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Coronavirus: Restrictions taking toll on children, commissioner says

20210601 pagkosmia mera paidiou

Covid-19 restrictions have affected children’s rights and mental health, the Children’s Rights Commissioner Despo Michaelidou said on Tuesday.

In a written statement on the international day for protection of children, the commissioner said the day is “marked by an unprecedented global crisis, which also affects the lives of all children”.

Children’s rights have been adversely affected on many levels due to the imposition of restrictive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the commissioner said.

Michaelidou highlighted the value of free time, rest, and entertainment “which as an integral part of childhood have a decisive role in the emotional and physical health and, consequently, the well-being of the child”. She added that sometimes adults, in their attempt to prepare children for the future, prohibit them from experiencing the “joy of childhood”.

Due to the fast pace of everyday life, “children very often lack the carefreeness of rest, the joy of playing, engaging in sports and participating in artistic and cultural activities,” Michaelidiou said.

The commissioner also assured that her office will make it a priority to ensure the rights of all children living in Cyprus “without discrimination or exclusion”.

The International Day for Protection of Children is observed yearly on June 1 since 1950, in addition to the Universal Children’s Day on November 20.

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