Covid-19 RESEARCH (Coronavirus)

Human Rights Centre Response to Covid-19

Responding to Covid-19

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Dr. Antonio Coco drafts new initiative on the respect of international law during the current pandemic

Dr. Antonio Coco was involved in the drafting of the following initiative: the Oxford Statement on the International Law Protections Against Cyber Operations Targeting the Health Care Sector, a collective plea by international lawyers for the respect of international law amid the current pandemic. The statement was drafted during a 2-day virtual workshop earlier this week. I took part in the workshop and contributed to the drafting effort.

The statement (among the 31 original signatories) was submitted for consideration to the UN Security Council. A number of countries have already manifested their intention to mention it during their statements, and some have already done so during the ongoing meeting.

The statement will remain open for signature for a while. In case you are interested in joining the 80+ international lawyers who signed so far, you can do it by sending a message to

Oxford Statement on the International Law Protections Against Cyber Operations Targeting the Health Care Sector

Dr. Tara Van Ho and Dr. Anil Yilmaz Vastardis, secured a Global Challenges Research Fund at Essex, funding jointly with the University of Rosario for a project looking into the experiences of the workers in the informal economy in Colombia during the pandemic, with a view to provide input to the work of the Mayor of Bogota and the public health authorities of the national government on this issue.

The official title for the project is: “Precarious Work and Access to Healthcare and Social Security in Colombia: Targeted Measures During the Covid-19 Global Emergency”. This is part of a larger collaboration we have with the University of Kent.

The Essex Autonomy Project and Ethics of Powerlessness project provide research support to the NHS

The Essex Autonomy Project has been working closely with its sister project, the Ethics of Powerlessness Project to provide research support to NHS Ethics Committees and policy makers who face situations where demand for emergency medical care threatens to swamp the available supply. The teams from both projects produced a report Triage in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Bioethical and Human Rights Considerations; surveying bioethical and human rights considerations in situations of triage.

RightOn: Our members are collaborating with Human Rights organisations on a new discussion forum

As the global human rights community responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Human Rights Centre and Essex Human Rights, Big Data and Technology project have partnered with the Permanent Mission of Denmark, the Permanent Mission of Netherlands and the Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN in Geneva, Universal Rights Group, Geneva Academy, Geneva Rights Platform, World Jewish Congress, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Ferney-Voltaire and Geneva Internet Platform to provide a new Webinar/Webchat discussion forum entitled RightOn.

RightOn provides a regular series of publicly accessible webinars which explore an exciting range of topical human rights issues, including many of those raised by COVID-19. Human Rights Centre Director, Dr Andrew Fagan contributed to the very first RightOn webinar of Right On: Fighting online hate speech and fake news in a global crisis. Professor Geoff Gilbert contributed to How to prevent Covid-19 becoming a humanitarian disaster in the context of conflict situations, refugee and IDP populations?