Every year, the date of 20 November marks the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The City of Geneva’s commitment in this field was acknowledged in 2018 with the UNICEF Switzerland label of “Commune amie des enfants”. In 2020, we have seen that children are severely affected by the social crisis facing Geneva. Accordingly, the action plan of the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity provides for a number of interventions intended specifically for children.
The date of 20 November marks the adoption of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which recognises and protects the specific rights relating to children. This treaty establishes children as a subject of international law on the same basis as any other human being. Ratified by Switzerland in 1997, the treaty is implemented, day in day out, by the Confederation, the cantons and the municipalities, placing children’s rights at the heart of their actions.
Geneva, “commune amie des enfants”
For a number of years, the City has taken action in favour of children’s rights. In 2018, it was awarded the UNICEF Switzerland label "Commune amie des enfants", which acknowledges the efforts of the municipality in favour of children. To mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention in 2019, a brochure was published as part of an awareness campaign concerning the participation of children, in particular containing a collection of best practices for professionals working in the field of child services.
Children victims of the social crisis
With the current crisis, an increase in inequalities has been observed through numerous studies, such as the study conducted by the Unige and Professor Bonvin, and the two reports of the Mobile Ambulatory Community Care Centre (CAMSCO) of the HUG. In particular, these studies show that 30% of families, which are beneficiaries of the Colis du Cœur, have encountered severe difficulties in feeding themselves correctly since the outbreak of COVID-19. This food insecurity affects children from the very youngest age. Beyond the nutritional aspects, COVID-19 and the accompanying measures – including semi-confinement – have exacerbated the numerous disadvantages and the vulnerability of marginalised children.
Against this backdrop, the role of the municipality is essential. The City of Geneva therefore wants to develop projects focusing on several different points:
- improve food security among young children by complementing the distribution of food parcels with first infant and follow-up milk.
- maintain access to care in early childhood facilities, with active organisational measures to cover staff absences.
- facilitate access to extracurricular services, including information on the possibility of support for families in need.
- establish social monitoring to serve as a relay between the school, the families, the children and the partners in the different districts.
- accompany vulnerable children by increasing free assistance with homework.
Furthermore, the magistrate responsible for the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity wants to work on the issues of digital technology and reclaiming public areas.
Article modifié le 20.11.2020 à 16:40