Event information

20 May 2020, 15:00-16:30

How to prevent COVID-19 becoming a humanitarian disaster in the context of conflict situations, refugee and IDP populations?

Right On

The Corona Pandemic and countermeasures taken by governments are already exacerbating the situation of persons living in situations of armed conflicts and in particular those trying to escape from persecution, misery, and/or armed conflict – whether within or across national borders.

Internally displaced persons and refugees are particularly vulnerable to the rapid spread of COVID-19 because they can hardly comply with measures of confinement and/or social distancing and have limited access to healthcare facilities. In Syria, Yemen and many other places affected by armed conflict, healthcare facilities have also been destroyed or degraded, and there is a significant shortage of medical equipment and medical professionals. This shortage is aggravated by a decline in the delivery of humanitarian and development aid – in the immediate due to problems in shipping and transportation, but in the long term probably also by changing priorities of donor funding.

Persons already vulnerable face immense threats, whether due to the degrading situation in camps or the impossibility to leave zones of conflict altogether. Many western countries have opted for a policy of closed borders to protect their populations from further spread of COVID-19. This includes suspension of migratory and refugee management and a factual break-down of the asylum system.

The discussion of those humanitarian challenges will also contrast in legal terms states’ obligations of due diligence to prevent the further spread of the virus with states’ obligations under international law, concerning asylum, refugee and migration management, including based upon human rights law. It will also look back into how these issues were tackled in past situations of pandemics.

Moderator

  • Annyssa Bellal, Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Senior Research Fellow, Geneva Academy
  • Andrew Fagan, Director, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex

Panelists

  • Mohammed Al-Hadid, President, Jordan Red Crescent
  • Cédric Cotter, Researcher, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Geoff Gilbert, Professor of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex
  • Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons
  • Marriët Schuurman, Director Stability and Humanitarian Aid, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Registration

To join the discussion, you need to register here.

‘Right On’: The Wednesday Web Chat

‘Right On’ is a new digital initiative – co-organized by the Geneva Academy, the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the Geneva Internet Platform, the DiploFoundation, the Universal Right Group, the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, as well as the Permanent Missions of Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands to the United Nations in Geneva  –  that will keep the human rights dialogue going during these COVID-19 times.

Every Wednesday at 15:00, experts and practitioners will discuss key human rights issues related to the current health crisis.

Video

Right On: How to prevent COVID-19 becoming a humanitarian disaster in the context of conflict situations, refugee and IDP populations?

In this online event of the ‘Right On’ digital initiative, panelists discussed how the Corona Pandemic and countermeasures taken by governments are already exacerbating the situation of persons living in situations of armed conflicts and in particular those trying to escape from persecution, misery, and/or armed conflict – whether within or across national borders.

Right On Partners Updated

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Homepage of the RULAC online portal News

Online Survey of our RULAC Online Portal

5 October 2021

The survey aims at improving this unique tool by collecting users’ feedbacks on its content, their use of the information provided on RULAC, and the sections consulted.

Read more

Portrait of Dr Annyssa Bellal News

Dr Annyssa Bellal Will Discuss IHL Monitoring and Compliance at the UNGA Ministerial Week

20 September 2021

Our Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law Dr Annyssa Bellal will discuss IHL monitoring and compliance at a High-Level Side Event during the UN General Assembly Ministerial Week.

Read more

Reaper RPAS Aircraft Lands at Kandahar, Afghanistan Event

Emerging Technology and the Future of International Humanitarian Law

9 December 2021, 16:30-18:00

This Military Briefing will discuss the role and evolution of IHL in the context of emerging technologies, and provide insights on how armed forces and governments approach these issues.

Read more

Short Course

The Law of Non-International Armed Conflicts

17 March - 8 April 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.

Read more

An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

9 March - 13 April 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Read more

Séléka rebels patrol in the town of Bria, Central African Republic (CAR). Project

Human Rights Responsibilities and Armed Non-State Actors

Completed in June 2018

This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.

Read more

Mine Project

Business, Human Rights and Conflict-Affected Regions

Started in July 2021

This project aims to further identify and clarify policies and practices for States and business, including public and private investors, across the full ‘conflict cycle’ and the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

The UN Security Council and Common Article 1: Understanding the Role of Peacekeeping Operations in Ensuring Respect for IHL

published on October 2021

Émilie Max

Read more