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Tools and resources

Checklist for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Socio-Economic Country Responses to COVID-19


28 July 2020

In April 2020, the UN issued the UN framework for the immediate socioeconomic response to COVID-19 (SERF), which sets out the strategy and blueprint for the UN’s urgent socio-economic response to countries and societies in the face of COVID-19. The SERF is a pathway designed to help countries tackle the devastating social and economic dimensions of the pandemic, with a focus on at-risk groups.1 The SERF outlines that responses should aim to: protect people and planet; preserve gains across all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); ensure equality; promote transparency, accountability, participation, and collaboration; increase solidarity; and place the voice, rights and agency of people at the center.

The following checklist has been designed as a non-exhaustive list of potential actions, tools, and resources organized by the five streams of work that constitute the SERF.2 Consistent with the UN Secretary-General’s policy brief on COVID-19 and Human Rights the objective of the checklist is to provide initial guidance to help the UN in examining whether socio-economic impact assessments, responses, and recovery plans apply a human rights-based approach, ensuring that no one will be left behind.