them to request to leave the playground just because this was going to give my son the wrong message. I noticed myself that I was really furious and nearly projecting my piled up frustrations onto them and had to manage my anger. I knew this was a tip of the iceberg of my various emotions that emerged due to this extreme situation. Around the week 13, I noticed that some people were not able to wait but let their children jump into playgrounds and play. Having seen so many people actually breaking the rules, it made me feel worth waiting so long and now we love to spend time jumping, using swings, see-saw etc. Every child needs to be ensured a right to play in their childhood. Article 31 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child states that children have a right to play[1]. I believe we, adults need to ensure this right fully for children even in this pandemic circumstance.

When thinking about children in the pandemic, my attention is drawn to the UNICEF and ILO’s statement[2]: due to the school closure and decrease of social services, more children, especially whose parents have lost their jobs are at a greater risk that they will be exposed to hazardous longer work. This means that we will see an increase of child labour for the first time in 20 years. The latest estimate of child labourers (2017) is 152 million worldwide[3]. Those who live in a good living standard like me should actively imagine what it would be like for children being deprived of play and study. I would invite you to look at the photographs that I took in India and other countries and have a moment thinking about children who are forced into the adult’s world (Go to the gallery). From my own experience of working with former child labourers, it is really tough to remove children out of work, especially when they live in extreme poverty. However, needless to say, we can no longer justify this kind of social injustice. The solution lies in more work opportunities for adults and quality education for children. I am very concerned about such vulnerable children.

The pandemic brought more focus into everyone’s wellbeing. Vulnerable children in developing countries are more likely to be subjected to deprivation of their rights, especially the right to survive and the right to education. Those in developed countries like the U.K., are at a greater risk of deteriorating mental health. Regardless where children are born, I cannot empathise enough that children should be able to enjoy their rights even in this difficult time. When I move to Australia (in 6 weeks time, hopefully), I perhaps would like to therapeutically support young people.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. I appreciate your comments, feedback and suggestions. Please do write to me (! Stay safe!

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#dancetherapy #mentalhealth #coronavirus #childrights #childlabour #socialjustice

ニュースレターNo.10 子どもの遊ぶ権利~パンデミックにおける子どもの健康





 ニュースレターをお読みくださってありがとうございます。もしコメント、フィードバックがあればぜひお願いします (。みなさんもお気をつけてお過ごしください。


#ダンスセラピー #メンタルヘルス #子どもの権利 #児童労働

[1] [2] Covid-19 and Child Labour: A time of crisis, A time to act [3] [4] [5] Covid-19 and Child Labour: A time of crisis, A time to act [6]

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