Friday is World Children’s Day. It’s the 31st anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 61st anniversary of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

It is easy to think the rights and wellbeing of children in Oxford West and Abingdon, the UK or around the world, hold strong. It is one of the most universally accepted human rights treaties in history, after all.

The difficulties faced this year may mean we have to question this assumption. The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic have brought to light the difficult, distressing position many children and young people find themselves in, both in the UK and abroad.

In the communities closest to us, there were particular concerns for the effect of the first lockdown on young people, their mental health, access to education, and their home environment. Many of these effects are proving to be worse than expected. The National Foundation for Educational Research found that the learning gap between rich and poor pupils grew by 50 per cent between March and July.

Despite the Government being fully aware of this, they have done little to provide additional support during the second lockdown.

New restrictions mean that many groups and services are unable to stay financially afloat while abiding by the new guidelines. I know that groups like the Abingdon Bridge have seen demand for their services surge. Thankfully, they have also received strong support, but that is because the community and local councillors have stepped in to fill the gap left by the Government.

Abingdon Carousel have worked hard to keep supporting families at the Abingdon Children’s Centre, despite the restrictions of lockdown. This is another vital service that would have been lost completely had the Conservatives got their way.

The Government needs to be providing children’s centres and youth services with adequate support, otherwise we run the risk of these vital support systems being permanently unavailable.

With so much needing to change in our back yard, we can forget to look further afield. Yet, as the Lib Dem spokesperson for foreign affairs and international development, that’s something I’ve been doing. There are 149 million children caught up in high-intensity conflict zone, facing the additional threat of a pandemic. It is imperative this Government leads on the world stage.

Coronavirus respects no borders. No-one one is safe until everyone is. Ultimately, our collective response will only be as strong as our protection for the most vulnerable. Without a robust humanitarian response, conflict zones risk becoming a breeding ground for the virus. This week I wrote to Dominic Raab a letter, signed by all my Lib Dem colleagues, urging the Government to take action now.

This Friday is World Children’s Day, but We have to protect children at home and around the globe every day. Or is Global Britain just a PR exercise after all?