December 10th is Human Rights Day, commemorating the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This landmark United Nations document specifies that all people have the same inalienable rights, regardless of background, origin, or other difference.
This year’s theme, “Recover Better,” acknowledges that COVID-19 has eroded human rights and strained global resources. The United Nations reported that 80 million people are now forcibly displaced, as of December 2020. Overlapping global crises have accelerated displacement and prevented people from safely returning home, while closed borders and migrant detention further expose some of the most vulnerable people to harm.
The United Nations defines COVID-19 recovery and human rights in four terms:
- Ending the structural discrimination and racism that have encouraged and supported massive inequality
- Addressing those inequalities through a new social contract
- Encouraging solidarity among people and participation of the most vulnerable
- Promoting sustainable development for a future that attempts to mitigate climate change
CWB – USA recognizes that COVID-19 locked some people out while locking others in. Various forms of interpersonal violence have increased during the pandemic, including violence against children. That’s why CWB partnered with Ecuador-based Humor Y Vida and Recreando Lazos Sociales to create short clown videos addressing violence against children. These videos are distributed in Ecuador as PSAs, and are available on our YouTube channel.
Imagine a COVID-19 vaccine, freely available to every person on earth. Yet, there’s no vaccine for structural inequality and discrimination, and no vaccine for climate change. Any COVID-19 recovery must consider the long-term impact of accelerating displacement, looming global famine, and a generation of interrupted education. A human-rights lens helps address the root causes of COVID-19’s catastrophic impact. It can prioritize safety, dignity, and peace for all people.