Today, UNICEF Canada launches Reset and Restart, a new PSA advocacy campaign that reminds Canadians about the negative impact the pandemic has had on children, calling upon them to help UNICEF get the most vulnerable children back on track. The campaign, which rolls out on TV and digital, was developed in collaboration with global Toronto-based creative agency, Juniper Park\TBWA.
COVID-19 is a child rights crisis that has affected children at an unprecedented scale, making it the worst crisis for children UNICEF has seen in its 75-year history. Almost two years into the pandemic, children in Canada and around the world are still affected by the pandemic, many without access to protection, health care, nutrition, safe water, or education.
“At the height of lockdowns meant to curb the pandemic, more than 1.6 billion students were out of school due to nationwide shutdowns,” says Rowena Pinto, Chief Program Officer, UNICEF Canada. “This can have both immediate and long-term consequences. Without the safety net of school and other social services, children are at risk of the worst possible levels of exploitation, neglect, and abuse. They have forever lost parts of their childhood. UNICEF cannot ignore the impact of the pandemic on children, and we need Canadians to be aware of it, too.”
Routine immunizations, treatment for severe acute malnutrition and other life-saving interventions were also put on hold or shut down due to social distancing requirements and logistical challenges. When routine immunizations are interrupted for more than a few weeks, increasing numbers of children are at risk from preventable diseases such as measles, polio, or meningitis.
The PSA creative was designed to highlight how the pandemic is forcing kids around the world to grow up faster than ever. Children are acting as breadwinners and taking care of their families, sacrificing their childhoods to do so. With a repeated question of “when is a kid no longer a kid?”, the PSA highlights the harsh realities of how children in Canada and around the world have stepped up to tackle the pandemic head on.
“While many of us have seen the effects of the pandemic firsthand, we are still blind to the shocking ways it has impacted the children that UNICEF supports in Canada and around the world,” says Jenny Glover, Executive Creative Director, Juniper Park\TBWA. “The sad truth is that children have been the unheralded victims of the pandemic, losing precious moments of their childhood; moments they will never get back.”
Tam-Tam\TBWA, Juniper Park\TBWA’s sister agency based in Quebec, assisted with the French components of the campaign while the agency’s production arm, Bolt Content, produced the video creative.
The PSA can be viewed here.