While the impacts of COVID-19 are still unfolding, we’ve already seen how the virus and governments’ responses to the pandemic exacerbate pre-existing inequalities and disproportionately affect already marginalized communities and individuals. Across NYU, IHRI network members have pivoted their research, programming, and advocacy plans in response to the new crisis. These include:
- Participating in discussions on the technology that will be used and its implications. (Andy Moss, Tandon)
- Advocacy around releasing people from incarceration to emphasize the ways COVID-19 has highlighted and exacerbated racial inequalities. (Vincent Southerland, Center for Race, Inequality, and the Law, NYU Law; Jae James, Silver School of Social Work)
- Organizing and participating on panels looking at COVID-19 and its impacts in the global south, how it relates to movement building, and what it means for the mental health and wellbeing of advocates and activists. (Bernstein Institute and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, NYU Law)
- The Bellevue Program for Survivors of Tortute has been reaching out to over 600+ active clients to support any acute medical, emotional, or logistical needs and providing tele-health consultations, psychiatric appointments, individual and group therapy. They have also raised over $10,000 for their Survivor Fund, which is used to provide direct emergency relief to clients who are experiencing job losses, reduced hours, and other related impacts from COVID-19, and have created a guidebook that spells out social and legal resources of benefit to their client base.
- The NYU Prison Education Program and its partners have been working to secure releases for those held in Rikers.
- The Global Justice Clinic at NYU Law is working on advocacy campaigns to stop deportations to Haiti, including those of human rights violators.
- The Justice Power Project, managed by the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU Law, is compiling ways that Immigrant Legal Empowerment organizations are shifting their work and services to respond to COVID-19.
- The School of Professional Studies’ Center for Global Affairs hosted a webinar entitled Human Rights During the COVID-19 Crisis: Differentiating Protections for the Public Good from Abuses of Power
Are you an NYU member engaged in work related to the intersection of human rights and COVID-19? Please let us know so we can add your work to the list. Email firstname.lastname@example.org