List Map
Catalyzing Rights and Health

Relevant sources: ICCPR Art. 6(1); ICESCR Arts. 7(b), 10(3),12; CEDAW Arts. 11(1)(f), 12, 14(2)(b); CRC Arts. 3(3), 6, 17, 23(3)-(4), 24-25, 32(1), 39; CRPD Arts. 16(4), 25, 26(1), 27(1)(a)-(b); ICERD Art. 5(e)(iv); ICRMW Arts. 25(a), 28, 43(1)(e), 45(1)(c), 70; UDHR Art. 25

Core elements of the guarantee during the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Ensure that vaccines are “affordable to all and accessible without discrimination,” that the “[p]rioritisation of vaccine delivery” is “done through transparent protocols and procedures that respect human rights,” that “the primacy of public health over private profit” is protected, and that access to “accurate health information” is “available in readily understandable formats and languages,” adapted “for people with specific needs,” and reaches “those with limited or no ability to read or with no internet access” (OHCHR)
  • Ensure that “pharmaceutical companies and others involved in the response to COVID-19 . . . undertake human rights due diligence” (OHCHR)
  • Guarantee the “indivisibility and interdependence of human rights,” including by ensuring that “the prevention of public health emergencies addresses civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and ensures that health promotion is available, accessible and acceptable to everyone” (UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health)
  • Recognize “[v]ulnerable groups of people who use drugs . . . as a high-risk population in order to mitigate the spread of the pandemic” and ensure that “[h]arm reduction services,” naloxene distribution, and “overdose prevention sites” are  “acknowledged as key services and thus remain available, accessible, acceptable and of adequate quality without discrimination” including for women and homeless persons (UN Special Rapporteurs)
  • “[C]onsider the early release of prisoners with health vulnerabilities . . . , prisoners with dependents, and those charged for minor and non-violent drug and other offences, while adequately planning to care for the health of those released” (UN Special Rapporteurs)
  • Ensure “access to vaccines for COVID-19 to all persons, without discrimination” including on “grounds such as religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, race and ethnic identity, age, disability, migration status, social origin, poverty or any other relevant status,” “guarantee physical accessibility . . . especially for marginalized groups and people living in remote areas,” “guarantee affordability or economic accessibility for all, including by providing vaccines free of charge, at least for lower income persons and the poor,” and “guarantee access to relevant information, . . . on the safety and effectiveness of different vaccines” (UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)
  • Comply with the “duty of international cooperation and assistance to ensure access to vaccines against COVID-19 wherever needed” including by “provid[ing] all the necessary financial and technical support to strengthen the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility for more equitable distribution of vaccines” and taking other measures, “particularly with regard to intellectual property . . . to achieve, as expeditiously as is technically possible, universal access to vaccines” (UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)
  • Guarantee that “business entities do not invoke intellectual property law, either in their own territory or abroad, in a manner that is inconsistent with the right of every person to access a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19” (UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)
  • Ensure to “[c]ontrol further transmission of COVID-19” by “strengthen[ing] public health measures,” “[m]ak[ing] universal provision for COVID-19 testing, isolating and contact tracing,” and “[e]nsur[ing] access to care for COVID-19 patients to reduce number of deaths” (UN)
  • “[E]nsure priority health services” such as “emergency health conditions,” “services related to sexual and reproductive health,” and “core services for vulnerable populations” continue to be “delivered during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic” (UN)
  • Ensure “equitable access to new COVID-19 tools” including “new rapid diagnostics and treatments” as well as vaccines (UN)
  • Ensure to “[a]chieve universal health coverage” including by “expand[ing] . . . investments in common goods for health” and “[s]uspend[ing] user fees for COVID-19 and other essential health care” (UN)
  • Consider “local communities, affected populations, civil society and the private sector, as part of the solution” in pandemic responses (UN)
  • Include “mental health and psychosocial considerations in COVID-19 national response[s],” “protect people from pandemic-related adversities that are known to harm mental health,” and “communicate about COVID-19 in ways that promote mental health and psychosocial well-being” (UN)
  • Guarantee that “emergency mental health and psychosocial support” are widely available including by providing “[a]ccess to remote support needs” and including “[m]ental health and social care for people with severe mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities [in] the definition of essential services” (UN)

Further guidance can be found here: UN Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes; UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; UN Special Rapporteurs; UN; WHO; COE: Commissioner for Human Rights, European Committee of Social Rights; IACHR: REDESCA joint statement, Resolution, SRESCER joint statement; IACtHR: Declaration, Infographic

Show me of advances during COVID-19

Showing 11 matching measures.

Measure Country
Helping People Who Use Substances During the COVID-19 Pandemic Canada

Recognizing that “[t]he COVID-19 pandemic is adding to the ongoing public health crisis related to high rates of overdose and deaths, as well as acute substance use harms,” Health Canada…

Bhutan Vaccination Program Bhutan

As of April 2021, according to a government press brief, 93.69% of the “eligible population” had been vaccinated (472,139 people). On March 25, 2021, “400,000 doses of Covishield vaccine ….

Information Capsules on Coronavirus and HIV (Cápsulas Informativas Coronavirus y VIH) Spain

The Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare has a website providing information on Coronavirus and HIV, including recommendations about COVID-19 vaccination for persons with HIV, the impact of…

Outdoor Seating in Manchester to Become Smoke-Free Areas United Kingdom

As measures were put into place in Manchester City “following the nationwide lockdown” in order “to allow businesses to trade on pavements and roads” and to enable the reopening of…

Law No. 1309 Law that Helps Regulate the Emergency due to COVID-19 (Ley que Coadyuva a Regular la Emergencia por el COVID-19) Bolivia

This law sets out various measures to address COVID-19 including that the Executive Branch, through the Ministry of Health and in coordination with autonomous territorial entities, must provide biosafety equipment…

COVID-19 and HIV United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has produced a number of guidance materials on COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS. These include, among others, a list of questions and answers in…

Untact Dementia Treatment System Korea, Rep.

Following the closure of the Seoul Metropolitan Center for Dementia as a result of COVID-19 and “to respond to emergency situations such as urgent treatment of high-risk elders,” the launch…

Community Assessment Hubs Ireland

Community Assessment Hubs were created to “help manage the increase of coronavirus cases in the community.” The Health Protection Surveillance Centre, part of the Health Service Executive, which itself is…

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) Response to COVID-19 Pandemic South Africa

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), a statutory body under the National Department of Health, issued a document containing a set of guidelines as well as guidance regarding…

COVID-19: Special Clinic for Expatriate Workers Established at Hulhumale’ Preschool Maldives

In the context of COVID-19, a flu-clinic where “migrant workers . . . will not be required to present a work permit or documentation” was established. This measure occurs in…

SAMHSA Resources and Information United States

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has a dedicated website on Coronavirus (COVID-19) containing “guidance and resources to assist individuals, providers, communities and states” based on the recognition…

Country with entries