Human Rights During the Pandemic — new report

We are proud to present our new report, Human Rights During the Pandemic, showing how human rights were affected by government responses to Covid-19 in 39 countries.

Here’s the report’s Foreword from Rt Hon Helen Clark, former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, and former Prime Minister of New Zealand:

Recently I had the privilege of co-chairing the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response which was set up to review the internationally co-ordinated response to Covid-19, discern the lessons learned from that, and make recommendations for the future to ensure that the world is better prepared to address and respond to pandemic threats.

Such reviews are essential. As the old saying goes, those who don’t learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

In the same spirit, the Human Rights Measurement Initiative has reviewed how the responses of a number of governments to Covid-19 have contributed to significant suffering around the world, and have undermined human dignity. As with the Independent Panel’s findings, it is clear from HRMI’s research that different countries’ responses achieved very different results.

Wise leaders from every country can learn from one another how to minimise suffering and maximise human flourishing in even the most challenging of circumstances like a pandemic.

One of the notes of hope throughout the pandemic has been the selfless efforts of healthcare workers and all other essential workers. I commend also the vital contribution of human rights defenders everywhere, whose voices we hear in this report.

May we listen and learn.

— Helen Clark

We included Covid-19 related questions in our annual survey in February-March 2021, asking about the effect of the pandemic on human rights in 2020. The survey went to human rights practitioners in 39 countries, as part of our usual annual research.

You can download the main report, and also an Appendix which contains specific graphs for each of the 39 countries.

Human Rights During the Pandemic

Appendix to Human Rights During the Pandemic

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