Newsletter n°7 - June 2020

Newsletter 7 - June 2020


Dear friends and supporters,

As we face an unprecedented crisis across the globe, we hope that you, your families, and the communities supported by our partner organisations, are keeping safe and healthy.

This new edition of our newsletter focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR). Since the outset of the pandemic, urgent measures have  been taken to mitigate the spread of the virus and its impact on vulnerable populations. At the same time, we have seen that these measures have not always complied with human rights.

These challenging times have highlighted the urgent need to make ESCR a reality for all worldwide and the importance of States putting in place inclusive and social protection benefits to ensure a minimal and decent income for those unable to work while sick or when in quarantine.

This terrible pandemic has reaffirmed our commitment to promote and defend the rights to health, water, social protection, education, work, and all other economic, social and cultural rights.

We are working towards the reinforcement of the ESCR platform, which we  created in 2017 to federate NGOs in Francophone Africa. Together with 14 other NGOs, we are calling upon States to put human rights at the heart of their response o the pandemic and to provide long-term solutions.  Together, we will soon launch an annual campaign on the right to social protection. Together we will collect data, consult populations on the existing social safety nets, and unite to ask for pensions, unemployment benefits, and inclusive and durable protection for all in times of crisis, illness,  or other situations when you cannot work and earn decent revenue. We hope this joint effort will enable us to hear as many of your voices as possible in order to propose concrete and tangible recommendations.

We will also ensure that our organisation and our upcoming activities reflect the populations’ needs revealed by the health crisis. We will shift the focus of our activities to include investigations on the impact of the worldwide pandemic, which has highlighted existing shortcomings on the rights we have promoted and defended since the creation of Human Dignity. 

Over the past few months, we have also realised that many still do not see work, social protection, water, sanitation, education, housing and culture as human rights. We will therefore strengthen our capacity-building programme and reach out to new audiences such as youth. Our next regional training will focus on the rights to health and social protection.

Later this year, we will hold a General Assembly and draft our strategic plan for 2021 - 2024. We will make sure we address the dire impact of the current pandemic in our future actions and strategies. We will raise our voices so that donors put more focus on economic, social and cultural rights.

As we enter a ‘new normal: Now is the moment to demand a durable change in public policies to reduce inequalities and to fight against poverty. Now is the moment for vulnerable groups to be heard and protected at all times.

We hope to contribute to a post COVID-19 world where water and sanitation, food, health, work, social protection, education, housing and culture will at last be recognized as rights to be enjoyed – in full - by all human beings, at all times. A world in which everyone lives in dignity.

Take great care of you and your loved ones. Stay safe!

Kind regards

Human Dignity Board members

Karine Appy, President

Anita Nyanjong, Treasurer

Aisha Gilani, Secretary

Yared Hailemariam, AHRE Director

Clément Voulé, UN Special Rapporteur on Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association


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A French version of our newsletter is available online here.