INHR has been at the forefront of reminding states and UN institutions of their human rights responsibilities in battling the COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures adopted around the world to implement it. We help make the link between the promotion of public health and freedom of expression, freedom of association and other fundamental freedoms. At INHR, we make this link at the international level, by articulating and improving international norms in the World Health Assembly and HRC, and at the country level, through concrete programs aimed at helping states improve their legal framework so that society and government can partner most effectively to fight public health crises. Read more by our team members.
Far too often, states have thought that the best answer to an outbreak or signs of a new disease was to cover it up or minimize the extent of the problem. In fact, we know from empirical evidence that such reactions were counterproductive. When fundamental rights of expression, press and association are trampled we have seen an accelerated spread of SARS, Ebola, Avian flu and HIV, among others.