Joint statements by civil society on the COVID-19 pandemic

Although a number of UN sessions have been postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to engage relevant human rights mechanisms including through statements issued in collaboration with other civil society organizations. An overview of our joint statement can be found below.

Civil society participation during the Human Rights Council (26 May 2020)

In the coming weeks, the Human Rights Council will resume its 43rd session, which was suspended in February over concerns related to COVID-19, followed immediately by its 44th regular session. However, as preparations are underway to host these in-person meetings, many human rights defenders and other civil society representative are still unable to travel to take part in these deliberations. In light of this, we co-signed an open letter to the President of the Council suggesting a number of measures which would help enable the meaningful participation of civil society under the current circumstances.

Full statement

UN human rights treaty bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic (11 May 2020)

Treaty Bodies – composed of independent experts that monitor the compliance of States with core UN human rights treaties – have been unable to meet in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, some have started exploring new strategies, for example by conducting key meetings online. Franciscans International and its partners welcome these steps, and urge all Treaty Bodies to take similar steps needed to continue their vital work while ensuring the continued and meaningful participation of civil society in this process.

Full statement

The Day After Tomorrow: Confronting Systemic Injustices, Advancing Human Rights (1 May 2020)

Members of ESCR-Net, representing civil society from 77 countries, call for  long-needed  systemic  transformations  capable  of  making  human  rights  and  social  justice  a  reality  for  all.  This includes revaluing and ensuring care, defending hard-earned rights, banning profiteering off the pandemic, providing for a just recovery and ultimately “reinventing the normal” based on alternatives already being modeled by Indigenous Peoples and other communities. 

Full statement

Franciscans International also issued two direct statements on the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Our 6 April statement considers the general impacts of the pandemic on human rights. It is available in English, French, Italian, and Spanish.
  • Our 30 April statement focuses on the intersection of COVID-19, extreme poverty, and climate justice. It is available in English, French, and Spanish.