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Human Rights in Africa in the Context of Covid-19

Por: Sean Molloy, Research Associate, Newcastle Law School, Newcastle University

In response to Covid-19, countries across Africa are declaring a state of emergency (these include Botswana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Botswana, Ethiopia and Senegal, to name a few). Doing so allows the authorities, in times of urgent necessity, to take actions necessary to safeguard national security, maintain law and order, protect citizens’ lives and property, keep essential public services working, concentrate relief resources and direct them to the areas of greatest need, and in general to restore normality. While providing a degree of flexibility necessary to respond to the current pandemic, declaring a state of emergency also brings significant risks, particularly those relating to human rights (Ali Yildiz and Olga Hałub-Kowalczyk). Emergency powers must, therefore, be monitored scrupulously and on an ongoing basis. Yet, this requires legal certainty and clearly defined parameters regarding what is and is not permissible under a state of emergency. This post argues that the current Covid-19 brings into stark relief a long-standing ambiguity relating to derogations versus claw-back clauses under the African system of human rights. In order to ensure uniformity in how emergency measures are monitored, this will require clarification sooner, rather than later. (...)

Consulte o documento aqui.

Sean Molloy, Human Rights in Africa in the Context of Covid-19, Int’l J. Const. L. Blog, May 1, 2020, at: