HRC’s Members Response Action to COVID-19

By Katya Alkhateeb

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


  • 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).
  • 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?