The Importance Of Human Rights To The Coronavirus Response



Human rights are essential in influencing the response to this global crisis both on people’s lives and their livelihoods and for the public health as well. Approaches that are people-centered lead to better results in fighting and beating COVID-19, further assuring that healthcare will be given to everyone while preserving the people’s dignity. Human rights also allow us to draw more attention to those who are struggling from the pandemic the most, why they are the most affected, and what measures can be taken.

Ensuring human rights for everyone becomes a challenge for all countries worldwide. Public health predicaments are quickly progressing to become social and economic crises and, ultimately, a human rights and protection crisis in the long term. The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the susceptibility of the less protected people in the communities. It has highlighted social discrepancies and insufficient health protection systems that badly need immediate attention as part of the public health approach. Men and women, teens, children, seniors, migrants, the poor, asylum seekers, the disabled, LGBTQ, and minorities, among others, are affected in various ways. We have a responsibility to make sure that everyone is fairly protected and part of the response to this pandemic.

Key Principles Of Human Rights

Protecting people’s livelihoods is a way to prioritize people’s lives as well. 

The focus should be on saving people’s lives, for which global access to health care is essential. Unfortunately, the health crisis has caused tremendous social and economic setback that is affecting individuals, businesses, families, and others. This is a result of the pandemic itself, but it is also the outcome of the measures implemented to prevent the spread of the infection. Quick action to reduce the major impacts on people’s livelihoods, jobs, and access to basic necessities and allow them to follow public health guidelines and soon move with ease while recovering once these guidelines are lifted.


People are not a threat – it is the virus. 

While forceful strategies can be justified in specific circumstances, they can rebound if they are applied inconsistently and inappropriately, compromising the whole pandemic approach itself.

This uncertainty caused by a public health emergency will need security and peace to be maintained. Justice, respect, and fairness are necessary to build strength and support the government’s efforts in the public health arena. Courts must proceed with ensuring that the law is rightly enforced. Men, women, the elderly, children, the disabled, among others, must be protected from abuse and violence and assured that support services are made available to them.

Not one country can beat this pandemic alone.

The coronavirus outbreak is a threat to all of humanity, and it must not give up. Many states, unfortunately, are not armed with the appropriate resources needed to respond to the current crisis. Inconsistencies in public health approaches are making poorer countries more vulnerable than the rest of the world. Just as fighting the coronavirus outbreak, governments are asked to protect also those of the whole population, specifically those who are not able to protect themselves.

Worldwide threats require a worldwide response. It is necessary to show international cooperation and versatile policies to acquire the latest technology and studies on possible treatments such as vaccines to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on a worldwide scale. Also, the approach to the virus requires national statistical programs to provide data and evidence to understand the size of the pandemic better.


This global crisis has happened at a time where there has been a significant repulsion by some people who are against international approaches and multilateralism, and this includes the human rights principles of other countries. Collaborative action is the only solution to the countless problems that the rest of humanity is facing.