Many of us use phrases like ‘law and ethics’ and ‘law, ethics and rights’. They trip off the tongue; they seem both useful and ordinary or unexceptional. But is there cause for concern as regards their impact on ethics, law in general and human rights law in particular?
Intersectional discrimination against people on the move underpins inadequate responses to COVID-19. The right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications clearly demands substantive racial equality when designing economic and public health measures to address the pandemic.
Science and human rights are intrinsically connected yet this link has not been fully integrated into COVID-19 responses. Translating normative consensus into practice will require targeted advocacy, appropriate operational guidance and strengthened UN coordination, notably in implementing science-related SDGs.