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Business and Human Rights, Digital Rights and Privacy

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

Amnesty International

Civil Rights Defenders

Clean Clothes Campaign 

EuroMed Rights


Front Line Defenders

Human Rights Watch


International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN)