KATHMANDU, April 1: With the continued exponential growth of COVID-19 around the globe, UNICEF, ILO, and UN Women have urged the government for greater support to working families to minimize its negative impacts on children, laborers, and women.
Issuing a press release today, the UN agencies warned the government of possible consequences of COVID-19 outbreak like job loss, prolonged stress, deterioration of mental and physical health, and economic crisis in the country in the coming days.
“In Nepal, a child’s protection and development are strongly correlated with multiple socio-economic deprivations, including access to services and exposure to violence and exploitation. COVID 19 will further exacerbate these vulnerabilities especially among the poorest and most marginalized households,” said UNICEF Nepal’s Representative, Elke Wisch.
“Now, more than ever, family and child-friendly employment practices in the private and public sectors, as well as social protection measures adapted to this evolving situation, will be critical to protecting children and their families from the most detrimental fall-out of the pandemic.”
Similarly, the UN agencies suggested the government come up with family-friendly policies and practices, including employment and income protection, paid leave to care for family members, flexible working arrangements and access to quality, emergency childcare.
Likewise, it also drew the attention of government bodies to bring out the best measures to save and empower women who work in low-paying, insecure and informal jobs.
In Nepal, 90.5 percent of women in employment are involved in informal sectors, according to the National Labour Force Survey 2017/18.
The UN agencies also called on the government to strengthen social protection measures, especially for vulnerable families, including by supporting employers to continue providing employment and income and to guarantee financial support for those who lose their jobs or are unable to continue their economic activities.