Comment Children also have the right to play sports in exceptional circumstances – hobbies would also help them endure the crisis

In the corona crisis, restricting children’s rights has been too easy. More difficult decisions must be made that do not trample on children’s rights, writes HS sports journalist Ari Virtanen.

Coronary pandemic during which time restrictions have strangled everyone but especially children. The coronavirus is very equal in its infectivity, but the restrictions apply unequally to population groups.

Children’s voices are not heard enough during the crisis, and their rights are not realized.

On Monday, a report of a working group of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on the effects of the corona epidemic on the well-being of children and families and the realization of children’s rights was published. The report states that the state must take all measures to implement the rights recognized in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the requirement also applies to exceptional circumstances.

Especially in the metropolitan area, the situation is critical, as restrictions have prevented and curtailed the arts, sports and sports activities of children and young people soon two months from the end of November. The situation is unsustainable from the perspective of children and young people.

Last summer, The Center for Sport and Human Rights produced a report on the impact of the pandemic on the hundreds of millions of children involved in organized sport.

According to the report, all children who play sports have the right to have their rights protected in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, “States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate in all cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activities”.

Junior and the disadvantages of restricting young people’s hobbies are not limited to physical effects. As a result of the restrictions, children and young people also lose the positive mental and social benefits of sport. At their worst, they lose their sports buddies, their community and coach, and all the good that sports bring to life at their best.

The cancellation of sports exercises brings with it loneliness, disappointment, fear, and the stress of weathering sports skills. For some children, sports are a physical and psychological refuge.

Different restrictions in different parts of Finland also increase inequality between children. No wonder people’s sense of justice is being tested. Some parents and coaches have identified inequalities, questioned existing restrictions, and looked for loopholes in restrictions.

In the corona crisis restricting children’s rights has been too easy. More difficult decisions need to be made that do not trample on children’s rights.

The Center for Sport and Human Rights made recommendations for action in its report. It says all parties – including sports organizations and authorities – should consider how to curb the impact of the pandemic on children’s sports. All parties should also recognize how sport can be used to increase society’s resilience to crisis.

Sport would now help tens of thousands of children and young people to better tolerate the corona crisis and prevent the mental, social and physical damage that threatens it.

The report of the STM working group states that in the management of the coronary crisis, it is important to ensure that children’s and young people’s hobbies continue. It’s good to get started on that show now.

If the restrictions are only going to be extended month after month, then you should consider changing your strategy and suppressing the virus for weeks. That would be fair to everyone.


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