School Closure and Social Distancing During Covid-19 in Kenya
Studies reveal that child abuse increases in times of economic or natural disasters. A study in the United States of America showed a decline in the number of hotline calls which dropped by 70%. There have also been cases of some health personnel and law enforcers attending to children's issues. There is no doubt that during the Coronavirus Pandemic, child abuse is increasing. This study focused on social distancing as a way of containing the pandemic, in view of exploring the possibility of it causing social isolation, particularly for children who may already be living in an abusive environment. The researcher adopted a desktop review of the literature. Search engines were used to collect data from articles between 2008 and 2020, most concentrated around 2019-2020. The study found out that many children had lost touch with schools, health personnel, child protection agencies, and other caring adults, which increased their chances of being abused. In conclusion, child abuse has increased during the pandemic, and efforts to protect children have diminished in the recent past. It is recommended that various stakeholders need to remain vigilant. For example, government agencies need to place child protection mechanisms that are contextually relevant in the changing environment to continue protecting children from abuse.
Keywords: Social distancing, Social isolation, Child protection, COVID-19, Kenya