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COVID-19: Recovering Rights Series

As well as the tragic human toll of the virus itself, the COVID-19 pandemic is laying bare the grave injustices of our economic model.  How could our economies be transformed in the wake of COVID-19 if our rights and dignity are placed at their center? The Recovering Rights series aims to spark collective debate on this question. 
There is widespread agreement that we need a massive investment of resources to tackle COVID-19 and address the impact of its economic fallout on people’s lives and livelihoods. But there is less consensus about what a just distribution looks like. Holding governments accountable to their human rights commitments can help us push for the right choices when it comes to mobilizing and allocating resources. Socioeconomic rights standards give us a roadmap: away from an unsustainable economic model based purely on the pursuit of profit and growth, towards a resilient one based on caring for people and the planet.
That said, these standards are often described in the abstract. They use specialist terms and legalistic language. In some contexts, that’s important. But it can also feel disconnected from the hardships so many people are confronting every day. To achieve meaningful action, these standards can’t just be the domain of human rights lawyers and experts. We need to translate them into useful tools for social justice activists in making clear demands for change in policy and practice and winning broad support. 
The Recovering Rights series aims to do just that. Over the coming weeks, we'll post new briefs here that unpack relevant standards and discuss how they relate to concrete policies.
Topic #2:  Governments’ Obligation to Cooperate Internationally to Realize Human Rights
We want to hear from you! If you find the ideas, analysis and proposals of these briefs helpful in your advocacy, please share in your networks and on social media, tagging @social_rights.  Feedback and suggestions for future topics are greatly appreciated.  Get in touch at
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