UNICEF concerned that COVID-19 prevention measures have resulted in family separation
Bangkok, 15 April 2022: UNICEF in East asia and Pacific has noted with concern that isolation and quarantine under COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures have resulted in some cases in family separation when either a caregiver or child is placed in a facility while the other remains at home, or when they are placed outside the home in different facilities.
Research is clear that there are significant negative emotional and developmental impacts and increased risks of abuse that arise from separating children from their parents, in any context. Children and adolescents are more likely to experience high rates of depression or anxiety during and after isolation ends.
UNICEF therefore urge government authorities in East Asia and Pacific to take steps to prevent family separation and promote family unity when implementing quarantine and isolation policies, in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Policies and practices should allow home-based quarantine that enable families to stay together. If children are placed in isolation facilities, this should be based on a holistic assessment in which the child’s best interests are the primary concern and parents, or a caregiver approved by the parent, should accompany the child throughout
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF East Asia & Pacific and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eap