COVID-19 & Human Rights

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Coronavirus Presents Bonanza for Kleptocrats

Citation:

Mark Wolf and Richard J. Goldstone. 4/4/2020. “Coronavirus Presents Bonanza for Kleptocrats.” The Boston Globe. See full text.
Coronavirus Presents Bonanza for Kleptocrats

Abstract:

In order to keep kleptocrats accountable, an International Anti-Corruption Court must be established. 

Very little is certain about the coronavirus, and we are only judges, not prophets. However, we can confidently predict that the response to the pandemic will be a bonanza for kleptocrats — an opportunity for the corrupt leaders of many countries to further enrich themselves.

Governments are poised to provide trillions of dollars to counter the pandemic, without even the usual, often ineffective, safeguards to assure that the funds are properly spent. The coronavirus will, therefore, provide additional compelling proof that the world needs an International Anti-Corruption Court to punish and deter kleptocrats who enjoy impunity in the countries they rule.

 

: Mark Wolf et al. | Apr 4 2020
: In order to keep kleptocrats accountable, an International Anti-Corruption Court must be established. 
Last updated on 04/15/2020

The Ethics of Surveillance Technology during a Global Pandemic

Citation:

Vivek Krishnamurthy, Bruce Schneier, and Mathias Risse. 4/2/2020. “The Ethics of Surveillance Technology during a Global Pandemic.” Carr Center Covid-19 Discussion Paper Series, 2. See full text.
The Ethics of Surveillance Technology during a Global Pandemic

Abstract:

Three experts on cyberlaw, security, and AI discuss how governments and businesses might ethically employ surveillance and AI technologies to address Covid-19.

We interviewed Bruce Schneier, Security Technologist and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Carr Center Fellow Vivek Krishnamurthy, and Carr Center Faculty Director Mathias Risse on the ethics and responsibilities of using AI and surveillance technology amidst a global pandemic. 

Read their full discussion, here

 
 
: Carr Center | Apr 4 2020
: Three experts discuss how to ethically employ surveillance and AI technologies to address Covid-19.
Last updated on 04/13/2020

“May You Rise to It”: A Love Letter to Students in an Unprecedented Time

“May You Rise to It”: A Love Letter to Students in an Unprecedented Time

Abstract:

In a letter to his students, Timothy McCarthy calls for a serious commitment to compassion.

My dear students,
Let me say this first: I love you — and I hope all of you are somewhere safe right now.
I know this doesn’t find any of us well. This global pandemic has profoundly upended our lives and livelihoods and routines and responsibilities, to say nothing of our capacity to work and dream together to build a better world. The corona crisis has catapulted us into complete chaos, accompanied by a disorienting mix of emotions: fear and despair, anxiety and anger, uncertainty and longing, concern and compassion. If you are like me, you’re experiencing all these things at once on any given day. As one friend put it: “I didn’t realize I could have so many mood swings before my first cup of coffee.” As a historian, I rarely use the word unprecedented — after all, almost everything has some kind of precedent — but I dusted it off last week and have been using it more and more with each passing day. History will have time to take full account of this moment, but first we must survive it.

: Timothy McCarthy | Mar 30 2020
: In a letter to his students, Timothy McCarthy calls for a serious commitment to compassion.
Last updated on 04/13/2020

Examining the Coronavirus from the Lens of Human Rights

Citation:

3/26/2020. “Examining the Coronavirus from the Lens of Human Rights.” Carr Center Covid-19 Discussion Paper Series, 01. See full text.
Examining the Coronavirus from the Lens of Human Rights

Abstract:

Three Carr Center faculty share their take on the global pandemic with an eye towards human rights.

The Carr Center will begin a regular discussion series outlining how the pandemic intersects with specific human rights domains. In our introductory paper, Mathias Risse, Kathryn Sikkink, and Timothy Patrick McCarthy discuss the importance of human rights in a pandemic situation. In addition to describing how we can balance individual rights with those of the larger community, they also situate the current pandemic within historical contexts, and within a larger backdrop of our current digital age. 

Read the full document here.  

: Carr Center | Mar 26 2020
: Three Carr Center faculty share their take on the global pandemic with an eye towards human rights.
Last updated on 05/04/2020

Rights and Responsibilities in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Rights and Responsibilities in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Abstract:

Touching on points from her newly published book, The Hidden Face of Rights: Towards a Politics of Responsibilities, Kathryn Sikkink urges the global community to place responsibility on all actors to uphold human rights during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Building on the work of Iris Marion Young in her posthumous book, Responsibility for Justice, in The Hidden Face of Rights, I argue that all actors socially connected to structural injustice and able to act, need to take action to address the injustice. One problem with the word responsibility is that people often use it in the common legal meaning focused on who is to blame or liable. This is what Iris Young has called backward-looking responsibility or the “liability model.” She focused on political responsibility that is forward-looking. This kind of responsibility asks not “who is to blame,” but “what should we do?” Forward-looking responsibility is necessary to address the Coronavirus pandemic and to think about what we should do in the world after the pandemic. I also draw on Max Weber’s idea of an ethic of responsibility in Politics as a Vocation to stress that it is not enough to act with good intentions. We also need to have done our research about the most effective way to act so that our actions have the impact we seek.


This framework is useful in the context of the Coronavirus crisis because it involves both a range of rights and responsibilities of many actors. Our right to health, but also rights to liberty, freedom of movement, to education, to information, to food and shelter are all at stake. As countries ramp up exclusionary travel and border policies, some of these rights may be imperiled, and governments need to strike a balance between protecting the health and respecting human rights, as the WHO Secretary General recognized in his briefing on March 12. A quarantine is a legitimate state policy in times of health emergencies, but the state must attend to the rights of individuals caught in the quarantine to adequate health care, food, and shelter. 

: Kathryn Sikkink | Mar 16 2020
: Touching on points from her newly published book, The Hidden Face of Rights: Towards a Politics of Responsibilities, Kathryn Sikkink urges the global community to place responsibility on all actors to uphold human rights during the Coronavirus pandemic. 
Last updated on 04/01/2020
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