Reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on children’s rights to, in and through education

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Abstract

Emergency legislation introduced internationally since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the closure of all levels of educational settings and a shift to remote teaching. Drawing lessons from an independent child rights impact assessment (CRIA) in Scotland, United Kingdom, this paper reviews the impact of COVID-19 measures on children and young people’s rights to, and experiences of, education during the current crisis. Findings highlight that while measures sought to preserve the best interests of children and their basic rights to safety, a distinct lack of consultation on the impacts of the measures undermined the interdependency and indivisibility of children’s human rights. Three human rights principles – participation and inclusion, non-discrimination, and mutual accountability of family and the State – were identified as being particularly significant in this assessment. Looking forward, findings point to the need for extending the range of perspectives involved in child rights impact assessments in times of crisis – where human rights are at even greater risk of being breached – and the significance of a children's rights-based perspective for re-imagining education altogether.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Human Rights
Early online date1 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • children’s human rights
  • right-holders and duty-bearers
  • education
  • participation
  • crisis

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