Protecting Peru's indigenous children in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19: Emergency Response

A gilr washes her hands in a indigenous community
UNICEF Peru/Maratuech J.

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The COVID-19 emergency affects everyone, but indigenous people in the Amazon are particularly vulnerable. They live in communities with high levels of poverty and historically limited investment in public services. Public information isn’t always available in indigenous languages. Hand washing isn’t so easy without safe water at home. Many local health centres have just one health worker and minimal intensive care capacity. With limited access to TV and internet, not all indigenous children can learn at home.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, José Francisco Cali Tzay, warns that “COVID-19 is devastating indigenous communities worldwide, and it’s not only about health”. Peru must work to guarantee the rights of indigenous children and adolescents, including them in the COVID-19 response now and going forward.

UNICEF is working to help keep indigenous children and adolescents in Peru healthy, protected and learning in the time of COVID-19. This fact sheet provides an overview of the situation of indigenous children in Peru and UNICEF´s response during the pandemic.

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