Countdown to Human Rights Day
The time for human rights is now!
Date: Thursday 9th July 2020
Time: 16.00 – 17.30 CET
Governments' public health responses to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have put a renewed focus on restrictions to key public freedoms, such as the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression. These measures have in some cases adversely impacted civic space, understood as the space in which people participate in public life by speaking out and mobilising to influence decisions, including online. Despite this difficult context, civic space and civil society more broadly has a crucial role to play in supporting governments in their response to the unprecedented challenges presented by the current pandemic.
Watch the webinar by UN Human Rights - Special Procedures Branch, "In the shadow of COVID-19: Lessons learned on civic space and public freedoms". Against the backdrop of COVID-19, international experts explore the nexus between civic space and pandemics, and identify lessons learned which can help ensure public health responses to pandemics strike the right balance on civic space and public freedoms.
Guest speakers include UN Special Rapporteurs on key public freedoms and representatives of civil society.
16.00 – 16.05: Opening remarks
Christine Mardirossian, European Commission, DG DEVCO, Unit B1 - Gender Equality, Human Rights and Democratic Governance
Panel 1: Civic space experiences from the Covid-19 pandemic
This panel will consider examples of how civic space has been restricted during the Covid—19 pandemic, and the implications of these measures for civic space and civil society more broadly. It will also explore the ways in which civic space has been important in responding effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic.
16:05 – 16:30: (Moderator: Dragana Korljan, Head of Unit, Special Procedures Branch, OHCHR)
16:30 – 16:45: Q&A
Panel 2: Looking to the future: what lessons have been learned so far? Striking the right balance on civic space in pandemic responses.
This panel will seek to identify measures which could help ensure that public health responses to the ongoing and future pandemics support and leverage civil society actors and civic space, and that any restrictions are in line with international human rights norms. It will consider questions such as:
16:45 – 17:10: (Moderator: Federica Donati, Head of Unit, Special Procedures Branch, OHCHR)
17:10 – 17:25: Q&A
17:25 – 17:30: Closing remarks (Birgit Kainz, Head of Civic Space Unit, OHCHR)