This Pandemic Is about Human Rights: Alex Neve of Amnesty International

A video interview with Canada’s AI secretary general on crisis and opportunity

Every aspect of the crisis, Neve says, is about human rights. “The virus is a full-frontal cruel attack on the right to health and sadly, in so many instances the right to life itself. All of the manifestations of the economic crisis and the ways in which it is threatening people’s livelihoods and abilities to meet basic necessities, that’s all about human rights as well.”

The virus has affected certain communities differently. “The ways in which both the virus and the economic crisis have particular impact on marginalized communities raises real concerns about discrimination and equality, which in many respects, is one of the most fundamental tenants of the entire human rights system,” he says.

Wedge notes the impact the Spanish Flu had on human rights and asks whether Neve thinks we’ll see that same transformation after COVID-19. “Because of course, the Spanish flu as we know, affected so disproportionately the poor and the vulnerable at that time,” she says.


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