This page presents key resources and recommendations from international human rights bodies, experts and organisations regarding the protection of human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UN Secretary General
The UN Secretary General has released a report highlighting how human rights can and must guide COVID-19 response and recovery.
To help States in their response to COVID-19, the UN Human Rights Office on Monday issued new policy guidance regarding restrictions on human rights as a result of emergency measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Human Rights Committee
The Human Rights Committee’s statement on derogations from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) has released a statement on the need for human rights in COVID-19 responses in Europe.
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has issed a statement and detailed guidance note on a range of measures that governments should take to uphold women’s rights as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UN Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers
The Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers has published seven guidelines to ensure judges, justice workers, prosecutors and lawyers maintain functioning judicial systems.
Council of Europe Committee of the Parties to the Istanbul Convention
The Committee of the Parties to the Istanbul Convention has issued a declaration on actions and measures to take during the COVID-19 pandemic to address violence against women and girls.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people may be particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has released a guidance note on this topic.
UNICEF explains how the COVID-19 pandemic has a heavy impact on childrens’ safety, well-being and future, and provides six recommendations to ensure that the current health crisis does not become a child rights crisis.
Council of Europe
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe has issued a toolkit to all 47 Council of Europe Member States on respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law during the COVID-19 crisis.
Governments must ensure equal protection and care for Roma and Travellers during the COVID-19 crisis
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has released a statement urging governments to issue and implement crisis plans which ensure that Roma and Travellers benefit from the same level of information as others and from access to basic sanitation in order to be prepared to cope with the pandemic.
Association for the Prevention of Torture
The Association for the Prevention of Torture has launched an online hub with information pertaining to the rights of persons deprived of liberty during the COVID-19 pandemic, including news reports, guidelines, legislation as well as tools and practical measures.
The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) has called on States to protect the health and lives of indigenous peoples during the COVID-19 pandemic, including by ensuring that any measures that may affect indigenous peoples are culturally acceptable, non-discriminatory are grounded in the right to self-determination.
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has released a statement urging all Council of Europe member states to preserve press and media freedom and ensure that measures to combat disinformation are necessary, proportionate and subject to regular oversight.
The World Health Organisation examines how people with disabilities are impacted by COVID-19 and provides suggestions for protective measures to mitigate this impact.
UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women
The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women has called on governments to ensure that measures to protect victims of domestic violence remain available during the COVID-19 crisis, particularly for women, children and other vulnerable groups.
The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) has compiled information on the various responses of European NHRIs to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairpersons of the 10 UN Treaty Bodies
The Chairpersons of the 10 UN Treaty Bodies have urged global leaders to ensure that human rights are respected in measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
All UN Special Rapporteurs
UN human rights experts have urged States to avoid overreach of security measures in their response to the coronavirus outbreak, highlighting that emergency powers should not be used to quash dissent.
With school closures in a growing number of countries, UNESCO has shared 10 recommendations to ensure that learning remains uninterrupted during this period.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has released statements, press releases and a guidance note on the human rights dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19: How to include marginalised and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement
UN Women has developed a guide on including marginalised and vulnerable groups when responding to COVID-19, including women, the elderly, children, persons with disabilities and minorities.
COVID-19: A Gender Lens, Protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights, and promoting gender equality
UN Population Fund
The United Nations Population Fund has released a report which examines how the COVID-19 pandemic affects women and men differently, and how it can worsen existing inequalities for women and girls, as well as discrimination of other marginalised groups.