COVID-19: The way the global crisis has affected human legal rights defenders – FIDH


Paris-Geneva, 22 September 2022 – As governments all over the world took remarkable measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some have misused these to undermine human legal rights work and fundamental freedoms. The Observatory for that Protection of Human Legal rights Defenders – a partnership between your Worldwide Federation for Human Legal rights (FIDH) and also the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) – documents and analyses inside a new report the various impacts of individuals measures on human legal rights defenders as well as their essential work.
The report can also be obtainable in French, and Spanish.

The Covid-19 pandemic is responsible for broad effects for civil society organisations and human legal rights defenders around the globe. Within this global report, the Observatory highlights several trends of repression that targeted human legal rights defenders in the last 2 yrs. The report documents and analyses instrumentalisation of COVID-19 by a few governments to suppress non-violent human legal rights activism and reinforce surveillance measures.

“Despite warnings provided by worldwide physiques and worldwide organisations for example FIDH and also the OMCT, we observe that the crisis has weakened the ability to do something of civil society organisations and defenders of fundamental legal rights in lots of places.”

Alice Mogwe, President of FIDH

Gerald Staberock, Secretary General from the OMCT, added: “Not even close to supporting civil society as actors who help individuals most in need of assistance, some States have leveraged the pandemic to help suffocate critical voices and challenge the authority to defend legal rights.”

“Social space should be fully restored and human legal rights defenders protected against any abuse and limitations on their own essential work.”

Gerald Staberock, Secretary General from the OMCT

Exceptional situations of reduced movement (lockdowns, quarantines and travel bans), and access restriction to public spaces have boosted authoritarian abuses in a number of places, directly targeting human legal rights defenders, dissidents, independent journalists and defenders from the land and also the atmosphere. Many were arrested and harassed in the court for criticising their government’s reaction to COVID-19. Many trials of arbitrarily arrested human legal rights defenders were postponed indefinitely, despite their own health conditions and also the high-risk of contracting herpes in detention. In addition, violence against human legal rights defenders has elevated as a result of lack or pausing of protection measures.

Not even close to being limited over time, some measures passed underneath the guise from the pandemic at local levels might have lengthy-term effects around the activity of human legal rights defenders. Through this report, the Observatory alerts the worldwide community and states on the necessity to strengthen protection measures for defenders, and preserve their ability to act in occasions of crisis.

The report will come in French, British and Spanish.

Browse the report in British:

The findings and suggestions and also the full report can also be found in the following links:
-&nbspon the Observatory small-site
-&nbspon OMCT’s website.

For more information, please contact:
-&nbspFIDH: Maxime Duriez (+33 6 48 05 91 57 mduriez@fidh.org) / Raphaël Lopoukhine (+33 6 72 28 42 94 rlopoukhine@fidh.org)
-&nbspOMCT: Iolanda Jaquemet: +41 79 539 41 06 &nbspij@omct.org&nbsp&nbsp@iolandajaquemet

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