The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Focal Point on Reprisals in Africa, Honourable Commissioner Rémy Ngoy Lumbu, expresses concern following reports of reprisals against human rights defenders and civil society in Africa and the adverse effects that national responses of States Parties to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have on their work. In […]Continue reading "Press release of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Focal Point on Reprisals in Africa on the protection of Human Rights Defenders during the COVID-19 pandemic"
The COVID-19 pandemic is a disaster that has severely disrupted the normal functioning of populations around the world and continues to proliferate indiscriminately. Disease outbreaks like COVID-19 threaten the health of all. But women and girls are disproportionately affected. During epidemics, the very measures taken to protect populations and keep health systems afloat leave women […]Continue reading "Sexual and gender-based violence during COVID-19: lessons from Ebola"
The task of introducing a vaccine for the coronavirus faces an uphill struggle in Africa, where a flood of online misinformation is feeding on mistrust of Western medical research. Across the continent, Facebook, WhatsApp and other platforms have been swamped by messaging that characterises vaccine research as harmful or even part of a plot to […]Continue reading "Misinformation flood hampers fight for virus vaccine in Africa"
We know that extraordinary measures are a necessary companion to these extraordinary times. Protecting people’s health and safety are paramount. But that doesn’t take away our responsibility to ensure that, down the road, such exceptional measures do not become the new rule of law. For many of us, the reality of COVID-19 went from being […]Continue reading "Keeping our eyes on the ball:Human Rights in the time of COVID-19"
The past decade has seen considerable changes in civil society dynamics in Africa, with reductions in traditional forms of funding. In the middle-income countries shrinking space for civil society has been witnessed in many contexts and hence eliciting questions around the legitimacy and accountability of organizations dependent on aid investment. These changes create multiple challenges […]Continue reading "How Will African CSOs Need to Adapt in the Pandemic?"
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), acting through the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (the Special Rapporteur), Commissioner Lawrence Mute, expresses concern on internet shutdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Recalling the Commission’s statement of 24 March 2020 on human rights based effective responses to […]Continue reading "Press Release by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa and the Importance of Access to the Internet in Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic"
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health emergency that requires a coordinated and large-scale response by governments worldwide. However, States’ efforts to contain the virus must not be used as a cover to usher in a new era of greatly expanded systems of invasive digital surveillance. We, the undersigned organizations, urge governments to show […]Continue reading "Joint Civil Society Statement: States Use of Digital Surveillance Technologies to Fight Pandemic Must Respect Human Rights"
As the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues to spread globally, various African governments have imposed sweeping measures such as travel bans, curfews, prohibition of mass gatherings, mandatory quarantines, closure of learning institutions, entertainment spots and borders to curb the pandemic. Some of these measures have boosted the use of digital technologies. But in some countries, responses […]Continue reading "How Technology is Aiding the Covid-19 Fight in Africa"
As the world grapples to contain the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to enhance disease surveillance, coordinate response mechanisms, and promote public awareness has become more significant. This role of digital technologies is particularly crucial in sub-Saharan Africa where systemic vulnerabilities such as weak health systems and high […]Continue reading "Covid-19 in Africa: When is Surveillance Necessary and Proportionate?"