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Secretary-General's message on Human Rights Day 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced two fundamental truths about human rights.

First, human rights violations harm us all.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups including frontline workers, people with disabilities, older people, women and girls, and minorities.

It has thrived because poverty, inequality, discrimination, the destruction of our natural environment and other human rights failures have created enormous fragilities in our societies.

At the same time, the pandemic is undermining human rights, by providing a pretext for heavy-handed security responses and repressive measures that curtail civic space and media freedom.

 

 The second truth highlighted by the pandemic is that human rights are universal and protect us all.

An effective response to the pandemic must be based on solidarity and cooperation.

Divisive approaches, authoritarianism and nationalism make no sense against a global threat.

People and their rights must be front and centre of response and recovery. We need universal, rights-based frameworks like health coverage for all, to beat this pandemic and protect us for the future.

My Call to Action for Human Rights spells out the central role of human rights in crisis response, gender equality, public participation, climate justice and sustainable development.

On Human Rights Day and every day, let’s resolve to act collectively, with human rights front and centre, to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build a better future for all.

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Contact

Email: unic.portofspain@unic.org 

The United Nations Information Centre for the Caribbean Area (UNIC) has moved from its office at 16 Victoria Avenue,

Port of Spain (Bretton Hall), and will relocate to new premises in early 2021.  

All current telephone landlines have been deactivated.

UNIC staff can also be reached via our individual UN email addresses. We continue teleworking operations (begun in April 2020)

until the Centre’s move to new premises.

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago