The authoritative interpretation of the right to science coincided with the global descent into a pandemic. From the social fissures and injustices laid bare by the pandemic arises an opportunity to use the right to science to respond and rebuild.
Emergencies pose particular challenges to ethical research – yet research is essential for effective emergency response. Complementing human rights approaches, an ‘ethical compass’ of core values provides a basis to allocate responsibilities to a wide range of non-state duty-bearers.
What would constitute a first step in a human-rights based approach to the global allocation of pandemic vaccines? One possibility would be to encourage states parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to acknowledge their indirect obligations of participation and diligence.
Human rights crises emerge at the local level. Local governments are now at the forefront of human rights implementation and protection. A human rights-based approach to responding to the inevitable next emergency will depend on the preparedness of local governments.
This paper explores the importance of governments, key stakeholders and donors in the WASH sectors working collaboratively towards improving and increasing access to safe water in the informal settlements towards mitigating the risk of transmission of COVID-19.