Human Rights News from the Front of COVID-19 – Newsletter 2020-04-19


The present edition of our Newsletter is again devoted to this pandemic. It presents the action of UN High Commissioner Bachelet, a compilation of statements made by Special Procedures, EMRIP and treaty bodies, and an innovative proposal of our treaty bodies expert Penny Parker for States to report to the Committees on their management of the crisis.

Unfortunately, as expected, vulnerable persons, groups and communities in the industrialized world pay the highest price, and the worst is to be feared with the pandemic affecting gradually all the countries in the South.

Obviously, It is too early a stage to draw conclusions. But some lessons can already be learned from these painful months.

Firstly, as long as inequalities and extreme poverty are not seriously tackled at national and international levels, a repetition of such human disaster seems to be unavoidable.

Secondly, our Governments did not listen to dozens of scientists and experts. Shouldn’t we listen now to experts on climate change ?

Thirdly, reliable information is critical. It is not ‘official’ information (the Chinese Government did not tell all the truth). It depends on good governance, transparency, full access to all the sources, and monitoring by the civil society.

Fourthly, the functioning of our societies has to be reviewed. We cannot simply start again with business-as-usual.. ‘Human rights’ is not a matter of GNP or stock exchange: our economic and financial systems will have to change.