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.


Report by Laurie Berg and Bassina Farbenblum. Migrant Worker Justice Initiative. September 17, 2020.
Article by Sharifah Sekalala, Lisa Forman, Roojin Habibi and Benjamin Mason Meier. (2020) Vol. 5. BMJ Global Health. September 16, 2020.
Report by Susan Nicolson, Susan Newell, and Brian Collyer. Australian Human Rights Commission, Kids Helpline and yourtown. September 15, 2020.
Policy paper by Uwe Gneiting, Nicholas Lusiani and Irit Tamir. Oxfam International. September 10, 2020.

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"My accidental arrest amid a protest rally exposes a deeper concern: the abuse of state power" Opinion by Simon Rice for The Sydney Morning Herald. October 15, 2020.
“Australian food banks report huge surge in demand during COVID pandemic” by Luke Henriques-Gomes for The Guardian. October 12, 2020.
“Why human rights should guide responses to the pandemic” by Sandra Liebenberg for The Conversation. October 7, 2020.
“Bombs or disease: The false choice in Myanmar’s conflict areas” by Jenny Domino for Frontier Myanmar. October 2, 2020.


Read more highlights in the latest On Guard newsletter.