Youth call to take action against COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean
U-Report poll of 10,500 young people in 31 countries suggests most youth believe action is needed to combat COVID-19, but many still need safe and clear information.
A recent UNICEF poll shows that thousands of young people across Latin America and the Caribbean believe concerted action is needed to fight COVID-19.
Almost 95% of over 10,500 respondents from 31 countries said that actions are needed to fight the virus but over half failed to identify their own national coronavirus information websites.
Nearly half also believe that their communities are not fully prepared to deal with the virus.
Administered through U-Report, UNICEF’s safe, free and confidential mobile empowerment platform that gives young people a voice on the big issues that affect them, the poll shines a light on the knowledge, thoughts and feelings of young people around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lack of knowledge
The poll shows a worrying lack of knowledge around the symptoms, prevention and transmission of COVID-19, even among some of the most digitally literate young people.
44% of respondents felt that they were only somewhat informed on the virus and only a third chose all the correct answers to a question on how COVID-19 is spread.
Despite the vast majority of respondents calling for action against COVID-19, a third still believe they are not a at risk of contracting it.
Over 40% of all respondents cited traditional media as their main source of information on COVID-19, with 21% citing social media and just 10% choosing instant messaging services.
COVID-19 has spread to all 36 countries and territories in Latin American and the Caribbean, upending the lives of children and their families.
Opinions and feedback shared through U-Report helps UNICEF and partners pinpoint gaps in knowledge and information and offers insights on perceptions around the virus.
U-Report also helps track and tackle misinformation, ultimately helping to refine and improve actions to keep people safe and healthy by engaging with young people and communities.
Worldwide, since the pandemic was declared, U-Report has evolved into a vital platform in the fight against the virus, sharing scientific facts through SMS, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Viber.
As a result, U-Reporter numbers have surged to over 10.5 million globally, with new and existing users across 68 countries including refugees, migrants and other vulnerable groups.
Young people can take simple actions to raise awareness, prevent misinformation and promote community spirit and support.
By sending the word ‘Action’ to U-Report Global Facebook, Whatsapp or Viber channels they can play an active part in fighting COVID-19.
Here’s how to join:
- On WhatsApp: Send “Action” to +66 80 024 9442.
- On Facebook Messenger: Send ‘Action’ using Facebook Messenger at http://m.me/UReportGlobal
- On Viber: Follow the ‘U-Report’ Public Account (Go to Discover). Send the message ‘Action’
U-Report partners with governments, non-governmental organizations, business, schools, universities and youth networks to aid children, young people and vulnerable communities.