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 Elene Lam, Elena Shih, Katherine Chin and Kate Zen. Vol. 10, Issue 5: Special Issue: Sociological Perspectives on (Sexual) Humanitarian Governance of Migrant Sex Work. Social Sciences. April 29, 2021.
North America
Article by Margarida Gaspar de Matos and Tony Wainwright. Vol. 4, No. 1. The Psychologist: Practice & Research Journal. April 27, 2021.
Article (commentary) by Emery Manirambona, Theogene Uwizeyimana, Emmanuel Uwiringiyimana & Henna Reddy. Vol. 20. International Journal for Equity in Health. April 26, 2021.

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Health: “Rajasthan: Rights panel seeks report after two Covid patients die of ‘low oxygen supply’ in hospital” by Deep Mukherjee for The Indian Express. April 23, 2021.
Labour; Older persons’ rights: “Qantas in age discrimination case court setback” by Ryan Smith for HRD. April 23, 2021.
Migrant rights: “So Brazil has closed its land borders: Who cares?” by Luís Renato Vedovato for Global Campus of Human Rights. April 22, 2021.
Indigenous rights: “COVID-19 exacerbating inequality, marginalization faced by Indigenous Peoples, speakers underline, as Permanent Forum continues session” by UN Economic and Social Council Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. April 21, 2021.
Civil and political rights: “For India’s poor, lockdown policing adds to pandemic hardships” by Al Jazeera. April 21, 2021.
Health; Equality & non-discrimination: “Vaccine equity the ‘challenge of our time’, WHO chief declares, as governments call for solidarity, sharing” by UN News. April 16, 2021.


Read more highlights in the latest On Guard newsletter.