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COVID-19 and Human Rights Resources

The AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Secretariat and Coalition member organizations have compiled this resource list to help students, educators, scientists, activists, and other audiences confront the urgent challenges at the intersections of science, technology and human rights raised by the novel coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to update this list as the crisis evolves.

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The Science journals are striving to provide the best and most timely research, analysis, and news coverage of COVID-19 and the coronavirus that causes it. All content is free to access.

Academic Freedom and Assisting Colleagues at Risk
Many scholars have had to move their work or teaching online, raising questions about how to protect academic freedom. With many governments adopting repressive measures, what are the risks for the human rights of scientists, engineers, and health professionals? How can the scientific and academic communities support colleagues whose human rights are being violated?


•    Scholars at Risk, SAR responds to COVID-19: Now more than ever
•    Global Young Academy, Covid19 – Initiatives of the GYA, Young Academies and Partners
•    The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Committee on Human Rights

Access to Health Care

The pandemic is exacerbating existing inequalities in access to health care, including testing and treatment.

Access to Information/Combating Misinformation

How are disparities in access to information impacting the response to COVID-19? How can individuals and institutions combat misinformation about the virus? Is there a way to maintain science's openness without that openness being exploited?

Access to Science

Information on how to ensure equitable access to science in the midst of the pandemic.

Carrying out and sustaining research in crisis situations/Responsible research in crisis situations
Principles and guidelines for responsibly practicing science in a crisis situation, doing virtual research ethically, and protecting participants’ rights.

Privacy and Digital Security

What steps should scientists, engineers, and health professionals take to safeguard themselves in this new environment? How do we balance the use of big data during the pandemic with concerns about infringing on people's privacy and rights?

Protections for Whistleblowers
What are their rights of public health officials and researchers who are being silenced by governments?

Restrictions on Civil Rights
How are governments using the virus as a pretext to restrict civil and political rights? What restrictions are permissible under human rights law? Under what circumstances? Can science be helpful in protecting civil and political rights during public health crises?

Rights of Vulnerable and Marginalized People
Information and emerging trends on disparities in the impacts of this disease, including specific populations and the unique concerns they have.



Discrimination, Racism, and Xenophobia

Indigenous Peoples

Immigrants/Refugees/Asylum Seekers

LGBTQ+ Populations

Older People


People in Prison

Precarious Workers

The Poor

Women and Girls

Overarching issues