Minority Rights Group International (MRG) Deputy Director, Claire Thomas, writes this opinion piece for the Thomson Reuters News Foundation.+ LEARN MORE
This report primarily focuses on minority and indigenous communities and their experiences during COVID-19. But we also turn our gaze inward briefly. In seeking to come to terms with the loss and the trauma inflicted by the pandemic, it is incumbent on us all to extract the painful lessons emerging from this experience to be better prepared for similar crises in future.
As the demands of the pandemic have evolved, there has been a great deal of discussion on how to ensure an equitable recovery.
It is incumbent on us all to extract the painful lessons emerging from this experience to be better prepared for similar crises in future.
For minorities, indigenous peoples and other marginalized communities, the impacts of the crisis have extended far beyond the immediate health outcomes.
Recognizing the right to health for minorities and indigenous peoples: Transforming the global inequalities of the pandemic into health justice
The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minorities and indigenous peoples has highlighted longstanding health disparities that are likely to remain in place without sustained action to address them.
Livelihoods and employment: The impact of COVID-19 on the economic situation of minority and indigenous workers
Rasha Al Saba and Samrawit Gougsa
Amid a global recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, minorities and indigenous peoples have been hit especially hard in the world of work. Not only have members of these communities lost their sources of income, they have also been left vulnerable to work in unsafe and exploitative conditions.
Human rights and COVID-19: Repression and resistance in the midst of a pandemic
COVID-19 has exposed the stark inequalities existing in our societies. But in many cases, it has been the government response to the pandemic that has exacerbated existing discrimination, leading to increased insecurity and direct threats to minority and indigenous rights.
Ensure the right to health for all, including full and equitable access to care, is a priority not only during the pandemic but also a central element in the global recovery.
The essential role of community action for First Nations people with disabilities during the pandemic
June Riemer and Karen Soldatic
Indigenous health governance during COVID-19
Sean Hillier and Elias Chaccour
United States of America
For decades, Black Americans have been living through a public health crisis
Housing and living conditions
Reduce underlying health inequalities through more equitable shelter and service provision for minorities, indigenous peoples and other marginalized communities.
For Liberian former refugees, COVID-19 has made life even more precarious
For the London borough of Newham, COVID-19 is the latest chapter in a history of discrimination
Environment and land
Promote land rights, environmental protection and access to green space to support resilience and recovery during the pandemic, as well as prevent future crises.
For the Amazon’s indigenous peoples, COVID-19 is the latest crisis in a long history of exclusion
Rwanda and Uganda
For Batwa communities, poor health outcomes are a symptom of protracted discrimination
Equitable access to nature is more important than ever since the pandemic
Ensure that decent work, labour rights and adequate welfare assistance are a central part of any public health strategy, protecting those whose livelihoods are most at risk.
‘I had to ignore the threat of COVID-19 because I had to pay back my loans’
Ali Amani and Ali Shaheer
Essential, but unprotected – Toronto’s racialized labour force
Indigenous workers face unemployment and destitution in the wake of the pandemic
With livelihoods devastated by the pandemic, Roma struggle to make a living
Boris Sijerkovic, Praxis
Language and education
Educational initiatives must ensure that all students, including those from minority and indigenous backgrounds, are adequately supported.
The ongoing struggle of indigenous Tamazight speakers in the wake of the pandemic
The role of youth and education in responding to the pandemic in Ritsona refugee camp
Local Roma initiatives to tackle educational inequalities during the pandemic
Yulian Kondur and Nina Henke
Surveillance and policing
Governments must employ public health strategies that are participatory and rights-based, not repressive and controlling.
‘COVID diplomacy’ fuelled by Uyghur oppression
Protesting for human rights in the midst of a pandemic
In the wake of COVID-19, the threat to the rights of minorities and other marginalized groups is greater than ever
Hate speech and misinformation
Address the dissemination of harmful rumours and misinformation linking the spread of COVID-19 to minorities, indigenous peoples and other excluded communities.
Antisemitism on the rise in the midst of the pandemic
In the midst of the pandemic, anti-foreigner sentiment has flourished
Bad science and the ban on Muslim burials
Include a clear conflict prevention component in any global pandemic strategy to prevent a surge in violence.
Weaponizing the pandemic: The impact of COVID-19 in conflict situations
For minorities, COVID-19 deepens the effects of conflict
In the midst of the pandemic, Nagorno-Karabakh’s long-standing conflict shows no signs of abating
Migration and displacement
Ensure that humane migration policies remain at the heart of the pandemic response, in line with international human rights standards and public health protocols.
As the pandemic bites, growing numbers of refugees and migrants risk the dangerous Atlantic crossing to the Canary Islands
Refugee rights at a standstill: border closures, pushbacks and discrimination in the wake of COVID-19
Anna Alboth, photos by Karol Grygoruk of RATS Agency
As the refugee and IDP crisis escalates, COVID-19 is bringing new woes
Identity and well-being
Embrace holistic, locally appropriate pandemic responses that recognize and respect community perspectives, practices and beliefs.
A lifeline for survivors of gender-based violence during lockdown
Laura Quintana Soms
Containing COVID-19 through cultural practices and a rights-based approach
For Sámi communities, COVID-19 border controls could threaten a way of life
Help us spread the word about the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on minorities, indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups worldwide!
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