"Human rights activists and international leaders first warned in April 2020
that countries could use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to crack down on
Human rights refers to a wide range of political and social rights recognized
by international law. It includes everything from people’s right to work and
receive an education to people’s right to freely express their opinions and
participate in politics.
Human rights scholars and I show in new research that human rights violations
ultimately happened in 2020. Each of the 39 countries we analyzed – including
Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States – saw an
overall decrease in human rights in 2020.
There is new evidence that some countries continue to use the pandemic as a
reason to restrict human rights by muzzling dissent, and specifically by
limiting people’s rights to gather or demonstrate with others.
Our analysis of human rights in 2020 offers a window into the start of this
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics