Hosted with the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law
Thursday June 4 – 5.00-5.45pm AEST

Refugees and other forced migrants are among the world’s most resilient people, but without medical, economic and social support, even the most resourceful will be unable to escape the impacts of COVID-19.

Scientia Professor Jane McAdam, Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney, will address the differential impact of the pandemic on displaced people, showcasing the Kaldor Centre’s blog, COVID-19 Watch, and will also consider the twin ‘crises’ of COVID-19 and climate change on mobility in our region.

Assistant Secretary-General Gillian Triggs, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commission for Protection, will reflect on the following: As we look forward to celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, COVID-19 has undermined the fundamental norms of human rights and refugee law as almost no other crisis has done. Over 160 states have closed their borders and suspended or restricted access to asylum and many have pushed back those seeking protection, risking refoulement. Once the virus subsides, the longer term challenges are to ensure that regressive laws are not ‘baked in’ and that the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on the most vulnerable people are addressed.


COVID-19 and Human Rights

Hosted with the Australian Human Rights Institute
Thursday June 25
5.00-6.00pm AEST

Louise Chappell, Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute, will be speaking about the human rights implications of Australia’s response to COVID-19, and consider how our international obligations in areas including the right to privacy, women’s rights, disability and ageing, are being upheld or undermined during the pandemic.

Elaine Pearson, Australia’s director at Human Rights Watch and advisory committee member at the Australian Human Rights Institute, will be speaking on the human rights impacts of the COVID-19 response, especially in Asia, and how some authoritarian-leaning governments are exploiting the pandemic to tighten their grip on power.