OSCE ODIHR publishes report on the impact of Covid-19 measures on human rights
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) published a report on the impact of Covid-19-related emergency measures on human rights and democracy. It shows that the pandemic has been a challenge to the commitments made by OSCE members and is disproportionately affecting already vulnerable groups such as Roma and Sinti, migrants and refugees, and trafficking victims.
Sadly, we have also seen cases where countries have used the pandemic as a pretext to roll back democratic standards”
The report aims to help states to learn lessons from the pandemic by addressing the impact it has had on fundamental rights. It also reminds countries of their obligations when declaring a state of emergency and observes that states demonstrated a lack of common understanding with respect to international law when they were implementing preventive actions: ‘More efforts could have been made to weigh and balance other interests and consider less restrictive measures’. At the same time, it notes that states did made efforts to modify measures that had become unnecessary or were deemed disproportionate.
“This unprecedented stress test has demonstrated how robust democratic institutions can deal successfully with crisis situations. Sadly, we have also seen cases where countries have used the pandemic as a pretext to roll back democratic standards, erode fundamental freedoms and human rights and curtail the rule of law,” said ODIHR director Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir.
You can read the full report here.