With support from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) will carry out a pilot study examining national legal and policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in fifteen countries. Using a new tool, RWI will implement the project in close collaboration with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Caught largely off guard, states have rushed to introduce measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to minimize catastrophic, economic, and social impacts. Emergency response measures often cause temporary intrusions in the enjoyment of some human rights. For instance, enforcing quarantine and other physical distancing measures has impacts on the right to freedom of movement and association. Track and trace measures can have privacy implications. Hasty legal and policy reactions can end up exposing people to serious denials of human rights.
—The purpose of this study is to examine legal and policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic from a human rights perspective. We will use a carefully designed analytical tool focusing on issues relating to the right to health, social security, and access to information, privacy and a host of other human rights, says Matthew Scott, Senior Researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and coordinator of the project. The study aims to support constructive dialogue at national level and will identify good practices that can be shared at regional and international levels. Identifying such best practices is key to ‘building back better’ (UN) in both the short and long-term after the crisis.
The reports will provide relevant actors with objective, systematic and reliable human right-based analysis of specific measures:
—The results can be used for reflection and dialogue around practices that well balance public health concerns with individual rights. It is important to identify measures that can help protect lives and livelihoods during a pandemic as well as ways to a sustainable human rights based recovery, says Morten Kjaerum, Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.
The project will run from 1 July until 31 December 2020.
Key outputs of the study include national law and policy reports on the Covid-19 pandemic response, reflecting governance, procedural, substantive and non-discrimination and equality elements of a human rights-based approach.
*A human rights-based approach is a conceptual framework seeking to analyze inequalities. The purpose of the approach is to ensure that governments and organizations integrate international standards and principles of human rights into policymaking as well as the day-to-day practices.
For more information, please contact: Christina Geijer, Head of Communications