Teaching Resources

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Human Rights and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Resources for teachers seeking to apply a business and human rights lens to the COVID-19 pandemic include relevant international standards, guidance from international organizations and non-profits, commentary on specific human rights impacts, and materials on corporate responsibilities and sector-specific responses. The resources below have been identified by members of the Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum.[1] The categories headings below are an initial list to be expanded. If you would like to suggest a resource for this page, please e-mail Forum Co-Director Anthony Ewing (aewing@law.columbia.edu).

A clearinghouse for COVID-19 materials worldwide, including in-depth areas on:

“Collects the resolutions, press releases, and other statements from human rights bodies and their parent intergovernmental organizations on States’ obligations to respect human rights in mitigating COVID-19.”

A list of current resources, “focusing on those that support business to identify and address their human rights risks, showcase collective business practice or provide other guidance to business.”

Videos

  • International Economic Law (IEL) Collective, Conversation #5 with Luis Eslava, Michael Fakhri (UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food), Clair Gammage, and Annamaria La Chimia, COVID-19 & the Right to Food (Apr. 27, 2020) available at https://youtu.be/AG-791H-60k.

International Standards

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)

Readings

Human rights approaches

A joint effort by members of the faculty of Columbia Law School and several law professors from other schools, this e-book includes chapters on COVID-19 and Prisoners’ Rights, Immigration in the Time of COVID-19, Privacy and Pandemics, COVID-19 and LGBT Rights, and COVID-19 as a Force Majeure in Corporate Transactions.

Responsibilities of business

  • Tara Van Ho, COVID-19 Symposium: A Time to Kill ‘Business as Usual’–Centering Human Rights in a Frustrated Economy, OpinioJuris, Part I , Part II (Apr. 2, 2020).

Right to health

Labor rights

On a surge in organizing young workers, especially those in industries with little or no tradition of unions.

On one of the biggest, most successful private sector organizing campaigns
in years—15,000 airport workers.

An interview with the Amazon worker who led the walkout at Amazon’s Staten
Island warehouse. (Amazon fired him immediately after the walkout.)

Civil and political rights

Right to Education

Right to Food

  • International Economic Law (IEL) Collective, Conversation #5 with Luis Eslava, Michael Fakhri (UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food), Clair Gammage, and Annamaria La Chimia, COVID-19 & the Right to Food (Apr. 27, 2020) available at https://youtu.be/AG-791H-60k.

Freedom of the Press

Sector-specific Responses

Farmworkers

Universities

Exercises

[*]This bibliography may be cited as:

“Teaching Resources:  Human Rights and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Teaching Business and Human Rights Handbook (Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum, 2020), https://teachbhr.org/resources/teaching-bhr-handbook/teaching-notes/human-rights-and-the-covid-19-pandemic/teaching-resources/.


[1] This bibliography is edited and updated by Anthony Ewing, Co-Director, Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum and Lecturer, Columbia Law School.

Contributors include: Meg Roggensack, Co-Director, Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law School; Joanne Bauer, Adjunct Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; Jamie O’Connell, Lecturer in Residence, Stanford Law School; Nina Gardner, Adjunct Professor, John Hopkins SAIS; Elizabeth Umlas, Lecturer, University of Fribourg; and Carla Martini, LLM candidate, Columbia Law School.