Covid-19 pandemic and human rights

Governments across the world have taken exceptional measures in response to the covid-19 pandemic.
Human rights organisations have expressed concerns over the nature, scope and duration of the adopted measures and their effects on human rights and democracy. While government action was justified in order to protect the right to health for all, concerns have also risen from the possible adoption of long-term measures likely to extend and deepen limitations of human rights.

Decreased attention over situations unrelated to covid-19 has also been a cause for worry, as it has allowed governments to illegally increase their prerogatives, retain power, control their population and attack fundamental rights and individual freedoms. The crisis has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable populations and exacerbated the government’s failure to protect them.

It is more important than ever to support human rights organisations to address these issues and feed a robust chain of defence of human rights against authoritarianism.

FIDH member organisations’ COVID tracker

• Monitoring – setting up a data-tracking world map documenting more than 300 human rights analyses - statements, reports, and many more - produced by FIDH member organisations in more than 60 countries in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

FIDH Statements

General : COVID-19: Prioritise human rights and protect the most vulnerable
prisoners,
sexual and reproductive rights,
role of corporations
elections in the Sub-Saharan region.

• Country specific statements and publication

Remove restrictions on communication in Rohingya refugee camps amid COVID-19 outbreak

Cambodia / State of Emergencies / An analysis of the “Draft Law on the Management of the Nation in a State of Emergency,” which sets out formalities, procedures, and terms for the declaration of a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Africa / Prisons / A joint statement addressed to the African Union and international human rights organizations in Africa with recommendations on measures to be taken to protect rights of detainees in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

India / Prisons / A statement calling on the Indian authorities to release arbitrarily detained Kashmiri prisoners

Niger / civil society - HRDs / A press release expressing concern over the arrest of at least 15 Nigerien civil society members, and the detention and prosecution of seven of them following the adoption of national measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Thailand / Prisons / An open letter calling on the Director-General, Department of Corrections of Thailand, to take all the necessary steps to immediately release significant numbers of prisoners in order to reduce prison congestion and mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities.

Conflict / Joint NGO statement: Urgent Measures Needed to Protect Civilians from COVID-19

Nicaragua/ Right to Health / State grossly underestimates number of cases and fails to appropriately respond

Zimbabwe / Police brutality / FIDH and ZimRights Condemn Gross Human Rights Violations by Police Including Extrajudicial Killing, Torture and Abductions

Bangladesh / Enforced Disappearances / Government must stop enforced disappearances and provide special care to families of the disappeared during COVID-19

Turkey / Pandemic used as an excuse to crackdown on LGBTI rights

Brazil / B&HR / Pandemic disproportionately affects communities affected by the business pollution

Palestine / Prisons / On Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, Civil Society Calls for Urgent Release of Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Prisons

Latin America / Right to Health / Coronavirus: Latin American Nations Must Respond Adequately and Proportionately to Health Crisis

Belgique / Digital / Belgique : Lutte contre le Covid-19 et développement de solutions technologiques de « tracking » – les droits humains ne doivent pas devenir des victimes collatérales

Hungary / HR principles in Emergency / Hungary: EU Must React Swiftly to Latest Blow to Democracy Amidst Pandemic

Attacks against human rights defenders

• Alerted on attacks against human rights defenders in Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia, India, Niger, Turkey, Venezuela, Burundi

•Algérie : Zoom sur le Hirak https://www.fidh.org/fr/themes/defenseurs-des-droits-humains/algerie-zoom-sur-le-hirak#ancre6

• Kazakhstan https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/kazakhstan-smear-campaign-against-mr-yevgeniy-zhovtis-and-other

• Mexico https://www.fidh.org/es/temas/defensores-de-derechos-humanos/mexico-organizaciones-denuncian-que-durante-contingencia-sanitaria-se

•Tanzania https://www.fidh.org/en/region/Africa/tanzania/tanzania-human-rights-defender-tito-magoti-to-be-presented-for-the

• kyrgyzstan https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/kyrgyzstan-supreme-court-upheld-human-rights-defender-azimjan-askarov

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