updated 29 June
Updated monthly, in this issue you will find most of the HRC’s members COVID-19 work across different department in the University of Essex, including various types of
- Antonio Coco (School of Law) was involved in the drafting of the following initiative: the Oxford Statement on the International Law Protections Against Cyber Operations Targeting the Health Care Sector, a collective plea by international lawyers for the respect of international law amid the current pandemic. The statement was drafted during a 2-day virtual workshop. Dr Coco took part in the workshop and contributed to the drafting effort.The statement, which was signed by 31 original signatories including Dr Coco and which has since been signed by many other experts, was submitted for consideration to the UN Security Council. A number of countries have already manifested their intention to mention it during their statements, and some have already done so during the ongoing meeting.The statement will remain open for signature for a while. In case you are interested in joining the 80+ international lawyers who signed so far, you can do it by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.orgA submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which was referred to in their resultant report, by Professor Lorna McGregor, Professor Pete Fussey, Dr. Daragh Murray, Dr. Chris Fox, Dr. Ayman Alhelbawy, Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed and Professor Geoff Gilbert is available to read on the UK parliament website. This was an inter-disciplinary contribution, with the HRC members involved based in the Schools of School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, Law and Sociology.
- Neli Demireva and Dr. Afia Afenah (Department of Sociology) have started a new project on discrimination against inter-ethnic couples during Covid-19. It will address how the current pandemic might influence the social fabric of our modern-day societies, and what impact it might have on relations between different ethnic groups.
- Tara Van Ho and Dr. Anil Yilmaz Vastardis, (School of Law), secured GCRF@Essex funding jointly with University of Rosario for a project looking into the experiences of the workers in the informal economy in Colombia during the pandemic with a view to provide input to the work of the Mayor of Bogota and the public health authorities of the national government on this issue. The official title for the project is: “Precarious Work and Access to Healthcare and Social Security in Colombia: Targeted Measures During the Covid-19 Global Emergency”. This is part of a larger collaboration we have with University of Kent (for more information, see here).
- The Essex Autonomy Project has been working closely with its sister project the Ethics of Powerlessness Project (EoP) to provide research support to NHS Ethics Committees and policy makers who face situations where demand for emergency medical care threatens to swamp the available supply. The EAP and EoP teams produced a report Triage in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Bioethical and Human Rights Considerations; surveying bioethical and human rights considerations in situations of triage.
- HRC member Carla Ferstman and HRC Director Dr. Andrew Fagan (School of Law) are co-editing an online publication which examines a wide range of human rights and legal issues raised by COVID19. The project was initiated by Carla and draws upon expertise across the school and HRC. We aim to publish this important contribution in early July.
- As the global human rights community responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HRC and Essex Human Rights, Big Data and Technology project have partnered with the Permanent Mission of Denmark, the Permanent Mission of Netherlands and the Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN in Geneva, Universal Rights Group, Geneva Academy, Geneva Rights Platform, World Jewish Congress, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Ferney-Voltaire and Geneva Internet Platform to provide a new Webinar/Webchat discussion forum entitled RightOn. RightOn provides a regular series of publicly accessible webinars which explore an exciting range of topical human rights issues, including many of those raised by COVID-19. HRC Director, Dr Andrew Fagan contributed to the very first RightOn webinar of RIGHT ON: FIGHTING ONLINE HATE SPEECH AND FAKE NEWS IN A GLOBAL CRISIS. HRC Member, Professor Geoff Gilbert contributed to HOW TO PREVENT COVID-19 BECOMING A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER IN THE CONTEXT OF CONFLICT SITUATIONS, REFUGEE AND IDP POPULATIONS?
- The HRC Blog has been closely following and reporting on the COVID-19, you can find Human Rights News items and blogs in our Weekly Roundups.
- 19th March 2020, Koldo Casla (School of Law) published Coronavirus: beyond human rights.
- 23rd March 2020, Judith Bueno de Mesquita (School of Law) published Covid-19: Key human rights questions for the UK.
- 24th March 2020, Tara Van Ho and Dr. Anil Yilmaz Vastardis (School of Law) co-authored with others a piece International Economic Law and Covid-19 focusing on the structural injustices inflicted by the international economic order which exacerbated during the pandemic.
- 29 March 2020, Caroline Bald (Centre for Social Work and Social Justice) published Well-being is Political…Experiencing Social Shock
- 2nd April 2020, Tara Van Ho (School of Law) published COVID-19 Symposium: A Time to Kill ‘Business as Usual’–Centring Human Rights in a Frustrated Economy (Part 1) and COVID-19 Symposium: A Time to Kill ‘Business as Usual’–Centring Human Rights in a Frustrated Economy (Part 2).
