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.

United Nations

We are all in this together: Policy brief on COVID-19 and human rights

UN Secretary General

April 2020

The UN Secretary General has released a report highlighting how human rights can and must guide COVID-19 response and recovery.

Emergency measures and COVID-19: Guidance

UN OHCHR

27.04.2020

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.

Derogations from the ICCPR in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic

Human Rights Committee

24.04.2020

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.

Now is the time for solidarity on human rights

ENNHRI

23.04.2020

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.

Raising women’s voices and leadership in COVID-19 policies

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

22.04.2020

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 expert outlines urgent steps to ensure justice systems are not paralysed by COVID-19

UN Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers

22.04.2020

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

Possible action and measures to take during the COVID-19 pandemic under the Istanbul Convention

Council of Europe Committee of the Parties to the Istanbul Convention

20.04.2020

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.

COVID-19 and the human rights of LGBTI people

OHCHR

17.04.2020

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

Protecting the most vulnerable children from the impact of coronavirus: An agenda for action

UNICEF

08.04.2020

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

Respecting democracy, the rule of law and human rights during the COVID-19 crisis

Council of Europe

07.04.2020

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.

Council of Europe

Governments must ensure equal protection and care for Roma and Travellers during the COVID-19 crisis

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

07.04.2020

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.

apt

The COVID-19 and Persons Deprived of Liberty Information Hub

Association for the Prevention of Torture

07.04.2020

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.

UN Human Rights

COVID-19 yet another challenge for indigenous peoples: Statement by EMRIP (Word doc)

EMRIP

07.04.2020

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

Press freedom must not be undermined by measures to counter disinformation about COVID-19

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

03.04.2020

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.

World Health Organization

Disability considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak

WHO

03.04.2020

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 Human Rights

States must combat domestic violence in the context of COVID-19 lockdowns

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women

27.03.2020

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.

How are National Human Rights Institutions in Europe responding to COVID-19?

ENNHRI

25.03.2020

The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) has compiled information on the various responses of European NHRIs to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN Human Rights

UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies call for human rights approach in fighting COVID-19

Chairpersons of the 10 UN Treaty Bodies

24.03.2020

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.

UN Human Rights

States should not abuse emergency measures to suppress human rights

All UN Special Rapporteurs

16.03.2020

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.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

COVID-19 : 10 Recommendations to plan distance learning solutions

UNESCO

06.03.2020

With school closures in a growing number of countries, UNESCO has shared 10 recommendations to ensure that learning remains uninterrupted during this period.

COVID-19 and its human rights dimensions

UN OHCHR

March 2020

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.

United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

COVID-19: How to include marginalised and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement

UN Women

March 2020

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.

United Nations Population Fund

COVID-19: A Gender Lens, Protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights, and promoting gender equality

UN Population Fund

March 2020

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.