Securing an enabling environment for human rights defenders in COVID-19 response and recovery

Tuesday 27 October 2020, from 15.00 to 16.30 (GMT +1)


The COVID-19 pandemic serves as a magnifying glass, revealing and exacerbating existing patterns of vulnerability, inequality and discrimination. The pandemic has had disproportionate impacts on already marginalised groups and the measures that states take to address the crisis can exacerbate these inequalities.

The patterns of vulnerability, inequality and neglect that the pandemic expose reflect long overdue obligations of states under international human rights law, as well as pending commitments under the 2030 Agenda. Timely and efficient implementation of these obligations and commitments would increase our collective resilience to shocks and disasters, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thus, human rights and the 2030 Agenda together provide substantial guidance and should be put at the core of immediate crisis response and long-term COVID-19 recovery strategies towards fair, resilient and sustainable societies that leave no one behind.

Objectives of the event

  • Is the COVID-19 pandemic providing states with a pretext for adopting repressive measures unrelated to the pandemic to silence critical voices?
  • What impacts on the enjoyment of the freedoms of association, assembly and expression have COVID-19 response measures had to date?
  • How can human rights standards and mechanisms and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development be used as a platform for monitoring and securing accountability and a more enabling environment for the political participation of all, including human rights defenders?

Explore these questions with us in this webinar in which we will also point to strategies, methods and possible partnerships for addressing current challenges for human rights defenders.


The Danish Institute for Human Rights is organising the webinar in collaboration with CIVICUS, GANHRI and Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group for Sustainable Development.

  • Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders
  • Joan Carling, Co-Convenor, Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group for Sustainable Development
  • Ombudsman Jordan Rodas, Office of the Ombudsman, Guatemala
  • Mandeep Tiwana, Chief Programmes Officer, Civicus

Facilitator: Carol Rask, the Danish Institute for Human Rights

Format and logistics

Virtual event via Microsoft Teams. No registration needed. Join the meeting on Microsoft Teams here.

There will be both English and Spanish presentations with an interpretation service through app ‘INTERPREFY’ which must be downloaded on your smartphone.
For more information and updates visit here.

Co-organised by