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EVENT: Minority and Indigenous Trends 2021 – Focus on COVID-19

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Join the online launch of our ground-breaking annual report!

This year’s edition of our ‘Minority and Indigenous Trends’ report focuses on the distinct impact that COVID-19 has had on minorities, indigenous peoples and other groups vulnerable to discrimination and exclusion.

From limited access to healthcare and a higher prevalence of pre-existing illnesses to poverty and hazardous or insecure jobs, minorities, indigenous peoples and other marginalised communities have been at greater risk of infection and death from COVID-19. Indeed, across the world, many frontline occupations such as delivery services, public transport and medical work are undertaken for a large part by members of these communities, working tirelessly throughout the first lockdowns whilst the rest of the population was being urged to stay at home for their own safety.

As the pandemic was developing, the impacts of the crisis on the most marginalised have extended far beyond the immediate health outcomes, with all domains of social life from employment and education to housing and mental well-being being disrupted. In these areas, too, minorities and indigenous peoples have frequently borne a disproportionate burden, exacerbated in many countries by poorly implemented or discriminatory government policies. While the shared crisis of COVID-19 could have created momentum for solidarity and ceasefires, persecution and conflict often appear to have escalated in the wake of the pandemic.

Much of the inequity and discrimination brought to the surface by the pandemic had however been present long before the outbreak – and is likely to remain in place without transformative societal change. As countries navigate uncertain paths towards recovery, it is vital that they avoid a simple ‘return to normality’; this painful global emergency provides us with an opportunity to achieve lasting change to the endemic racism and injustice that minority and indigenous communities have contended with for generations. Without meaningful action to address these underlying issues, however, the world will continue to be exposed to the threat of further health crises in the years to come.

With that in mind, our annual report outlines 10 key lessons for governments, societies and communities to follow for a fairer and more sustainable post-pandemic in future and presents examples from all over the world.

During this event, a panel of experts will discuss the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the life of minorities and indigenous communities all around the world.

Accessibility: Automatic live captioning will be available through Zoom.

Speakers will include:

  • Parwana Amiri, activist from Afghanistan currently living in Ritsona refugee camp, Greece
  • Miriam Puttick, Head of Middle East and North Africa Programmes, Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights
  • Sanjeeb Drong, General Secretary, Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum
  • Yulian Kondur, Coordinator, Chirikli collective
  • Sridhar Venkatapuram, Professor, King’s College London and Deputy Director, Global Health Institute
  • Hamimu Masudi, social justice campaigner and media practitioner, Uganda
  • Carl Söderbergh, Director of Policy and Communications, Minority Rights Group International

The event will be moderated by Anna Alboth, Media Programmes Coordinator at Minority Rights Group. 

When? Wednesday 30 June 

  • New York: 9:00-10:30 am
  • London, Bangui: 2:00-3:30 pm
  • Brussels: 3:00-4:30 pm
  • Kampala: 4:00-5:30 pm
  • New Delhi: 7:00-8:30pm

Where? On Zoom.

Event hashtag: #MinorityTrends2021

Watch the event recording

Photo: Vanderlecia Ortega dos Santos, a nurse from the Witoto tribe, wears a protect mask that reads ‘Indigenous lives matter’, while she volunteers to provide the only frontline care protecting her indigenous community of 700 families from the COVID-19 outbreak in Manaus, Brazil. Credit: Reuters / Bruno Kelly.

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