Monday, May 20, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Monday, May 20, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Norwegian government: “We failed children during the covid crisis”

The adverse effects of corona policy

Published 23 April 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The closure of schools and recreational activities had a very negative impact on children and youth.

The government admits that the restrictions and lockdowns imposed under covid-19 hit children too hard. Among other things, mental health problems among young people and violence and abuse against children increased during this period.

In Norway, the first restrictions, described as the most comprehensive peacetime measures, were introduced in March 2020. They included mandatory masks, quarantine and home schooling. In a mission, Norwegian Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol assessed the government’s handling of the so-called pandemic. Kjerkol admits that children and other vulnerable groups were hit too hard by the restrictions imposed.

– We have to admit that we failed to adequately protect vulnerable groups, especially children, she told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.

She points out that the restrictions contributed to a significant deterioration in children’s health and safety, the consequences of which can be seen today. Among other things, she says, the UN has reported an increase in violence and abuse against both children and women, especially in close relationships. There is also a growing trend of mental illness among children and adolescents.

– We have to assume that this is related to the pandemic, says Kjerkol.

In the report, Kjerkol says that the main negative impact on children has been the closure of day care centers, schools and recreational activities, as this has isolated children. In the future, other measures must be considered to protect children and young people.

– The experience and knowledge gained from the pandemic in terms of preventing infection and the psychosocial consequences means that in the next pandemic we will have to consider measures that affect children and young people in a different way, says the Minister.

Children’s ombudsman: Listen to the children

Norway’s Children’s Ombudsman, Ivar Stokkereit, says it is good that the government acknowledges that it has failed children and hopes that this will lead to action and change for the future.

– We are pleased that there will now be a requirement for thorough investigations into the best interests of children before policy decisions are made. At the same time, it is crucial that authorities talk to children before making decisions and that children’s professional expertise is included in decisions, he told NRK.

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