The Challenges

The mission of Kids Hack the Crisis is to engage and unite children’s voices around the world, to generate solutions to the challenges faced by children due to the pandemic – both in the short and long term. Children’s lives and life chances have been affected, both by the virus itself and by the consequences of decisions taken to limit the spread of the virus – school closure, social and economic consequences, social isolation and distancing, increased need of digital solutions etc. The five challenges listed below are related to articles of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  1. The right to education
  2. The right to health
  3. End poverty
  4. End violence
  5. The right to participation
Photo: Unicef, Schverdfinger

Detailed description

Below you can find some background and more detailed description of each challenge. Detailed information on how to pick a challenge, how to address the challenge etc. will be provided before entering the hackathon.

1. The right to education

How can we, in this Covid-19 era, make sure all children get the education they deserve?

More than 1,5 billion children are at risk of falling behind due to
school closures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19. It is
crucial to close the digital divide for all children to continue to
learn.

Children are experiencing insufficient schooling due to Covid-19 restrictions. While some schools are set up for in-person, social distancing-based classroom arrangements, other schools have to teach classes online at home. Many children deal with technology barriers, including families who share a single computer, have a lack of internet connectivity and are unable to participate, receive instructions or resources. These constraints cause frustrating learning experiences leading to children falling behind in their studies and leaving school. How can we give all children the chance to learn and get access to the education they havea right to?
Read more: data.unicef.org/topic/education/covid-19/

Child Rights Convention Article 28: Every child has the right to an education. Primary education should be free. Secondary and higher education should be available to every child. Children should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level possible. Discipline in schools should respect children’s rights and never use violence.

2. The right to health

– How can we reimagine a society where everyone can have good physical health and support mental wellness?

Many children are struggling with poor physical and mental health from the sudden response to the pandemic. Health services are overloaded due to the high number of patients and the lack of knowledge of treating a new virus and are, as such, struggling to provide quality care for sick children. At the same time, the uncertainty and disruption to normal living standards result in children learning how to cope with increased anxiety, isolation and fear. How can we reimagine a society where everyone can have good physical health and support mental wellness?
Read more: data.unicef.org/topic/child-health/child-health-and-covid-19/

Read more: data.unicef.org/topic/covid-19-and-children/

Child Rights Convention Article 6: Every child has the right to be alive. Governments must make sure that children survive and develop in the best possible way.

Article 24: Children have the right to the best health care possible, clean water to drink, healthy food and a clean and safe environment to live in. All adults and children should have information about how to stay safe and healthy.

3. End poverty

How can we assure these children have a fair standard of living and access to essential services, when they are financially and socially vulnerable?

There are children who worry daily about their next meal, a warm place to sleep, safety, financial stability and access to clean water. Children have the right to a fair standard of living, such as housing, clothing and food. In the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic, as parents lose their jobs and sources of income, it is important to measure what happens to children living in monetary poor and impoverished households. The current pandemic could increase the number of children living in monetary poor households by more than 117 million by the end of the year.
Source: data.unicef.org/resources/children-in-monetary-poor-households-and-covid-19/

But child poverty is more than the lack of money. To understand the full extent of child poverty as well as the impact of Covid-19 on it, we must look at children’s ability to access health, education, nutrition, water and sanitation and housing services. Approximately 150 million additional children are living in multidimensional poverty – without access to these essential services – due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Read more: data.unicef.org/resources/impact-of-covid-19-on-multidimensional-child-poverty/

Child Rights Convention Article 26: Governments should provide money or other support to help children from poor families.

Article 27: Children have the right to food, clothing and a safe place to live so they can develop in the best possible way. The government should help families and children who cannot afford this.

4. End violence

How can we create peaceful and safe societies at home, in school, in local communities and online?

During prevention and quarantine measures for Covid-19, there has been an increase in stressors and tension where children are at risk of getting physically and emotionally hurt by people they know in their everyday living and social environments. The pandemic could result in loss of parental care due to death, illness or separation, thereby placing children at heightened risk for violence, neglect and exploitation.
Read more: data.unicef.org/resources/protecting-children-from-violence-in-the-time-of-covid-19-brochure/

Child Rights Convention Article 19: Governments must protect children from violence, abuse and being neglected by anyone who looks after them.

5. The right to participation

How can we help increase visibility and participation, and boost the voices of children to be involved in major decisions affecting their lives?

As a response to the pandemic, many children share similar emotions and experiences about Covid-19 and want to stand up, but might feel withdrawn to speak or are not given the ability to share. These daily worries of children are unseen and children are excluded as participants in decision-making for their community.
Read more: data.unicef.org/topic/adolescents/participation/

Child Rights Convention Article 12: Children have the right to give their opinions freely on issues that affect them. Adults should listen and take children seriously.