On Guard takes its name from the idea that human rights are both a shield and a sword to protect the dignity of all people.

Protecting human rights requires more vigilance than ever in a time of crisis. 

The Australian Human Rights Institute has created this portal to share news, reflections, and policy advances on COVID-19 across the human rights spectrum. The database centralises some of the most interesting sources available, while news highlights will be shared with subscribers every fortnight in the On Guard newsletter. 

As we are all witnessing, the scale and severity of this pandemic is having indiscriminate effects on global social, economic and political structures. 

Having an overview of the pandemic's trajectory and its human rights impacts is crucial in keeping governments and businesses accountable during these unprecedented times. It is also important to keep a record of the disparities and deficiencies that emerge, as this will inform better practices and response mechanisms for the future. 


How to use this portal: 

Select your subject area of interest from the sidebar on the right-hand side of this page, or use the search bar below to refine your search. 

Using the search bar, you can select multiple categories, including any combination of the subject areas and one country or region. 

If you have feedback about this portal or would like to suggest a source to be included, email innovaterights@unsw.edu.au.


Article by Zaw Wai Soe et al. The Lancet. February 19, 2021.
Article by Catalina Correa-Salazar and Joseph Amon. Vol. 16. Globalization and Health. December 17, 2020.

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“Building trust can help coronavirus vaccine uptake” – how a rights-based framework may be useful in developing policy for COVID-19 vaccinations. Editorial by Dr Helen Watchirs for The Canberra Times. January 30, 2021. 

Disability: “Fury at 'do not resuscitate’ notices given to Covid patients with learning disabilities” by James Tapper for The Guardian (UK). February 14, 2021.

Indigenous rights: “Port Augusta’s Aboriginal-led pandemic response rose up against COVID, saving local businesses with it” by Gabriella Marchant for ABC News. February 7, 2021.

Housing: "'Significant proportion' of rough sleepers in Australia given shelter during Covid now homeless" by Luke Henrique-Gomes for The Guardian. February 11, 2021. 

Civil rights: “Should Aussies stranded overseas go to the United Nations for help to get home?” by Jane McAdam for The Conversation. February 2, 2021.

Gender: “Basic income, gender and human rights: Reinforcing inequalities or transformative action” Blog by Beth Goldblatt for The Power to Persuade. February 1, 2021.


Read more highlights in the latest On Guard newsletter.