Eliminating Age Discrimination from Lockdown Curfews
Sealed playground just outside the Slovak capital, Bratislava. Credit: Ed Holt/IPS By Charlotte CooperLONDON, Jun 10 2020 (IPS) During the Covid-19 pandemic governments around the world have introduced curfews as an exceptional, yet necessary, means of containing the spread of the virus. Yet while most countries have applied their curfews uniformly to all citizens, authorities across several regions have introduced them only for certain groups exclusively because of their age, including for under-18s. Most curfews have now been eased, but the ones specific to children and young people are based on lazy and harmful stereotypes about this age group which have required little justification. Youth curfews not only discriminate against under-18s and reinforce harmful stereotypes about them, but they are also not an effective means of controlling the virus if other age groups are allowed to roam freely These discriminatory measures are nothing new, but rather an extension of a problem that existed before the pandemic: the issue of criminalising actions only for certain groups of people. Also known as status offences, they are a form of age discrimination and should be abolished. Where and why have youth curfews been used? Restrictions on children leaving their homes during the pandemic have been enforced with varying levels of severity across most regions. In one of the most severe cases, Bosnia and Herzegovina barred under-18s and over-65s from going outdoors for any reaso...
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