Roots, Rights and Risk: Canada, Childhood and the COVID-19 Global Pandemic
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AbstractThe COVID-19 global pandemic highlights pre-existing inequities as well as the challenge of ensuring the protection of children’s human rights in countries like Canada that have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. SARS-CoV-2, referred to as the 2019 novel Coronavirus disease or COVID-19, presents a significant threat to public health. Although children are considered to be low risk of contracting, spreading, and serious complications of the disease, are considerably impacted by COVID-19 government-sanctioned distancing measures. COVID-19 is a persistent public health threat, thus, the long-term consequences are largely unknown. This qualitative research study, a content analysis of online Canadian media reports of COVID-19 and children, engaged transdisciplinary social justice methodology, social constructions of childhood at the intersection of race, socio-economic status, gender, and disability. The findings suggest COVID-19 reinforces the impact of social exclusion and economic disparity on equity-seeking young people and families in Canada.