Human Rights, SDGs and COVID-19: A Truly Testing Tryst
Human Rights law recognizes that there are limits to freedom, etc in the face of emergencies. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, lockdown has been imposed in a number of countries. Similarly, containment zones have been demarcated. Prima facie these are human rights violations as curbs on freedom. Many prisoners have tested positive – including undertrials. This is not a ‘punishment’ they can be meted out. Keeping this in mind, how do we strike a balance- and work in the sphere? With courts increasingly going online- does that prove to be a barrier for certain parts of the community? Particularly as pro bono lawyers, how do we engage with the ideas? How do we prepare for the future? What kind of considerations do we, as pro bono lawyers, keep in mind the principles of rule of law and democracy? Post the pandemic, all sectors of the society will have to come together to work on a sustainable future where individual freedom, accessible healthcare and human dignity is ensured- keeping in mind goals of the SDGs.