COVID-19: A Letter From the Director

By: Morten Kjaerum,

Dear all,

The corona-virus has an impact on our health. The global economy is affected. And, what about human rights? What are the civil, political, economic and social rights dimensions of the current crisis? How does it impact gender equality and the protection of refugees and migrants?

Like all institutions and organisations, RWI is affected by and trying to deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic. RWI staff members from all around the world are recommended to work from home. We are all taking necessary precautions; practicing social distancing, following relevant official regulations and recommendations and trying to contribute to lessening the spread and the effects of the virus.

Even under these circumstances we nevertheless continue to operate. We are in close contact with our partners, funders and stakeholders across the world looking at how we together can continue our work and achieve positive human rights results despite the difficult situation.

This includes trying to come up with innovative and digital ways, to carry out work when faced with restrictions stemming from efforts to deal with the pandemic. We see this as an opportunity to strengthen our work and hope that relevant innovations that come about now can become permanent features of our efforts in the future. One obvious advantage may be saving a lot of long flights from one to the other continent and thereby contribute to the fight against climate change.

Our website of course also continues to operate and we will seek to populate it with interesting information and resources regarding the link between human rights and the corona-virus. We will also be looking at the challenges that human rights may be faced with in a post-corona era and since RWI has a presence at three continents we will bring in multiple perspectives.

We will do our utmost to manage the current crisis and coming out of it in a way being able to continue our work to promote the effective realization of human rights for all. In this, our ambition is to remain a strong, long-term partner and we look forward to the continued collaboration with many of you.

Thanks to everyone who are figthing against the Coronavirus every day and to all of you who are teaming up behind a continued profound respect for human rights. I wish all the best for you and your loved ones. 

Morten Kjaerum, Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute

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