As governments consider exit strategies and start to roll out tracking apps or wearable devices, rigorous scrutiny and vigilance are essential to avoid any abuse. Tracking and surveillance measures are being developed in haste and with insufficient regard for privacy, ethics, data protection and human rights. Among other things, strict safeguards must be put in place to ensure any data is only stored as long as the crisis is ongoing.
The COVID-19 crisis further brings to light the fragility and the power imbalances of modern supply-chains and the urgent need to better regulate economic globalization to protect human rights and the environment and to strengthen the sustainability of global value chains. A robust and sustainable economic recovery will need to move away from business as usual and ensure that responsible business conduct, based on international standards, becomes a reality. Mandatory Human Rights Due diligence would help prevent and respond to future crises.
Moreover, emergency measures, recovery packages and economic reconstruction must not be at the cost of the human rights of workers and communities and guarantees should be provided that those support measures benefit the workers and their livelihoods.
Civil society organisations are fundamental in building a rights-based post-coronavirus world. There can be no return to business as usual but an urgent and comprehensive public debate and transparent consultations on exit strategies and recovery measures.
Privacy International: Tracking the Global Response to COVID-19 TRACKER
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak
- 23 April 2020 Thailand: Authorities using repressive laws to intensify crackdown on online critics
- 22 April 2020 Viet Nam: Facebook must cease complicity with government censorship
- 17April 2020 China: How China used technology to combat COVID-19 – and tighten its grip on citizens
Civil Rights Defenders
- 25 March 2020 Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to Respect Right to Privacy of Citizens in Self-Isolation
Clean Clothes Campaign
- Live blog How the Coronavirus affect garment workers in supply-chains Tracker – updated daily
- 9 April 2020 – Clean Clothes Campaign – Brands and retailers need to step up now to protect garment workers
- 9 April 2020 – Clean Clothes Campaign – COVID-19 short term demands in defense of garment workers in global supply-chains
- 17 March 2020 – Clean Clothes Campaign – Brands must urgently take steps to minimise impact of the coronavirus on garment workers’ health and livelihoods
- 19 May 2020 – COVID-19: A WAKE-UP CALL FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS!
- 17 April 2020 Don’t wash your hands of human rights obligations – Corporate due diligence in times of COVID-19 and lessons for the future
- 17 April 2020 (in French) Belgique : Lutte contre le Covid-19 et développement de solutions technologiques de « tracking » – les droits humains ne doivent pas devenir des victimes collatérales
Front Line Defenders
- Physical, emotional and digital protection while using home as office in times of COVID-19 – Ideas & tips for human rights defenders
Human Rights Watch
- 22 April 2020 Protecting Garment Workers During COVID-19 Crisis
- 13 April 2020 Big Data Could Undermine the COVID-19 Response
- 2 April 2020 COVID-19 Puts Millions of Global Supply Chain Workers at Risk
- 2 April 2020 Joint Civil Society Statement: States use of digital surveillance technologies to fight pandemic must respect human rights
International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN)