COVID-19 and Human Dignity


This Conversation was developed from contributions to an international Webinar held 16 April 2020: Freedom of Religion or Belief, COVID-19 and Human DignityEpisode 2 of the Webinar Series COVID-19 and Freedom of Religion or Belief. Panelists in this Webinar addressed the following and other questions: How is this global emergency affecting our concept of human dignity? How can we ensure that restrictions to civil liberties that we accept for our collective safety respect human dignity and human rights? (more…)

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COVID-19 Requires an Urgent Response Grounded in Human Rights and Human Dignity

Ewelina U. Ochab
is a legal researcher, human rights advocate and author, regularly contibuting to such outlets at
Forbes. She is co-founder of the Coalition for Genocide Response. This blogpost arises from her role as moderator of a international panel for a Webinar held 16 April 2020 [1]  and is part of a Talk About Conversation on COVID-19 and Human Dignity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been shaping and reshaping our lives as we knew them over the recent week and months. The majority of us, confined to our homes, had to adjust to the new social distancing rules, working from home for weeks, move all social interaction to the online world of Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting and many more. And while we struggle in our own ways, it is crucial to remember that there are groups of people who are more affected by COVID-19 and the changes to brought to the world. This is not to suggest a completion over victimhood status but to recognize the particular situation, particular vulnerabilities that cannot be neglected when the impact of COVID-19 is assessed. And indeed, COVID-19 has had a proficient effect on the enjoyment of human rights, including the right to freedom of religion or belief, and human dignity. (more…)

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COVID-19 Crisis, Human Dignity and Freedom of Religion or Belief 

Ján Figeľ was nominated in May 2016 by the European Commission as the first Special Envoy for promotion of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) outside the European Union. He was European Commissioner for Education, Training & Culture and State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was the Chief Negotiator for Slovakia’s accession into the EU. 

The theme I wish to explore briefly is the relation between human dignity, religious freedom and current corona virus pandemic. Evidently, medical situation in the world is critical in many countries. It will take time and make serious impact on economies, on social situation and on human, interpersonal and international relations. Our world will change.

Each crisis in history left repetitive lesson: We can get out of crisis to the new perspective or fall even more deeply into problems, conflicts and tragedy. Second lesson is that (only) two fundamental components and inputs are decisive to get out of any crisis: Common sense (sound reason) and living conscience (ethics of responsibility). (more…)

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