Cambridge Journal Discusses The Pandemic & Human Rights

The COVID-19 pandemic in itself threatens the enjoyment of human rights, most prominently the right to life and the right to health. It also highlights how human rights are interdependent while at the same time reflecting competing interests that are sometimes hard to reconcile. The right to life is most evidently affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, which has already killed tens of thousands of individuals around the world. States have a due diligence obligation to protect individuals from deprivation of life caused by private persons.7 This due diligence obligation could be read as including protecting individuals from threats to life posed by others carrying an infectious and deadly disease, such as COVID-19. Indeed, the obligations of States to respect and ensure the right to life also encompass foreseeable threats and the taking of measures to address life-threatening diseases.8 The prevention and treatment of epidemics are also facets of the right to health, and so is access to healthcare.9 In this context, other relevant aspects of the right to health include access to safe and potable water and adequate sanitation, as well as access to adequate food, nutrition and housing.10 Questions regarding the respect of the right to a safe and healthy working environment, which is another declination of the right to health.

Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response | Human Rights Watch

Protect freedom of expression and ensure access to critical information Under international human rights law, governments have an obligation to protect the right to freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive, and impart information of all kinds, regardless of frontiers. Permissible restrictions on freedom of expression for reasons of public health, noted above, may not put in jeopardy the right itself. Governments are responsible for providing information necessary for the protection and promotion of rights, including the right to health. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights regards as a “core obligation” providing “education and access to information concerning the main health problems in the community, including methods of preventing and controlling them.” A rights-respecting response to COVID-19 needs to ensure that accurate and up-to-date information about the virus, access to services, service disruptions, and other aspects of the response to the outbreak is readily available and accessible to all. In a number of countries, governments have failed to uphold the right to freedom of expression, taking actions against journalists and healthcare workers. This ultimately limited effective communication about the onset of the disease and undermined trust in government actions: China’s government initially withheld basic information about the coronavirus from the public, underreported cases of infection, downplayed the severity of the infection, and dismissed the likelihood of transmission between humans. Authorities detained people for reporting on the epidemic on social media and internet users for “rumor-mongering,” censored online discussions of the epidemic, and curbed media reporting. In early January, Li Wenliang, a doctor at a hospital in Wuhan where infected patients were being treated, was summoned by police for “spreading rumors” after he warned of the new virus in an online chatroom. He died in early February from the virus.

The Concern Over Human Rights In India – The Organization for World Peace

On July 27th, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken travelled to India, where he met with key leaders in the nation and discussed the close relationship between the two countries. The following day, Blinken and India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, held a meeting over the international security partnership shared by both states, monetary relief for … Continue reading The Concern Over Human Rights In India – The Organization for World Peace

India’s daily COVID-19 cases break yet another record | CIDRAP

The pace of new COVID-19 cases in India hit a new daily world record today, topping 300,000 for the seventh day in a row as its daily deaths topped 3,000 for the first time. The worst surge of the pandemic has prompted an outpouring of international assistance as more help arrived. Scale-up includes more remdesivir … Continue reading India’s daily COVID-19 cases break yet another record | CIDRAP