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Human rights and COVID-19: A guidance note for parliaments

logo pandemicIn the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have taken sweeping steps – even declared states of emergency – to stop the spread of the virus and protect their populations. Most of these steps have important consequences for human rights.

How can basic human rights standards guide country efforts to respond to the health crisis? How can parliaments exercise their legislative and oversight functions to ensure that government actions are compatible with their human rights obligations? What is the balance between upholding the right to health and mitigating the undesirable effects of confinement measures on social and economic rights?

This new guidance note is designed for parliaments as a resource to help them manage the crisis. It contains recommendations  and examples from other parliaments on: 

  • permissible restrictions to human rights
  • states of emergency and respect for human rights
  • ensuring a human rights dimension in the public health response

Share your examples of parliamentary engagement in the area of human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic by writing to [email protected]

Read the guidance note.