#RecoverWithJustice Online Event | #Act4RuleofLaw

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#RecoverWithJustice: Build back with the rule of law for a more just world after COVID

#Act4RuleofLaw Online Event for the International Human Rights Day 

The best response is one that responds proportionately to immediate threats while protecting human rights and the rule of law.

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has resulted in major social, political and legal challenges globally. States around the world adopted emergency measures to address the crisis, reminding us of the continued importance of upholding the rule of law, protecting and respecting international standards and the basic principles of legality, and the right to access justice, remedies and due process. Emergency powers must be in line with national constitutional and legal frameworks as well with international human rights obligations. 

This year’s Human Rights Day (HRD) theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to recover better by ensuring human rights are central to all recovery efforts. The COVID-19 crisis has been fueled by poverty, inequalities, discrimination, exclusion, environmental degradation, and other gaps in human rights protection. It has collided with entrenched, political, social and economic crises around the world, making societies more vulnerable to the virus and to its economic and social impacts. On 10 December, we have an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of justice and the rule of law in re-building a world that protects the human rights of all.

We need the rule of law for non-discrimination and social inclusion.
While the virus may not discriminate, its impacts do. People who are poor, marginalized, excluded and discriminated against are more likely to get sick, to not have access to testing, and to suffer loss of jobs, housing and other fundamental rights. These conditions can, in turn, increase their vulnerability to trafficking in persons and impair people’s access to justice. Equality and nondiscrimination are core requirements for a post-COVID world. We need the rule of law to stand against discrimination of any kind, to ensure social inclusion, and to promote more peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

We need the rule of law to close gaps of inequality.
The pandemic is accompanied by devastating and planet-wide social and economic impacts, which both feed from and exacerbate pervasive inequalities within and among countries. To recover from the impact of the crisis, we must also address the inequality pandemic. For that, we need to promote and protect economic, social, and cultural rights. We need a new social contract based on the rule of law for a new era. Only measures that close these gaps and advance human rights will ensure that we fully recover and build a better world.

We need the rule of law to advance sustainable development.
We need sustainable development for people and planet. The pandemic is significantly affecting progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Doha Declaration, adopted at the 13th UN Crime Congress in 2015, recognized the importance of rule of law to advancing sustainable development. The response to the crisis presents an opportunity to build stronger institutions based on the rule of law that support improved social protection measures and a just transition to a sustainable post-COVID world. This crisis calls for a renewed effort on SDG 16 to achieve more peaceful, just and inclusive societies. Promoting the rule of law and related SDGs must involve a whole of society approach, as well be people-centered and rights-based. Particular attention to empowering people and to enhancing their capacities to seek redress for grievances is also critical to achieving justice for all. 

We need global solidarity to uphold the rule of law and human rights.
We are all in this together, and all voices matter. From individuals to governments, from civil society and grass-roots communities to the private sector, everyone has a role in building a post-COVID world that is more just and equal for present and future generations. The only way to build back better is through individual, global and multilateral solidarity. We either stand together or fall apart. We must leave no one behind-- no person, no group, no community, no country.

Under the general umbrella of the UN’s “Stand Up for Human Rights” and “Recover Better” messaging for Human Rights Day in 2020, the #RecoverWithJustice event will aim to address the following questions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  1. Why do we need to uphold the rule of law in order to protect human rights of all? Why is it particularly important during a global crisis? 
  2. How can the rule of law help to ensure nondiscrimination and social inclusion?
  3. How can the rule of law help close gaps of inequality? 
  4. What are the impacts of COVID on the human rights of certain groups such as women, older persons, minorities, migrants, and prisoners? 
  5. What measures need to be put in place in order to ensure equal access to justice, reduced health risks in detention centres, increased accountability in law enforcement, and improved access to legal services? 
  6. How do we continue advancing the SDGs and, in particular, Goal 16 to build a more just world after COVID?







#RecoverWithJustice Facebook Live
Thursday 10 December 2020 | TBC



  • Norul Mohamed Rashid, Senior Rule of Law Officer, Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General (EOSG)
  • Hernán Valés, Human Rights Adviser, Rule of Law and Democracy Section, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • Joel Martinez, Engagement Director, World Justice Project
  • Petrider Paul, Member, Youth Advisory Council, African Union Commission
  • Fabio Balestro, Human Rights Specialist, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
  • Racha Haffar, Founder, Youth Against Slavery Movement

Moderator: Gilberto Santos, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Audience: Open access
Format of the event:  60 minutes panel discussion and 10 minutes Q&A




#Act4RuleofLaw to #StandUp4HumanRights Instagram Takeover
Thursday 10 December 2020 | All Day

Are you an advocate for human rights and justice? Do you want to make your voice heard on the International Human Rights Day? 

Submit your video message today until 10 December 11.59 ET under the theme #Act4RuleofLaw to #StandUp4HumanRights - a call for a more just world that protects all of us.

Two ways to support justice in protecting human rights:

  1. Post a 15-30 second video message as a public Instagram Story or Reel tagging @Act4RuleofLaw; or
  2. Send the video in DM to @Act4RuleofLaw for us to post to our story.