Photo: UNDP Pakistan/Shuja Hakim


The pandemic has highlighted shortcoming in our socio-economic systems— in how we work, live and cooperate. Millions of people without social protection or access to health care have lost their livelihoods. The human rights implications of the pandemic have been recognized around the world, with already marginalized groups (including women, children, people working in the informal sector, migrants and refugees) disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Building forward better requires leaving no one behind.

UNDP and Ministry of Human Rights in Pakistan launched a report on Covid-19 and Disaster Vulnerability in Pakistan: A Human Rights Based Analysis. The report proposes people-centered recommendations that ensure that the rights of the vulnerable are protected.

The report analyses Pakistan’s national Covid-19 response in light of eight key thematic priority areas identified by the UN Secretary General. These priority areas are health; livelihoods and unemployment; education; food security; gender-based violence; child rights protection; refugees and migrants; and prisons and detention centres.

Each chapter identifies already vulnerable population groups that face an increased degree of risk or vulnerability as a result of Covid-19. The report outlines government initiatives in responding to Covid-19 and meeting the needs of vulnerable groups in each thematic area. It also outlines gaps and rights-based recommendations to facilitate and ensure a human rights-based approach to Covid-19 and disaster vulnerability in Pakistan. 

Findings of the report indicate that while Pakistan’s overall response to Covid-19 has been people-centered, there is significant work to be done to ensure that the rights of the most vulnerable are protected and promoted. It offers a set of short and medium-term recommendations for relevant Pakistani authorities, at both national and provincial levels, and development partners to prioritize and protect human rights in the context of emergency response and captures key learnings from the Covid-19 pandemic to take forward. The report also attempts to examine the methodologies and practices of developed nations in order to perform a comparative analysis and provide a robust roadmap and strategy to address potential gaps and shortcomings.

The recommendations that were drawn from the analysis are well-aligned with Pakistan’s commitment to the SDGs and the Constitution of Pakistan. More importantly, the recommendations offered in the report hold relevance, not only during a health crisis, but also in other future emergency scenarios and disasters such as the impacts of climate change that Pakistan is quite prone to.

The report can be accessed here.


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