- 14th April 2020, Koldo Casla (School of Law) published New policies for a new crisis.
- 20th April 2020, Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty, contributed to the HRC’s blog A Public Health Crisis and a Crisis of Rights.
- 27th April 2020, Andrew Fagan (School of Law) published Human rights and democracy: A relationship in trouble?
- 30th April 2020, Professor Lorna McGregor (School of Law) published Contact-tracing Apps and Human Rights on EJIL:Talk.
- 3rd May 2020, Eliana Cusato (School of Law) published Beyond War Talk: Laying Bare the Structural Violence of the Pandemic on COVID-19 n which using the concept of structural violence, she shed light on the socio-economic-ecologic violence that pre-exist and persist beyond the ‘crisis’ and that the ‘war’ narrative conceals.
- 6th May 2020, Anil Yilmaz Vastardis (School of Law) co-authored a COVID-19 and the Precarity of International Investment Law on the potential risks posed by international investment protections to public health measures taken by governments in response to covid19. It was followed up with a video conversation EL Collective Conversation #7: COVID-19 & International Investment Law with M. Sornarajah
- 6th May 2020, Judith Bueno de Mesquita (School of Law) and Benjamin Mason Meier (University of North Carolina) published Realizing the right to health must be the foundation of the COVID-19 response.
- 14thMay 2020, In his piece Knowing all of the law, all of the time – responding to COVID-19, the Geoff Gilbert (School of Law) addresses how the pandemic presents new and pressing issues for Refugees and IDPs whose lives are already complex and challenging. He argues that existing law can address these challenges provided that we have the knowledge and will to use it.
- 26th May 2020, Aoife Nolan (University of Nottingham) and Judith Bueno de Mesquita (School of Law) and published Of Limitations and Retrogression: Assessing COVID-19’s Impact on Children’s ESC Rights.
- 29th May 2020, together with the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Puras, Luisa Cabal (UNAIDS), Allan Maleche (KELIN, Kenya) and Benjamin Mason Meier (University of North Carolina) Judith Bueno de Mesquita (School of Law) co-authored a comment in The Lancet “The right to health must guide responses to COVID-19”. Whilst human rights have been frequently addressed in COVID-19 responses, this has been predominantly in terms of restrictions on civil liberties. By contrast, the authors call for more attention to be given to the implications of COVID-19 and governments’ responses for the right to health and other social and economic rights, as well as to transboundary obligations of international assistance and cooperation for these rights.
- 2nd June, Ahmed Shaheed and Professor Lorna McGregor (School of Law) published The COVID-19 Pandemic: Five Urgent Principles for Leaving No One Behind through Technology.
- 12th June, Professor Colin Samson (Department of Sociology) published Regarding the Infection of Others: Pandemics and Colonial Indifference.
- In cooperation with the National Mental Capacity Forum (NMCF), Essex Autonomy Project (School of Philosophy and Art History) hosted a series of three webinars for frontline professionals who are struggling with clinical, ethical and legal challenges associated with administering the Mental Capacity Act, and ensuring respect for the human rights of persons with impaired decision-making capacity, in the context of the pandemic.
- 22nd April 2020, As Coordinator of the Economic and Social Rights Academic Network UK and Ireland, Judith Bueno de Mesquita (School of Law) organised a webinar COVID-19 and economic and social rights: domestic and global perspectives, with leading experts on economic and social rights from the UK, Ireland and beyond presenting and participating.
- 23rd May 2020, Eliana Cusato (School of Law) participated in the ‘Reading International law in the Context of Covid 19: Narratives and Responses’
- 17th June 2020, Andrew Fagan (School of Law) gave a talk titled The Politics of Identity in the UK: Before, During and ‘After’ COVID-19 on Essex Explore.
- Before the COVID-19 Crisis there was the Refugee Crisis: Protecting Forcibly Displaced Persons in a Global Pandemic (with Geoff Gilbert (School of Law) and Dr Madeline Garlick of UNHCR on the HRC’s RightsCast)
- Human Rights In The Time of COVID-19 (with Koldo Casla, School of Law)
- Human Rights in the Time of Coronavirus (with Judith Bueno De Mesquita, Daragh Murray and Dr. Koldo Casla, all from the School of Law, on the HRC’s RightsCast)
- Judith Bueno De Mesquita (School of Law) has participated in three podcasts focused on COVID-19, three within the Better Human Series (episode16, 17 and 22).