Signatories include Child Focus CEO Heidi De Pauw and Sara Vercauteren of PR consultants Bepublic. Ms De Pauw, who heads Belgium’s centre for missing and sexually exploited children, argues that 18-to-24-years olds should in future be given an essential voice in the debate on corona measures and vaccination. This group should be the next priority after care workers, care home residents and key workers.
The Child Focus CEO says youngsters are hit harder than most due to corona: they have to miss many things they love including their student job that is leading many to financial disaster.
“A year out of their lives has been cut away. Their graduation, their holiday job, music festivals,.. We must listen to the cry of alarm youngsters are sounding. Give them something to look forward too. We, 40-and 50-somethings, will stick it out a little longer.”
Prioritising youngsters regarding relaxations and vaccinations will benefit society as a whole she argues. “We will need youngsters to relaunch our society” says Ms De Pauw.
Even after they are vaccinated youngsters will still have to comply with all the rules because nobody yet knows whether they can still transmit the virus to others, but the head of Belgium’s centre for missing and sexually exploited children explains her appeal is of a symbolic nature.
“Some countries plan relaxations for people who are vaccinated; airlines want to do the same. If that is the case, we can prioritise the young to allow them to benefit more quickly.”