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COVID-19: REAL TEST FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

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Writer: Işıl ERSOY

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world, threatening the health, social, political, and economic levels of all countries. The pandemic fueled poverty, inequality, discrimination, and exclusion; and conflict, unemployment, weak social safety nets, and exposed the weaknesses of some political systems.

The continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than two years had many repercussions and caused a global health crisis, followed by an overall economic crisis.  As a real threat to  human rights, the crisis has threatened the right too life.

A.Why are human rights so important to the COVID-19 response?

Human rights are moral principles or norms for certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected in municipal and international law.[i]  Human rights put people centre-stage. Therefore, human rights have been one of the areas most affected by the pandemic.

It restricted freedom and impeded the right to movement. It has also caused the loss of the right to work, education, property, and many other human rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic has releaved in a pratical manner the depth of the global human rights imbalance, which has contributed to deepening the repercussions of the pandemic. This article touched upon post-pandemic human rights, especially as it aims to reconstruct a better post-pandemic world. Human rights law recognizes that national emergencies may require limits to be placed on the exercise of certain human rights.

In this context, the main idea of Human Rights is the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the need to better restrucure the post pandemic world by ensuring that humna rights are central to recovery efforts believing thet common global goals cannot be achieved without providing equal opportunities for all.

In addition, the failures that were exposed by the pandemic must be addressed, by applying human rights standards to addresses generational inequalities, exclusion, and discrimination.

The message of the Human rights emphasizes the importance of human rights in rebuilding the world we want, the need for global solidarity, as well as our common human interposition and humanity.

In the same vein, UNESCO warned that children in poor communities,  as well as girls, the disabled, immigrants and ethnic minorities, suffer from a clear educational disadvantage. It added, in a report, that  nearly 264 million children had already been deprived of educational  in 2018; however, that disparity had worsened with the COVID-19 crisis, which affected 90 percent of students around the world by shutting down schools[ii] And with the emergence and spread of COVID-19,  according to 2020 reports and the data of UNESCO,  more than 1,4 billion children face lack of education due to the schools closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/21225/countries-with-country-wide-or-localized-school-closures/

B.Restructuring better post-pandemic world

The COVID-19 crisis and its repercussions have worsened owing to poverty, increasing disparities, structural and root discrimination and other gaps in the protection of human rights. New alarms were sounded about  the way human rights seem to bee perceived as deficient, which requires that human rights be viewed in a general and comprehensive manner inolving all three generations.

The development of through, organizationand even the codification of human rights has been linked, in one way or another , to the emergence of changes or problems on the ground that require a differentiated esponse.

Some analyses tend to consider the emergence of the first generation of human rights as civil and politicial rights as a theorizing of the role of the state during the 17th and 18th centuries, and to consider how to protect the rights of individuals under the authority of the state.

The second generation of human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, crystallized as the effects of the ındustrial revolution, the rise of the working class and the demands of a decent life emerged.

The third generation of human rights has emerged as a result of a deeper understanding of the different types of obstacles the first and second generations of human rights

The basic thrust of the third generation of rights is solidarity, which includes the collective rights of society or people; the right to development, peacei the heritage, communication, information exchange, and the right to humanitarian assistance.

Accordingly, it is clear that restructuring a better post-pandemic world requires a comprehensive vision of human rights, considering that measures that fill the gaps that emerged and widened as a result of the pandemic,helping promote human rights, and ensuring a full recovery and restructuring a better, more resilient, just, and sustainable world.

B.1.Ending all kinds of discrimination

This is within the first generation ( civil and political rights) as structural and racial discrimination, whether on racial, religious or  ethnic grounds, against refugees, migrants or blacks, particular social groups or women have fuelled the COVID-19  crisis and deepened its negative repercussions. Therefore, ending discrimination is a prerequisite for the post-pandemic world.

B.2.Addressing inequality

This is within the second generation(economic, social and cultural rights), on the grounds that the pandemic has revealed huge risks as a result of widespread inequality. The absence of equality has also led to a breakdown in recovery efforts and unequal access to helthcare, Which may have a long-term negative impact within societies and may also affect the sense of national belonging, particularly among new generations. Therefore, restructuring a better post-pandemic world requires the promotion and protection of economic, social, and cultural rights, and may even evolve further with a new social contract.

B.3.Boosting partnership and solidarity

The pandemic has reaffirmed that human are a major participatory process, too large for governments to do alone. This means there is a need to strengthen participation and solidarity within a single state among its individuals, government, civil  society, popular societies and the private sector. Solidarity must be strengthened between the different countries, especially with the expansion of interdependence, which indicated that no country can no longer recover alone. Based on the deep links between economics systems, human health and global  welfare, the pandemic has shown  that national borders do not ensure adequate protection from certain disasters.

B.4.Promoting sustainable development

This takes  place in the third generation (solidarity and collective rights), on the grounds that the pandemic has revealed unbalanced development models that have not taken into account nature and the environmental dimension. The world needs sustainable development for people and the planet. Therefore, human rights, the 2030 plan, and the Paris Agreement are all cornerstones for a better post-pandemic world.

C.Conclusion

In conclusion,  it is clear that building a better post-pandemic world requires a universal and comprehensive vision of human rights that provides a genuine guarantee and a strong ground for everyone to live better. This is not a time to neglect human rights; it is a time when, more than ever, human rights are needed to navigate this crisis in a way that will allow us to focus again on achieving equitable sustainable development and sustaining peace. The human rights system helps us to meet the challenges, opportunities and needs of the 21st century; and to achieve the global stability, solidarity, and inclusion on which we all depend. Finally, basic human rights message : Protecting people’s lives is the priority; protecting livelihoods helps us do it.

Bu makalede yer alan fikirler yazara aittir ve Case’in editöryel politikasını yansıtmayabilir.
Bu yazı ilk kez 17 Şubat 2022’de yayımlanmıştır.

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights

[ii] https://www.dw.com/en/unesco-264-million-children-dont-go-to-school/a-41084932

  https://unsdg.un.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/COVID-19-and-Human-Rights.pdf

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