States are not responsible for COVID-19, but they are responsible for how they respond to it. The virus cannot be used as an excuse to roll back on fundamental human rights. Human rights are universal legal guarantees that protect individuals and groups against actions that interfere with fundamental freedoms and human dignity. Under international human rights law, states have the responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill human rights for all. It is both a legal and practical responsibility. States formalize this responsibility when they sign and ratify international treaties. As fear and anxiety around COVID-19 spreads around the world, many people are starting to ask difficult questions about how the pandemic will impact our human rights. Are border controls necessary for containing the virus? Do quarantines or curfews impose by States violate our right to move freely? How are our rights to protest and freedom of expression affected by these limitations? In times like these, it is even more important for us to be able to speak confidently about what states are obligated to do to protect human rights. The course will discuss what are human rights and the many human rights implications of a global pandemic, including limitations on right to health, right to free speech and an increase in discrimination and xenophobia. It will also analyze states’ human rights obligations and what they should and should not do when responding to a pandemic.
Information is powerful, so during the course we’ll discuss things that you can do to share what you’ve learned and help amplify a message of hope and solidarity around the world.
Module dates: April 6, 13, 16, 20, 23, & 27
Delivery Method: Entirely remote (synchronous)
Course Level: 2000-level
T/F 8:30AM-10:20AM (new time as of 11/17/2020) (3rd module block)
Maximum Enrollment: 25
Course Frequency: One time only
Categories: All courses , Updates , Advancement of Public Action , Entirely Remote