Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, Njat Maalla M’jid
Statement As Delivered by Daniel Murphy
Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council – 49th Session
March 15, 2022
Thank you, Mr. President and Special Representative.
Violence against children is prevalent now in Ukraine. Ukrainian children are suffering as a result of Russia’s further invasion. We applaud UNICEF’s efforts to address COVID-19’s effect on children in Ukraine.
The Special Representative’s report notes that pandemic-related lockdowns have increased violence against children in the home. In the United States, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (or CARES) Act provided additional funding to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Children and Families to address these concerns.
The CARES Act designated $45 million for supporting family violence shelters, and $12 million for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Another $45 million covers grants to states, territories, and tribes to support families’ child welfare needs; and to keep families together.
COVID-19 has harmed children’s mental well-being. To help address mental health deficiencies resulting from child abuse, the Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has increased the availability of online tools and resources. They also partner with a variety of stakeholders, including the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health.
Our question is what resources and practices work best to address COVID-related violence against children?