Human Rights Council 48th session
Half-day panel discussion on deepening inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and their implications for the realization of human rights
Statement by Action Canada for Population and Development
Thank you, President.
Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative.
It is true that in all countries there is economic and social inequality, which has a greater impact on the rights of women and girls, black and indigenous people, people with disabilities, migrants, among others.
There is no doubt that this scenario is also a consequence of inequality between countries, mainly between the Global North and South. This inequality should not be reduced only to the distribution of vaccines or foreign debt. These are manifestations of a long history of colonialism and oppression in different forms that is more evident today than ever.
A deeper and more meaningful analysis is necessary. Urgent measures are critical to address the root causes of these inequalities in a comprehensive manner, with an intersectional, feminist and human rights approach, addressing patriarchy, racism, xenophobia, ableism and other forms of discrimination that perpetuate them.
Is a pandemic necessary for us to recognize inequalities? COVID19 is an extraordinary circumstance that exposes the already existing structural inequality globally. But it also showed that multilateralism and its human rights bodies and mechanisms are failing in addressing its root causes.
If this Council and the UN system do not take consistent measures to address them, which among other aspects include radical political change, real commitment and solidarity, and human rights-based accountability, inequality as a determining factor for human rights realization will remain and continue to deepen. To the panelists we ask: what is the first step towards reducing these glaring inequalities in the world?