COVID 19 and Human Rights: Past, Present and Future
Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies, Forthcoming
12 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2020 Last revised: 26 May 2020
Date Written: April 13, 2020
No article can cover the panoply of human rights issued raised by the COVID 19 pandemic. Hence, this article takes a selective approach. Stages of the cycle of the crisis, from its past, its present, to its presumed future, are discussed in relation to salient rights issues affecting the general population. Freedom of expression and access to information arose in the “past”, the virus’s beginning, when China suppressed information about its nature and its virulence. Currently, States are imposing lockdowns to stop the spread of the virus, and in some cases have overwhelmed hospital systems: “the present” raises issues regarding the rights to health, life, livelihood, and freedom of movement, assembly and association. Finally, the “future” end of the crisis, in the form of the development of a vaccine, will raise new rights issues, regarding the rights upon whom vaccine candidates are tested, and in terms of access to the vaccine once it is available.
Keywords: COVID 19, coronavirus, human rights, freedom of expression, right to health, right to life, ICCPR, ICESCR, lockdowns, vaccine, hospitals
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation