Press Release

Upholding Human rights is Key to Recovering Better from COVID 19

10 December 2020

the pandemic had thrived because poverty, inequality, discrimination, and other human rights failures have created enormous fragilities in the society

COVID 19 pandemic has greatly disrupted the world’s global economy and day today lives of individuals. It has not only affected the health sector, but it also the social, economic and development sectors. It has however had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups including frontline workers, people with disabilities, older people, women and girls, and minorities. While marking Human Rights day, Civil society Organizations noted that the pandemic had thrived because poverty, inequality, discrimination, the destruction of our natural environment and other human rights failures have created enormous fragilities in the society.

“We are witnessing increased cases of sexual gender based violence, police brutality and enforced disappearances continue calling for accountability while the space for civil society continue shrinking” said the Director of Kenya Human Rights Commission.

While delivering the message by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the UN Resident Coordinator, Siddharth Chatterjee said More than seven decades on, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides an essential framework for the world to “recover better” from the COVID-19 pandemic

“People and their rights must be front and centre of response and recovery. We need universal, rights-based frameworks like health coverage for all, to beat this pandemic and protect us for the Day and every day, let’s resolve to act collectively, with human rights front and centre, to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build a better future for all”.

Civil society activities said the universal Human Rights Declaration remain relevant today as it was at its adoption by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, as the framework to guide States in promoting, protecting and fulfilling human rights for all people during these uncertain times.

“Like Climate change emergency, COVID19 reminds us that we are bound together as one humanity, we can build a world that is more resilient, sustainable, and just." said the Special Adviser to the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Li Fung.

Also present at the event held at the University of Nairobi were the UK special Minister for African Affairs, James Duddridge, the Chair of Working Group on Human Rights Defenders, Stian Christensen, Deputy Ambassador of Sweden Caroline Vicini who called for gender equality and rights of women to be upheld if the sustainable development goals are to be achieved. `

The theme of Human Rights Day 2020 is “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights”, highlighting the need to build back better from the COVID-19 crisis by putting human rights at the heart of recovery efforts. This is a call to action and for unity of purpose to tackle discrimination, address inequalities, encourage participation and solidarity, and promote sustainable development for the benefit of all.

UN entities involved in this initiative

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Goals we are supporting through this initiative