Greater support needed for working parents as COVID-19 takes hold

03Jun 2020
Editor
The Guardian
Greater support needed for working parents as COVID-19 takes hold

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) brings with it feelings like anxiety, stress and uncertainty and they are felt especially strongly by children of all ages. Though all children deal with such emotions in different ways, if your child has been faced with school closures,-

-cancelled events or separation from friends, they are going to need to feel loved and supported now more than ever.

Families remain at the centre of social life, ensuring the well-being of their members, educating and socialising children and youth and caring for young and old. In particular, family-oriented policies can contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals relating to doing away with poverty and hunger; ensuring healthy lives and promoting of well-being for all ages; ensuring educational opportunities throughout the lifespan and achieving gender equality.

Appreciating all parents throughout the world is indeed essential.

Since the 1980s, the important role of the family has increasingly come to the attention of the international community. The General Assembly adopted a number of resolutions and proclaimed the International Year of the Family and the International Day of Families.

Emphasising the critical role of parents in the rearing of children, the Global Day of Parents recognises that the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children. For the full and harmonious development of their personality, children should grow up in a family environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.

Designated by the General Assembly in 2012, Global Day of Parents provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.

Families bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the anchors of the family and the foundation of our communities and societies, parents have the responsibility of sheltering their families from harm, caring for out-of-school children and, at the same time, continuing their work responsibilities. Without support from parents, children’s health, education and emotional well-being is at risk. By introducing family-friendly workplace policies and practices, companies and organizations will be in a better position to promote children’s safety and wellbeing and provide systematic support to employees.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its exponential growth, a technical note from UNICEF, ILO and UN Women on family-friendly policies and other good workplace practices in the context of COVID-19 shows that it is essential to support working families to minimise negative consequences for children.

During the 1980's, the United Nations began focusing attention on the issues related to the family. In 1983, based on the recommendations of the Economic and Social Council, the Commission for Social Development in its resolution on the Role of the family in the development process requested the Secretary-General to enhance awareness among decision makers and the public of the problems and needs of the family, as well as of effective ways of meeting those needs.

In its resolution of 9 December 1989, The General Assembly proclaimed 1994 as the International Year of the Family; and in 1993, the General Assembly decided that 15 May of every year to be observed as the International Day of Families.

In 2012, the General Assembly proclaimded 1 June as the Global Day of Parents, to be observed annually in honour of parents throughout the world.

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