Racial and ethnic minorities

List Map
Catalyzing Rights and Racial and ethnic minorities

Relevant sources: ICCPR Arts. 2(1), 24(1), 26-27; ICESCR Art. 2(2); ICPPED Art. 13(7); CRC Arts. 2(1), 17(d), 20(3), 29(1)(d), 30; CRPD Arts. 24(3)(b), 30(4); ICERD; ICRMW Arts. 1, 7, 13(3)(d); UDHR Arts. 2, 7, 16(1), 26(2)

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

  • Collect “research and publish data on testing, cases and deaths related to COVID-19 disaggregated by sex, age, racial or ethnic origin and other status,” “[d]evelop evidence-based policies on such data that specifically target those most in need,” and ensure that data collection is “based on the principles of participation, informed consent and self-identification” (OHCHR)
  • Ensure information dissemination “including in relevant minority languages, about testing, protection, and health responses” (OHCHR)
  • Engage in awareness-raising “amongst minority communities through broad outreach, including in isolated and rural areas” (OHCHR)
  • Implement “socio-economic measures to address the harsher consequences of the COVID19 health crisis minorities may suffer because of pre-existing precarious social and economic positions” (OHCHR)
  • Account for “the specific risks faced by women and girls, based on factors such as their gender, ethnic religious or linguistic origin among others, when taking steps to mitigate the risks to health posed by COVID-19” (OHCHR)
  • Guarantee “that emergency declarations based on the COVID-19 outbreak are not used as a basis to target particular minority groups or individuals belonging to minorities” (OHCHR)
  • Bolster “participation and inclusion of minorities in efforts to prevent and combat COVID-19, and promote solidarity among all minority and majority communities” (OHCHR)
  • Ensure equal access, the elimination of discriminatory practices, and the involvement of “communities and their representatives and associations, in designing and implementing” various programs (OHCHR)
  • Ensure to “[p]rioritize human rights, equality and racial equity, even in times of emergency, and take measures to mitigate the impact of racial bias when decisions are made under stress or time pressure” (UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent)
  • Collect and analyze race-disaggregated data “with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, including on the enforcement by States of COVID-19-related restrictions” (UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent)
  • Guarantee “that people of African descent in detention have access to the same standard of health care as is available in the community, regardless of citizenship, nationality or migration status” and “reduce prison populations and relocate migrants from detention centres to protect their health and dignity” (UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent)
  • Ensure that any measures taken to address the pandemic (e.g., “closing of borders, lockdowns, quarantines and enforcement measures”) are “not . . . enacted or enforced in a manner that violates the prohibition of racial discrimination” (UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination)
  • Ensure the protection of “members of vulnerable groups against discrimination stemming from private actors” including in cases of “racist insults and hate speech, harassment, acts of violence, and exclusion or denial of goods and services” (UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination)
  • Account for “gender-related dimensions of racial discrimination” including with respect to healthcare, adequate housing, employment, and education (UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination)

Further guidance can be found here: UN; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: UNESCO Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination, Disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities; UN Network on racial discrimination and the protection of minorities; UN Special Rapporteurs; UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; UN Working Group of experts on people of African descent; IACHR

Show me of advances during COVID-19

Showing 12 matching measures.

Racial and ethnic minorities

Measure Country
Recommendations of the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Government of the Slovak Republic for Roma Communities for Local Governments in Connection with the COVID 19 Disease (Odporúčania Úradu splnomocnenkyne vlády SR pre rómske komunity pre samosprávy v súvislosti s ochorením COVID 19) Slovak Republic

The Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Government of the Slovak Republic for Roma Communities (ÚSVRK) launched a map portal to coordinate assistance needed by members of the Roma community…

Nationwide “JaanHaiToJahaanHai” Campaign India

The Ministry of Minority Affairs which works to “ensure a more focused approach towards issues relating to the notified minority communities” worked with “socio-educational organisations, NGOs and Women Self Help…

COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act United States

Given, among other factors, that “[f]ollowing the spread of COVID-19 in 2020, there has been a dramatic increase in hate crimes and violence against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders,” this law…

The National Board of Health Strengthens the Information about COVID-19 for Citizens with an Ethnic Background Other than Danish (Sundhedsstyrelsen Styrker Informationen om COVID-19 til Borgere Med Anden Etnisk Baggrund End Dansk) Denmark

With the understanding that “[i]t is important that everyone, regardless of ethnic background, has access to and can understand” information provided by the Danish Health Authority regarding coronavirus, information is…

Health Equity United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website includes a dedicated section entitled “Health Equity-Promoting Fair Access to Health” with several sub-sections including: Health Equity Considerations and Racial and…

Birmingham City Council Develop Communication Campaign to Support Disadvantaged Communities United Kingdom

The Birmingham City Council’s Public Health Division “developed a communication and engagement campaign to further support BAME [Black, Asian, and minority ethnic], disabled and LGBT communities across the city during…

Guide for Attention to Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Villages and Communities before the Health Emergency Generated by the SARS-CoV2 Virus (COVID-19) (Guía para la Atención de Pueblos y Comunidades Indígenas y Afromexicanas ante la Emergencia Sanitaria Generada por el Virus SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19)) Mexico

Recognizing the government obligation to adopt measures to guarantee the right to health and effective access to health services for all persons in its territory, in particular for vulnerable populations…

Ministry of Culture: Preventive Messages About Coronavirus Reinforced in 10 Regions with Afro-Peruvian Populations (Ministerio de Cultura: Se Refuerzan Mensajes Preventivos sobre Coronavirus en 10 Regiones con Población Afroperuana) Peru

The Ministry of Culture’s informational campaign is directed at the ten regions of the country with the highest Afro Peruvian concentration, given their heightened vulnerability in the face of COVID-19….

Outdoor Emergency Shelters Add to Urgent Work Protecting People Experiencing Homelessness from COVID-19 United States

The City of Portland, JOIN, and “a team of providers and advocates” announced the opening of three “Outdoor Emergency Shelters [which] will operate like temporary tent villages — offering not…

Recommendations for the Prevention of COVID-19 in the Afro-descendant Population (Recomendaciones para la Prevención del COVID-19 en Población Afrodescendiente) Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health published a set of guidelines to protect Afrodescendant populations from COVID-19. These include actions relating to communication (for example guaranteeing principles of equality and non-discrimination,…

Circular, Traveller Accommodation Support Unit Ireland

A circular issued by the Traveller Accommodation Support Unit to “all directors of service-housing” noting that “[s]ome members of the Traveller community, particularly those living on sites with limited facilities,…

Extraordinary Distribution of the Amount of € 2,255,000.00, from the Central Independent Resources for the Year 2020 in Municipalities of Chora, to Cover Needs to Avoid the Spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 in Roma and other Settlements (ΘΕΜΑ: Έκτακτη κατανομή ποσού 2.255.000,00 €, από τους Κεντρικούς Αυτοτελείς Πόρους έτους 2020 σε Δήμους της Χώρας, προς κάλυψη αναγκών για την αποφυγή της διάδοσης του κορονοϊού COVID-19 σε οικισμούς και καταυλισμούς Ρομά) Greece

The Ministry of Interior’s fund (“Central Independent Resources of Municipalities”) containing € 2,255,000.00 will be distributed to municipalities “for supplies of material as well as other services related to addressing…

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