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 Thabile Samboma. Vol. 64, Issue 2. International Social Work. February 15, 2021.
Report by Human Rights Watch. August 4, 2020.
Article of Kaarika Das and Srravya C. Issue 18. Futures of Work. March 16, 2021.

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Health: "ECHR rules obligatory vaccination may be necessary" by Deutsche Welle News. April 8, 2021.

Sanitation: “Achieving human rights to water and sanitation amid COVID-19” by Catarina de Albuquerque for Al Jazeera. April 8, 2021.
Child rights: “Poverty, COVID-19 add to plight of Palestinian children” by Nour Abu Aisha for Anadolu Agency. April 5, 2021.
Civil rights: “Australians stranded overseas take frustrations to United Nations, lobby the government’s ‘extreme restrictions’” by Matt Young for News.com.au. March 31, 2021.
Health: “The hidden danger in hospitals for Hungary’s COVID-19 patients” by Philippe Dam for Human Rights Watch. March 31, 2021.
Disability: “Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 remote education measures failing children with disabilities: potential solutions” by Opal Masocha Sibanda for Global Campus for Human Rights. March 18, 2021.


Read more highlights in the latest On Guard newsletter.